Anthony True, Cynthia Perry, Jennifer Whatley, Robin Burkman
Accounting Information Systems I
December 12, 2016
Accounting Cycle Description Paper
Accounting cycles are an important process that a business must consider and monitor throughout the year in order to ensure that the proper steps are being taken. Riordan Manufacturing is a company that deals with all kinds of accounting processes in its day-to-day operations and the accounts payable account is one of them. With these accounts it is important to focus on the recognition of transactions, whether it be the receipt of a bill to be paid in the future or the actual payment of that bill. A proper adjustment within that payable account therefore must be made when it occurs. Without proper recognition in this area, Riordan Manufacturing will have difficulties explaining their short-term obligations. This could cause serious problems for the users of the company?s financial statements, some of who may be interested in investing with the organization. To eliminate and help in avoiding these mistakes, Riordan has developed various internal controls by weighing the strengths and weaknesses of these controls and integrating them into its accounting information systems (AISs). Part of the development of these controls also focuses on specific accounting software and information systems that allow its operations the opportunity to run more effectively. Being able to integrate these systems with the company?s accounts payable methods will allow for the most effective use of company time and resources.
The Accounting Cycle and Accounts Payable
According to Investopedia, the accounting cycle is a methodical set of rules to ensure the accuracy and conformity of financial statements. (Investopedia, 2016) There are several steps to the accounting cycle that help organizations record transactions that create the financial records of the business. The steps of the accounting cycle include identifying, collecting and analyzing transactions, recording these transactions in journals and general ledgers, and preparing financial statements. (Averkamp, 2016) While the processes of recording these transactions have gone from manual to computerized, the accounting cycle still remains the same.
The accounts payable piece of the accounting cycle involves an organization purchasing goods or services from suppliers on credit, receiving an invoice for these goods or services and issuing a payment to the supplier. Accounts Payable departments can be a huge part of the organization?s success. Handling invoice payments, ensuring accuracy and vendor relations is very important to keep the cash flow of the business running especially if the business needs to be extended credit for a project. Some companies issue purchase orders to suppliers as a form of security to ensure they are only charged for what they receive and to ensure no unauthorized purchases are made. The accounts payable department of the organization must be timely and accurate in order for the organization?s financial statements to be accurate.
Internal Controls and the Cycle
Internal controls within an organization help to define processes and operate under certain procedures. These procedures can make a company unique and potentially more effective and efficient than others. The accounting cycle is a process that should be handled carefully to ensure that entries are made correctly and that financial statements and records are kept properly. According to Jackie Lohrey (2016), ?Internal controls built into the accounting cycle serve to prevent inaccurate data entry, protect the business from fraud and maintain consistency within the accounting cycle? (What Internal Controls Are Common in the Accounting Cycle?). Lohrey discusses some of these controls in detail such as proper authorization for access to specific accounts and statements, correct documentation in order to create a paper trail that will help prevent discrepancies, and necessary security in order to protect the company?s information systems from failure or potential hackers.
These types of internal controls will allow companies such as Riordan to be more productive and be more aware of their finances. They provide a great advantage to the overall functions of the entity. Having the correct, authorized personnel constructing and managing financial accounts will ensure the information is safe. Furthermore, issuing checks and balances where duties may be split and certain personnel construct the entries and statements while another reviews their work also helps to ensure accuracy.
There may also be disadvantages to this type of functioning however. The costs of implementing internal controls such as the ones stated previously can be costly. They require more staff to review the work of others and create the necessary documents. In addition, the security measures that are used could also be a costly expense. These are all necessary expenses though that will ensure the processes are carried out properly and with integrity.
Account Cycle Integration
The different types of accounting information systems that are needed to achieve this integration are hardware, software, people and procedures. The current problem with the accounts payable system, in the Riordan Industries, Inc. is that each of their locations are using different accounting software systems. Riordan Industries, Inc. needs to have an enterprise wide accounting information systems (AIS). Riordan has the hardware needed in all of their facilities. Next, Riordan needs to figure out if the ERP system in their headquarters they have will be able to be used in their other facilities. As far as personnel, Riordan already has their accounting teams in all of their facilities they would need to be trained on the new software. Finally, Riordan would need to have their processes, like their accounting process and procedures in one system and have multiple users and all of their locations using one AIS. The San Jose headquarters would have the foundation of the system. Riordan will need to write the procedure for each module of the new AIS. The San Jose office will have all of the modules, and will utilize the general ledger module. The procedure training is to ensure that each facility processes the invoices the same way. All of the facilities will be able to process journal entries and accounts payable invoices, as well as other modules within the AIS. The corporate office will have the ability to update the information almost as soon as it is being entered into the system.
