Information technology in accounting
Accounting is the central component of any facility management system. Accounting information is used by various categories of enterprise personnel to make management decisions: managers, economists, financiers, production organizers, etc. Accounting information in the form of reports – balance sheet, annexes to accounting analysis – is also necessary for external users – third-party organizations and enterprises, tax authorities, authorities, investors, etc. Many management decisions depend on accounting information, and the accounting information system has the most significant impact on the effectiveness of management automation.
Accounting is an orderly system for collecting, monitoring, measuring, registering, processing and receiving information in monetary terms about property, liabilities and business operations of an economic entity and their movement through continuous, continuous and documentary accounting.
This definition reveals:
- accounting sphere – economic activity of an economic entity, accounting is limited by the framework of internal business processes;
- accounting objects – property, equity, liabilities, debts from other organizations, business transactions;
- independent significance of accounting in relation to statistical and operational;
- the main stages of the accounting process – observation, measurement, registration, storage, processing, data transmission;
- format of information presentation – monetary, natural-material;
- accounting methods – continuous (all business transactions are taken into account), continuous (accounting is kept from the moment of registration of the organization and until its reorganization or liquidation in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation), documentary (based on documents).
The specificity of accounting is that it is mandatory for all legal entities on the territory of the country (for societies and citizens conducting entrepreneurial activities without forming a legal entity, it is mandatory to keep records of income and expenses and prepare reports – a tax return).
The accounting information system must meet the following requirements:
- the correct methodological basis for the construction of planned and accounting indicators;
- coverage of all business processes and operations;
- reliability, completeness, accuracy of accounting data, efficiency of accounting operations;
- the effectiveness of the organization of accounting.
Despite some differences in the software products of individual corporations (firms) that implement accounting functions, the following composition of sets of accounting tasks for industrial enterprises can be distinguished.
- Cash and settlement and financial transactions (cash transactions, transactions with the bank, settlements with accountable persons, multicurrency accounting, settlements with debtors and creditors, depositors, settlements with shareholders, founders, settlements on claims and off-budget payments, settlements with the budget, payments for a loan).
- Accounting for material assets (integration with the task of “warehouse accounting”, receipt of materials at the warehouse, accounting for the issuance of materials for production, release of materials to the outside, revaluation of material assets, accounting of materials at different prices; preparation of analytical sheets of movement of material assets, inventory of materials) …
- Accounting for labor and wages (integration with the functional subsystem “Personnel”, automatic payroll for various systems of payment and deduction from it; preparation of settlement and payment documentation, preparation of payment documentation for taxes to the budget).
- Accounting for fixed assets and intangible acts (creation of electronic inventory cards, accounting for the movement of fixed assets and intangible assets (intangible assets); accrual of depreciation deductions, revaluation and inventory of fixed assets and intangible assets, write-off of fixed assets, lease, commissioning of fixed assets).
- Accounting for the release, shipment and sale of finished products. This complex is associated with the functions of production management, contracts for the supply of finished products, marketing operations and financial settlements with customers.
- Accounting for production costs, information related to the production management function, as well as with such complexes of accounting tasks as accounting for labor and wages, accounting for material values, accounting for fixed assets, etc. The complex provides calculation of production costs, accounting for product costs main and auxiliary production by expense items, etc.
- Financial reporting; in this complex, synthetic accounting sheets are formed and financial statements are drawn up; has close information links with all sets of accounting tasks.
The technology of electronic processing of accounting tasks is a set of strictly regulated human-machine operations performed in a certain sequence – from the moment of creating the primary accounting document to the preparation of consolidated financial statements.
At the present stage, computer information technology has developed, created on the basis of decentralized processing of accounting tasks. Its features include:
- the use of personal computers; solving problems is carried out by an accountant directly at his workplace;
- formation of local and multilevel computer networks, providing integrated processing of economic tasks of various divisions of the enterprise (organization, firm);
- a significant increase in the composition of accounting calculations performed by computers;
- creation of a unified distributed database of an enterprise (organization) for various departments;
- the possibility of forming a PC of primary accounting documents, which ensures the transition to paperless technology and reduces the complexity of operations for collecting and registering documents;
- integration of the solution of complexes of accounting problems;
- the possibility of organizing information and reference services for the accountant.
