Accounting Information System
The following plan details the business areas and services to be provided for a growing homeowners’ association by a certified accounting firm. The large growth in size of the association is cited as a need for this contracting with the accounting firm, and the specific business areas in need of servicing are identified as billing, collections, payments, reporting, taxes, and miscellaneous advisory duties. Input, output, and control requirements are listed in brief for each business area, with reference to current scholarly and regulatory/advisory information to ensure consistency and conformity with accounting standards. Automation of accounting processes is a major focus of the service provision, and levels of automation are fully discussed, with the decision to build an in-house automation system and certain automation challenges discussed.
The homeowner’s association is facing a problem of a major increase in the amount of accounting work it will need to take on. Though currently only comprised of one-hundred and fifty homeowners, this individual homeowners’ association is still growing and is also involved in a merger with four other homeowners’ associations over the next six months, adding five hundred homeowners for a total of at least six-hundred and fifty homes and homeowners. As the central surviving homeowners’ association following the merger, this association will be responsible for the accounting and financial needs of the association as a whole, and accomplishing these tasks on such a large scale is not something that can be handled in-house.
It is the desire of the homeowners’ association that the accounting firm will provide services in the following business areas: billing of homeowners on a quarterly basis with included penalties for late payment, collection of payments from homeowners via U.S. mail, payments to various vendors (e.g. lawn maintenance and refuse collection) and of other monies owed y the homeowners’ association (taxes, etc.), reporting all financial activity handled in the above business areas, tax preparation and filing, and providing advice as needed in areas of budgeting, purchasing, investing, and others. It is expected that the accounting firm will automate the billing and collection processes, and automation will also likely be achieved in the payment and reporting areas. Tax preparation will be semi-automated for efficiency as well as for accuracy, and the advisory function will be performed manually.
Proposed System Requirements
The billing processes put in place by the accounting firm shall be completely automated, other than the physical mailing of bills to be completed on a quarterly basis (and monthly thereafter for any payees that have failed to pay on time). Input requirements for this business area will consist of individual homeowners’ names and addresses, individual account numbers, and, following the issue of the bills in the first billing cycle, payment status. Output requirements are the physical bills, including properly calculated amounts for late fees, as well as reports for use in the later financial documentation of the association (AICPA 2011). Calculation and issuance controls are easily achieved through basic accounting software (Romney & Steinbart 2011).
Collection of payments from homeowners will also be fully automated, save for the physical process of retrieving checks from the specifically-purposed post office box to which checks will be mailed. Input requirements will consist of homeowner account numbers, payment amount (if full and on-time, this should equal $150 every billing cycle), and date of payment (which can be adjusted to the payment due date for all payments made early). Output requirements match typical outputs for this business area, including payment records and automated communication with the billing processes to either mark each account as paid or issue a new bill with calculated late fees each month a bill due goes unpaid (Turner & Weickgenannt 2009). Control on this system will include physical and software security measures that protect homeowner account numbers and other information, occasional manual audits to ensure accuracy, and the regular reporting of collection activity, all of which is in keeping with standard recommendations (Romney & Steinbart 2011; AICPA 2011).
The payment process will also be fully automated, issuing checks to payees on a monthly basis as agreed per contract or calculated via established parameters for taxes and other variable payments. Input requirements for the payment system include all relevant payee information and the amount or calculation method for each payment. Output requirements include the physical checks to be mailed to payees, when automated payment is not possible, and regular reporting of payment activity. Manual audits as well as automated checking of balance sheets will form highly important controls in this business area (COSO 2009; AICPA 2011).
The automation of reporting is still somewhat controversial, but it is believed that the relative simplicity of the accounting tasks for the homeowners’ association and the increased efficiency (and therefore cost-effectiveness) of automation will lead to a net benefit for the association (Romney & Steinbart 2011; AICPA 2011). Input requirements in an automated reporting system will be achieved quite easily from the other automated accounting tasks that produce relevant information for reporting (i.e. billing, collection, and payments) through an integrated software system (Turner & Weickgenannt 2009; Kruck 2011). Output requirements will consists of financial statements with all areas identified by law and/or standard practice as relevant to the overall financial health of the association (COSO 2009). Manual checking of reports on a quarterly basis and proper security procedures and software should provide appropriate controls.
