Developing Accounting Information Systems (AIS) includes five basic steps that include planning, analysis, design, implementation, and support. The time period associated with each of these steps can be as short as a few weeks or as long as several years depending on the objectives.
Planning – project management objectives and techniques – The very first phase of a Accounting Information System Development is planning the project. This involves determination of the scope and objectives of the project, the definition of project responsibilities, control requirements, project phases, budgets, and final products.
Analysis – The analysis phase is used to determine and document the accounting and business processes used by the company. These accounting processes are usually redesigned to take advantage of the operating characteristics of modern system solutions.
Data Analysis is a review of the accounting information that is currently being collected by a company. Current data are then compared to the data that the organization should be using for managerial purposes. This method is used primarily when designing accounting transaction processing systems.
Decision Analysis is a review of the decisions that a manager is responsible for making. The primary decisions that managers are responsible for are identified on an individual basis. Then models are created to support the manager in gathering financial and related information to develop and design alternatives, and to make actionable choices. This method is valuable when the primary objective of the system is decision support.
Process Analysis is a review of the company business processes. The organizational processes are identified and segmented into a series of events that are able to either add or change data. These processes can then be modified or reengineered to improve the organization’s operations in terms of lowering cost, improving service, quality, or management information. This accounting method is used when automation or reengineering is the system’s primary objective.