All operations of the technological process are performed on a PC sequentially, at one workstation, in accordance with the blocks of the program menu.
The basis for processing accounting tasks are out-of-machine and intra-machine information arrays.
Out-of-machine information arrays are associated with the processes of collecting and registering information in primary documents. When using a PC, it becomes possible to automate the process of creating documents. However, the possibility of receipt on the PC and primary documents filled in manually is not excluded.
Intramachine information support is files of variable and conditionally constant information on computer media and in the system memory in the form of databases. Variable information files are formed on the basis of the data of primary documents and are used to solve an economic problem in a certain period (for example, arrays of work orders, receipt orders, cash outflow orders, invoices, etc.).
Files of conditionally permanent information are created once during the implementation of the project, are used repeatedly and are systematically corrected. These include arrays of various standards, reference data, inventory cards for accounting for fixed assets, personal cards of employees, etc.
A possible list of accounting tasks to be solved is determined by the program menu, which is displayed on the screen after turning on the computer. The menu is a list of blocks (modules) of the program, where each module performs certain functions of the technological process, starting from the input of primary documents and ending with the compilation of summary reports.
Accounting IS software
The development and creation of accounting IS is the primary task of automating the management of any enterprise. The characteristics of the object of management, the features of the form of organization of accounting and accounting policies, the scale of the enterprise and other factors have a decisive influence on the development of IP, on the one hand, and the choice and support of information technologies in accounting, on the other.
The following problems arise before the developers of accounting IS:
- choice of methodology for the development of accounting IS:
- option 1 – adaptation of a typical software package to the conditions of a specific application;
- Option 2 – development of a “custom” IS (“from scratch”);
- choice of software product (option 1) or choice of software and design technologies for accounting and accounting (option 2);
- substantiation of the configuration of accounting IS (composition of automated functions and workstations of accountants);
- substantiation of the information technology architecture of IS accounting;
- the level of integration of accounting IS with other functional subsystems – independent accounting IS, a subsystem as part of an enterprise’s integrated IS, a corporate IS component;
- restrictions on the cost of IP and the time of its creation. Accounting information systems and accounting automation software used have been constantly improved due to the emergence of new machines, the development of information technologies, changes in the legal framework of accounting. The market of accounting software for personal computers began to form in the late 1980s, but it does not stop replenishing with new software products (replacement of versions, configurations, expansion of available information technologies, etc.) and now.
This is the most representative class of functional application software, which covers several thousand companies that carry out:
1) development and distribution (sale) of new software products for accounting IP;
2) adaptation (adjustment) of standard accounting programs for the accounting of the Russian Federation;
3) the actual creation of accounting IS (implementation);
4) consulting services for the design of computer accounting systems (KSBU), the choice of software, support for the “hot line”;
5) creation of educational and methodological literature, training and demonstration programs.
Rating of firms related to software products for accounting IP
The undisputed leader among developers is 1C: Enterprise.
When choosing programs for creating an accounting IS, they are analyzed and compared by a number of parameters that affect the implementation of the computer version of the accounting model and determine the information technology basis for constructing an IS.
- Methodology of accounting IP:
1) methodological support for the implementation and accounting of the rules of regulatory regulation of the accounting system in the Russian Federation in IS;
2) setting up the accounting policy of the enterprise:
- selection of attributes of accounts;
- formation of a working chart of accounts;
- choice of the form of accounting;
- selection of methods for calculating depreciation for fixed assets and amortization of intangible assets;
- selection of methods of accounting for inventories – at actual cost, at accounting prices; methods of writing off production costs;
- choice of methods for assessing consumed production stocks, finished goods, work in progress; etc.;
3) setting up analytical accounting reference books;
4) setting up standard operations and templates for accounting entries;
5) setting up standard forms of primary accounting documents;
6) setting up standard reports (external and internal);
7) implementation of the requirements of international accounting standards; and etc.
- Information technology:
1) hardware and software platform for accounting IS;
2) information technology architecture of the software complex;
3) modular architecture of the software package;
4) the possibility of autonomous use of software modules;
5) a configurator of the functional structure of I S accounting;
6) the structure of the database, characteristics of the DBMS;
7) protection of IP and database functions;
8) DB administration tools;
9) tools for the development of the user interface, the development of the functionality of the IS;
10) information interaction with other enterprise-scale ISs, external ISs (technologies and data exchange formats);
11) technology of design, implementation and maintenance of IS;
12) requirements for the qualifications of IS personnel.
