Chapter07 - Chapter Seven REAL Modeling AIS in the Business...

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126 ±Chapter± Seven ±REAL±Modeling± AIS in the Business World Beta Alpha Psi Beta Alpha Psi ( ) is the international honor society for students and professionals in accounting, finance, and information systems. According to its Web site: The primary objective of Beta Alpha Psi is to encourage and give recognition to scholastic and professional excellence in the business information field. This includes promoting the study and practice of accounting, finance and information systems; providing opportunities for self-development, service and association among members and practicing professionals, and encouraging a sense of ethical, social, and public responsibility. Each BAY chapter is required to complete certain activities each year; they also may earn extra recognition and rewards by going beyond the minimums specified by the national office. Events include things like meet the firms, professional speaker meetings, community service projects, and national and regional meetings. Each BAY chapter tracks its members’ participation in the various events, reporting periodically to the national office via BAY’s reporting intranet. As you can tell, the information needs of a typical BAY chapter go far beyond general purpose financial statements. To facilitate information gathering and decision making, a BAY chapter might choose to develop a REAL model as the basis for an event-driven accounting information system. Discussion Questions 1. What is a REAL model? 2. What is an event-driven accounting information system?
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Chapter 7 REAL Modeling 127 So far, we’ve looked at two documentation techniques for accounting information systems: flowcharting and data flow diagramming. In this chapter, we’ll examine a third technique: REAL modeling. A relative newcomer to accounting information systems, REAL model- ing is an important part of designing event-driven accounting information systems. McCarthy (1982) is considered by many to be a pioneer in the development of event- driven accounting systems. Event-driven systems capture a broader range of data than view-driven systems; relational database technology underlies most event-driven systems. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are a sophisticated version of event-driven AIS. In this chapter, we’ll take a closer look at event-driven accounting information sys- tems and REAL modeling, the documentation technique often used in their development. When you finish studying this material, you should be able to: 1. Compare and contrast view-driven and event-driven accounting information systems. 2. Use REAL modeling to represent an event-driven AIS. 3. Use a REAL model to design a relational database for an event-driven AIS. In some accounting curricula, professors devote entire courses to the topic of event-driven AIS. Although REAL modeling is used less frequently in accounting practice than systems flowcharts, it represents an important way of thinking about the AIS. As with flowcharting
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Chapter07 - Chapter Seven REAL Modeling AIS in the Business...

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