document(3).pdf - Accounting Horizons Vol 27 No 4 2013 pp 815–840 American Accounting Association DOI 10.2308/acch-50573 COMMENTARY Integrating

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Accounting Horizons American Accounting Association Vol. 27, No. 4 DOI: 10.2308/acch-50573 2013 pp. 815–840 COMMENTARY Integrating Information Technology into Accounting Research and Practice Guido L. Geerts, Lynford E. Graham, Elaine G. Mauldin, William E. McCarthy, and Vernon J. Richardson SYNOPSIS: As information and communication technologies (IT) become more deeply ingrained and inextricably woven into the fabric of organizations, more perplexing research and practice questions emerge. This commentary applies an organizing information systems research framework to accounting. The framework explicitly recognizes that complexities of the accounting value chain define relevant practice issues for research. We demonstrate application of the framework with examples that integrate different accounting disciplines and different research methodologies. Using a select number of prior research studies, we emphasize how design science, archival, and behavioral research paradigms work together to advance theory and inform practice. We also demonstrate how the framework directs future research for both well- established and emerging practice issues. Keywords: information technology; research framework; REA; enterprise systems; internal controls; continuous audit; XBRL. JEL Classifications: M15; M41. INTRODUCTION A ccounting’s existence and evolution are strongly based on artifacts, things created by humans in order to solve a problem in a specific environment ( Hevner et al. 2004 ). Accounting artifacts take many shapes and forms, including a new costing method such as Activity Based Costing ( Cooper and Kaplan 1992 ), a model of internal control such as the COSO framework ( Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission [COSO] 2013 ), Guido L. Geerts is a Professor at the University of Delaware, Lynford E. Graham is a Visiting Professor at Bentley University, Elaine G. Mauldin is an Associate Professor at the University of Missouri, William E. McCarthy is a Professor at Michigan State University, and Vernon J. Richardson is a Professor at the University of Arkansas . We gratefully acknowledge Jim Hunton’s efforts in assembling the team of authors and providing the initial direction for the paper. We thank two anonymous reviewers for comments on a previous version of the paper. We also thank Brad Tuttle (associate editor) for many helpful comments throughout the review process. Submitted: September 2012 Accepted: July 2013 Published Online: December 2013 Corresponding author: Vernon J. Richardson Email: [email protected] 815
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or complex information and communication technologies (IT) such as enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs). Relevant, rigorous research involves developing or refining artifacts, building and justifying theory about artifacts, and evaluating artifacts. The relevance of an artifact, in practice, is determined by its substance and organization (its inner environment) and how it operates in its surroundings (its outer environment). Simon (1996 , 6) notes that ‘‘ if the inner environment is appropriate to the outer environment, or
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