Tax preparation has been an automated r semi-automated process in for many businesses and individuals for some time (Kruck 2011). A mix of automated and manual processes is recommended to ensure accuracy, however; the number of specific inputs is not the same year to year or even quarter to quarter, necessarily, and constant reviewing of updated or altered tax code is necessary to achieve the most effective results (Turner & Weickgenannt 2009). Output requirements in the tax area are relatively straightforward, consisting simply of the necessary documents required by local, state, and federal agencies and with the means of production and controls built into software already utilized by the accounting firm (Romney & Steinbart 2011).
Other accounting needs might be identified as necessary as the homeowners’ association continues to grow and as the economic environment changes, and the accounting firm shall provide advisory functions to the homeowners’ association in determining and fulfilling these needs as they arise and are identified in accordance with standard practice (AICPA 2011; Romney & Steinbart 2011). Input requirements in this area will vary widely, and will be brought to the accounting firm’s attention by the client as well as from the firm’s ongoing awareness of environmental shifts that could affect the association’s financial position. Output requirements will also be highly varied, ranging from the identification and recommendation of investment opportunities to the potential reorganization of budgeting frameworks and reporting, as recommended via updates from a variety of professional organizations and advisory entities (COSO 2009; AICPA 2011). Controls are difficult to determine in this area, and will be developed and implemented on a case-by-case basis.
Proposed Manual Functions
The only business area where substantial manual functions are desired are in tax preparation and certain advisory functions. Though the tax preparation software utilized by the accounting firm is both efficient and comprehensive, with regular updates based on changes to tax law, manual audits of records and of filings is recommended to ensure no specific details of the business or of tax code are overlooked. The advisory function will be almost entirely manual simply due to the variety and largely qualitative and subjective factors of such tasks.
Make or Buy
The requirements of the homeowners’ association are not especially complex, and while a standard software package such as Quicken or Peachtree could certainly provide the necessary functions it would not be difficult to construct a system that will handle the association’s accounting needs using tools form the Microsoft Office suite and other supporting basic software. This will also increase the flexibility and the degree of tailoring that can be provided to the homeowner’s association, and the accounting firm will be more easily able to adapt the system to future clients, as well. All of this provides an ultimate cost savings and performance enhancement to the homeowner’s association, and will better utilize the knowledge, expertise, and development of accounting firm staff (Turner & Weickgenannt 2009).
Challenges to Automation
Though automation is relatively simple to employ in this case and is well-founded based on current literature and investigations, there are certain challenges inherent to its use (Kruck 2011; Turner & Weickgenannt 2009; Romney & Steinbart 2011). Changes to processes or the environment in which processes occur must be continually incorporated into all segments of the automation process, and it would potentially be easy to overlook a seemingly minor detail that could disrupt the accuracy of output requirement. Regular manual auditing of all automated processes to ensure accuracy and reliability is necessary to meet these challenges.
AICPA. (20110. AICPA Publishes New Attest Guidance for Reporting on Controls at a Service Organization. Accessed 30 October 2011. http://www.aicpa.org/press/pressreleases/2011/pages/aicpapublishesnewattestguidanceforreportingoncontrolsataserviceorganization.aspx
COSO. (2009). Guidance on Monitoring Internal Control Systems. Durham, NC: COSO.
Kruck, S. (2011). The emergence of accounting information systems programs. Accessed 30 October 2011. http://www.allbusiness.com/accounting/3504565-1.html
Romney, M. & Steinbart, P. (2011). Accounting Information Systems. New York: Prentice Hall.
Turner, L. & Weickgenannt, A. (2009). Accounting Information Systems. New York: Wiley.
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more