The Emergence of Accounting Information Systems Programs

By Dillon, Thomas W.; Kruck, S. E. | Management Accounting Quarterly, Spring 2004 | Go to article overview

The Emergence of Accounting Information Systems Programs


Dillon, Thomas W., Kruck, S. E., Management Accounting Quarterly


AS MORE AND MORE COMPANIES SEEK OUT ACCOUNTING PROFESSIONALS WITH IT SKILLS, SOME UNIVERSITIES NOW ARE OFFERING A MAJOR IN ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEMS, WHICH MIXES TOPICS FROM EACH AREA TO PROVIDE STUDENTS WITH THE REQUISITE SKILLS EMPLOYERS WANT.

As we begin the 21st century, business organizations are facing an explosion of global competition and innovation. Facilitating this explosion is the increasing ability of organizations to make good business decisions based on the large amounts of information their enterprise produces. Economists predict that by 2010 the majority of American workers will be knowledge workers-those who make their living working with information.1 In this environment, it is necessary for a successful business to integrate information technology into its basic processes, and, to do that, needs qualified, skilled information technology employees. In addition, these organizations need executive management and other functional workers who have IT skills.2 In fact, a company needs all its workers-accountants and financial executives included-to have a high level of computer and technical skills. Organizations are now attempting to hire college graduates who have this level of technical skill, but universities are struggling to determine the appropriateness of their curricula to meet this growing need.3

THE NEED FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

Recognizing these worker trends and economic conditions, the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) report the need for computer and information technology concepts to be a part of the knowledge, skills, and abilities of accounting professionals. Both say accounting professionals should be able to apply productivity improvement software, such as spreadsheets and accounting-specific software, and be able to interpret, integrate, and implement information technology.

In its report, the AICPA cites five core competencies to guide its members: (1) communication and leadership, (2) strategic and critical thinking, (3) customer focus, (4) interpretation of converging information, and (5) technological skills.4 IMA's 1999 Practice Analysis identified four work activities that are now expected to consume more of an internal accountant's time: (1) long-term strategic planning, (2) internal consulting, (3) computer systems and operations, and (4) process improvement.5 It also identified the most important knowledge, skills, and abilities accountants had developed in the prior five years: computer skills, technology and networks, accounting software, teaching or mentoring, speaking and communications, and project management.

In the last 15 years, accounting information technology has transformed from an environment dominated by expensive mainframe computers that were programmed by specialized information system staff to user-friendly, integrated Internet-based systems.6 The knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the entry-level accountant now include the application and integration of information technology into the accounting process, as well as financial and managerial accounting principles. Organizations rely on the new generation of accountants to be familiar with today's systems and to prepare for those of tomorrow. To accomplish this, they must have technical skills and conceptual knowledge of accounting information systems.7

ACCOUNTING EDUCATION PROGRAMS

In 1990, the Accounting Education Change Commission, a committee of business leaders appointed by the American Accounting Association (AAA), recommended to accounting educators that students learn and understand more about accounting systems.8 The faculty of leading undergraduate accounting programs in the United States responded to the Commission's recommendations by initiating one or more of the following changes: (1) significantly increasing the amount of information systems coverage in graduate and undergraduate accounting classes; (2) creating undergraduate and graduate "accounting systems" courses that cover topics such as transaction cycles, information technology, databases, the systems development life cycle, internal controls, and fraud detection and deterrence;9 (3) shifting graduate program coursework in the direction of accounting information systems (AIS); and (4) incorporating a significant amount of cross-disciplinary content that combines courses from both accounting and information systems departments.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Emergence of Accounting Information Systems Programs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.