Different Types of Information Systems
Many companies purchase accounting information systems to assist with recording financial transactions and to use this as a tool to assist managers in making future decisions with the company. An accounting information systems that can be used within Riordan would be batch processing systems, online batch systems, or online real time systems (Bluest,?2015). With using the batch processing systems, Riordan would enter transactions when they occurred and process and integrate the transactions periodically into an accounting record daily or weekly by running a batch process. If Riordan were to use the online batch systems, the accounts payable process would typically be running the same as batch process systems with the exception that transactions and processing of the accounts payable is done using online based accounting software. One of the other options of an accounting information system for the accounts payable is one that can be used is real time systems. This software does not use the batch processing style of payables, and the transactions are processed in real time into an accounting record when the person records them.
Another option that Riordan has to use for their accounts payable information system is transaction processing systems is an information processing system that records the collection, modification, and retrieval of transaction data. There are differences between the transaction systems and batch processing, being that with the transaction processing systems, a person must physically be present to enter the current information and no user interaction is mandatory with the batch processing. With transaction processing, the results of a transaction are immediately available with no delay in the system. In batch processing systems, a delay is made while transactions are being processed, organized, stored, and then executed. The only concern with the delay in time with batch processing is the possibility of errors occurring. (Bluest, 2015).
Riordan Manufacturing is an international company. Riordan operates four different locations, which currently operate different accounting software. The issue Riordan is facing is that their accounting systems cannot interact with each other, which is causing information to be entered into the Headquarters accounting system manually. The inability of these systems to be integrated is also a big monetary problem. For these reasons, Rioiran needs to look into some of the different accounts payable solutions like the batch processing systems, online batch systems, or online real time systems.
Averkamp, H.?(2016).?Accounting Coach.?Retrieved from http://www.accountingcoach.com/blog/accounting-cycle
Investopedia.?(2016).?Retrieved from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/accounting-cycle.asp
Lohrey, J.?(2016).?What Internal Controls Are Common in the Accounting Cycle?.?Retrieved from http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/internal-controls-common-accounting-cycle-26026.html#
Bluest, K. (2015). Types of Accounting Information Systems: Retrieved from:
Riordan Manufacturing. (2013). Retrieved from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/CIST/VOP/Business/Riordan/Finance/Overview.asp
Written Assignment Grading Form ? Team Accounting Cycle Description Paper.
Content and Organization?
70 Percent Percent Earned: 65% Comments:
? ? Team A:
The team described the accounting cycle. In this case you would have wanted to describe the transaction cycle (expenditure) and the other transaction cycles to understand how accounts payable relates to these transaction cycles and its role in the transaction cycles. However, it is not clear in the description of the assignment so the ?accounting cycle? as we know it is fine. The team described the accounts payable function.
The team discussed internal controls and alluded to some of the controls that might be appropriate for accounts payable. You should identify the strengths and weaknesses that exist in Riordan?s internal controls for accounts payable. You will need to implement internal controls for a new system for Riordan?s accounts payable.
The team discussed the various types of accounting systems that could be used for integration into an enterprise-wide system. The team alluded to how information currently flows through Riordan but did not demonstrate the flow of accounting information through Riordan.
* Remember that this paper and the following papers will form the foundations for your final project.
All key elements of the assignment are covered in a substantive way.
Identify and describe the accounting cycle.
Comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the internal controls related to this cycle.
Explain how you would integrate this part of the accounting cycle into an enterprise-wide accounting information system.
Differentiate between the various types of information systems necessary to achieve this integration.
Demonstrate the flow of accounting information through this organization.
1050-1400 word paper ? summarizing major topics
The content is comprehensive, accurate, and/or persuasive.
The paper develops a central theme or idea, directed toward the appropriate audience.
The paper links theory to relevant examples of current experience and industry practice and uses the vocabulary of the theory correctly.
Major points are stated clearly; are supported by specific details, examples, or analysis; and are organized logically.?
The introduction provides sufficient background on the topic and previews major points.
The conclusion is logical, flows from the body of the paper, and reviews the major points.
Readability and Style?
15 Percent Percent Earned: 15% Comments:?
? ? The paper has some very nice elements in it but has very rough transitions. You will want to smooth out the flow of information in your subsequent assignments.
Paragraph transitions are present and logical and maintain the flow throughout the paper.
The tone is appropriate to the content and assignment.
Sentences are complete, clear, and concise.
Sentences are well-constructed, with consistently strong, varied sentences.
Sentence transitions are present and maintain the flow of thought.
15 Percent Percent Earned: 15% Comments:?
? ? There are some minor grammatical and usage errors in the assignment.
At least one reference other than the text is cited and referenced.
The paper, including the title page, reference page, tables, and appendices, follow APA guidelines for format.
Citations of original works within the body of the paper follow APA guidelines.
The paper is laid out with effective use of headings, font styles, and white space.
Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed.
Spelling is correct.
Percent Percent Earned: 95% Comments:
? ? ?
Points Possible – 5 Percent
Points Possible Points earned: 4.75