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1. Reading review questions: a. What is an accounting information system ? An accounting information system is a collection of inputs, processes, outputs and internal controls. The AIS captures primarily financial data, which can be transformed into information and used for making decisions. b. Describe the purpose of the FASB Conceptual Framework. Discuss how it relates to your study of accounting information system s . The FASB Conceptual Framework, developed in 1977, was designed to give guidance in the development of future accounting principles and rules. It comprises six parts: purpose of financial reporting, elements of financial statements, qualitative characteristics, assumptions, principles and constraints. The conceptual framework relates to accounting information systems by identifying the data to be captured and the characteristics it needs to be useful in making decisions. c. List and discuss the four parts of a generic accounting information system . The four parts of an AIS are: inputs, processes, outputs and internal controls. Inputs refer to things like source documents, while processing tools can comprise anything from paper-based journals and ledgers to sophisticated information technology like ERP systems. Outputs include the general purpose financial statements and other specialized internal reports. Internal controls are designed to promote information integrity in the accounting information system. d. Compare and contrast sponsored information, practitioner / public information and scholarly information . While all three types of information can be useful for research and decision making, they do have some important differences. Sponsored information may be more biased than the other two types—it may have an “agenda” beyond simply providing information. Practitioner / public information may not be based on research, but is often useful in a practical sense. Scholarly information is typically based on some form of qualitative or quantitative research; while it is sometimes useful for practice, it may be too specialized to influence practice in a major way. e. Identify five broad criteria you can use to evaluate information on the Internet and in other sources . The five criteria suggested by the U. of Maryland are: authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency and coverage. 1-9 © McGraw-Hill Companies, 2010
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f. In a manner specified by your instructor (e.g., individually or with a group, as a written paper or as an oral presentation), prepare an original response to one or more of the questions for this chapter’s opening vignette . 1. Why do organizations need an accounting information system ? Organizations need an AIS to provide some of the information internal and external stakeholders need for making decisions. While even the best-designed AIS cannot provide all the information people need for decisions, it does provide key financial information. 2.
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