The computer IS provides for the implementation of standard accounting information technologies.
- Creation of standard business transactions containing templates for accounting entries. Setting up the correspondence of accounting transactions to the work chart of accounts.
- Linking additional posting details with reference books of analytical accounts.
- Formation of standard comment texts for accounting entries.
- Submission of information of primary accounting documents in electronic form using on-screen input and editing forms.
- Currency accounting support (the posting template contains the details of the currency type code, the exchange rate, on the basis of which the posting currency amount is calculated).
- Formation of registers of primary credentials of various classes:
- “Transactions” – is the main accounting register, contains accounting entries, correspondence of accounts, the amount of the transaction;
- “Operations” – contains information about business transactions registered in the accounting (the operation corresponds to a typical operation, thanks to which accounting entries are automatically generated in the “Transactions” register; thus, group entry and editing of transaction transactions is provided). There is a prohibition on direct editing of accounting entries, except through editing the operation itself. This ensures minimal cost and correct credential adjustments. Typical operations are usually grouped by areas of accounting, associated with certain functional AWS of the accountant;
- “Documents” – contains information of primary documents drawn up in accordance with standard forms (each standard form of a document assumes a link with a typical operation, therefore, when registering documents, an entry is automatically generated in the “Operations” and “Transactions” registers). This option for entering credentials is the most preferable, since documenting a business transaction and processing postings into accounting are carried out almost simultaneously, but you can also divide them in time: first prepare a document, and then process it into accounting. Editing accounting entries or transactions directly, bypassing the editing of the prepared primary document, is prohibited; editing is done not by red line, but by drawing up a document for change.
- Programmatic control of the accuracy and completeness of the input of primary accounting data, including checking the correspondence of accounts using “correct accounting entries”.
- Authorized access to the database when entering and editing credentials.
- Aggregation and filtering of accounting entries, operations and documents for the purpose of their selection, analysis, editing, copying, etc.
- Automatic filling of standard forms of external reporting (balance sheet, annexes to the balance sheet, tax cards, income declarations, certificates to the Pension Fund of the Russian Federation, statistical reporting forms, etc.).
- Import and export of database data, individual forms of documents, including reporting.
- Access to office software products (text editor, spreadsheet, browser, email, organizer, etc.).
There is a relationship between enterprise scale and the type of IT architecture of accounting IS. This dependence is due to both the need for information technology for the implementation of IS functions, and the reasonable level of costs for its creation and maintenance, the effect of control automation.
The smaller the scale of the enterprise, the lower the intensity of information flows, relatively simpler accounting (fewer physical accounting objects, there is no need for developed analytical accounting, expansion of the chart of accounts, etc.), although deviations from this pattern are possible. For this class of enterprises, standard and inexpensive information technologies are used.
For large enterprises, accounting IP should be aligned with IT solutions as a whole, enterprise IP. On the other hand, the scale of an enterprise determines objective requirements for accounting IS, namely: support for network technology, simultaneous work with IS of a large team of accountants, creation of a large-scale database, implementation of a developed accounting model, etc.
The greatest scope for the choice of information technology exists in the creation of accounting IS for medium and some large enterprises.
Software products for creating accounting IS differ in the completeness of accounting functions, their integration:
1) software products for local automation of certain areas of accounting;
2) software products for complex automation of accounting;
3) software products that support accounting IS in conjunction with other ISs – combined functional IS (accounting + trade IS, accounting + warehouse IS, accounting + sales management systems, accounting + HR accounting IS, etc. );
4) fully integrated accounting IS with all enterprise management functions.
Software products for creating accounting IS, as a rule, have a modular architecture, it is possible to use separate modules (blocks, control loops) independently.
The accounting information system is implemented in the form of an automated workplace for accountants. A separate workstation is supported by software modules, it can work both in isolation and in integration with other workstations.
A characteristic feature of software products for creating accounting information systems is the “degree” of freedom in the choice of information technology components (such as a DBMS, network architecture, design tools, etc.). In some software packages, methodological and information technology solutions are not subject to modification. The most promising IS software products for accounting are multi-platform oriented, allowing replacement of basic and general software components, modernization of functional modules.