Part 1: written analysis of the requirements needed to automate a firm's accounting information system. Part 2:executive summary of part 1, done in Microsoft PowerPoint.
Learning objective: Demonstrate an understanding of essential accounting information systems, standards, and controls.
Assume you are a CPA with a small local practice. You have three professional employees, all relatively new CPAs, and an office manager. Your practice consists primarily of tax and write-up work. You have a new client—a homeowners' association consisting of 150 homeowners—and you have contracted to perform the following services:
1. billing: Each quarter, you will send each homeowner an itemized bill. Dues are $50 per month ($150 per quarter). Late fees are one percent per month of the unpaid balance. The bills will be mailed the first day of the last month of the quarter. Payment is due by the end of the quarter.
2. collection: You rent a post office box and will receive the checks there. You are responsible for depositing the checks (you have opened a checking account for the association).
3. payment: You will write about five checks a month. Besides your own monthly fee, there are monthly checks to a lawn maintenance company and a refuse removal company. There are also checks written for taxes, postage, supplies, and the like.
4. reporting: You will be responsible for reporting on all collections, all checks written, outstanding homeowners' balances, and quarterly financial statements.
5. tax payment: You will be responsible for preparing the association's federal and state tax returns.
6. advising: You will be responsible for advising the board on an as-needed basis, especially in the areas of budgeting, purchasing, and investment.
You are hoping to expand this new area of your practice. You want to computerize the main functions of this system, concentrating especially on the billing and reporting aspects. Assume that the tax preparation, financial statements, and checking account will not be computerized initially; only the billing and collections portions will be computerized for now.
Required: Using the methodology developed in this course, document and illustrate the system (describe inputs, outputs, controls, and so on); don't overlook manual functions. Consider what reports will be necessary; what kinds of documents/forms will be needed (such as invoices and receipts); and what the reports, documents, and forms will look like. Design at least three documents (reports and/or forms), and provide them as appendices.
Include a discussion about problem areas that could arise, assuming that you will eventually have many more clients and several more employees.
Your system design must meet your present requirements and be expandable to accommodate your growing practice.
Required: Design addresses each of the main functions listed in the assignment, both manual and computerized; design uses the methodology developed in the course; design addresses growth, including potential problems; design of system and reports/forms shows creativity and originality
Your presentation, whether in graphic or narrative form, must demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and issues associated with the design of accounting information systems.
Required: Presentation addresses all required points; presentation demonstrates an understanding of core concepts and facility with the methodology; presentation contains an analysis of system needs and consideration of alternative approaches
Your presentation should be neat and professional in appearance, doing justice to your concepts and content.
Required: Presentation is well-written and free of grammatical and typographical errors; presentation makes effective use of software (flowcharts and other illustrations, report designs, etc.); forms and documents provided as appendices are clear, neat, and user-friendly
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