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This research paper pursues the concept of computerized accounting and financial reporting. First and foremost, where as accounting itself refers to the process of identifying, measuring and communicating economic information to permit informed and rational decisions, Omonuk (2009), computerized accounting is defined by Alan & Frankwood (2005) as a total suit of components that together comprises all inputs, storage, transactions, processing, collecting and reporting of financial transaction data. Computerized accounting system involves the use of computers in processing accounting data into information to facilitate quick decision making through timely preparation of financial reports and financial reporting in this case refers to the way in which financial information is recorded, processed and conveyed to the end users of this information in particular.
In pursuit of the topic mentioned above, this chapter brings forth the introduction to the research paper as it tackles the background of the study, the statement of the problem, purpose of the study, study objectives, research questions, the scope of the study in terms of geography, content/variables and time, and eventually the significance of the study.
Individuals and companies day by day hire accountants to help them carry out the mathematical requirements of accounting and balancing of books. Before the introduction of information technology into accounting, these accounting protocols were being performed manually. However, today many accountants and non-accountants like to use computer software to perform these duties, (Osmond, 2011).
Business owners use accounting to record, report and analyze their company’s financial information and in doing this, companies often generate several pieces of financial information from business transactions, and compile this information into general ledgers and journals, (Osmond, 2011). Historically, accounting was a manual process using paper books and documents for financial information. Business technology has created significant advances in the area of financial management and accounting software.
Accounting information system being an asset of methods, people, procedures and devices regularly used to process business transactions, Hermanson et al, (1987), information is therefore much more useful when it is conveyed through a proper reporting system which gives it good qualities such as accuracy and reliability among others and this can be achieved by use of computerized accounting system.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There has been an increase in accounting problems associated with financial reporting hence killing most business that fall victims of this circumstance. Here, we pursue the aspects associated with manual accounting in comparison with computerised accounting in order to find out which system will be in a better position to improve on the quality of financial reporting and accounting operations of a business.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The study seeks to establish the relationship between computerized accounting systems and organizational performance especially on quality financial reporting.
1.4 Objectives of the Study.
i. To determine the uses of a computerized accounting information system.
ii. To find the pros and cons of computerized accounting to financial institutions.
iii. To establish the qualities of financial reports generated by computerized accounting systems.
1.5 Research Questions
i. What are the uses of a computerized accounting system?
ii. What are the pros and cons of computerized accounting over manual accounting in financial institutions?
iii. What are the qualities of financial reports produced by a computerized accounting system?
1.6.1 Geographical Scope
The research will cover the financial reports of Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited, Garden City branch, Kampala. This particular case study was chosen because it is of convenience to the
researcher in terms of its’ type of business, the researchers’ area of residence, language and availability of data for the research work.
1.6.2 Time Scope
The study will cover financial reports generated within the period of 2009 to 2010. This period being the most recent and given the limited research time frame, the researcher will not be able to cover reports of more than two years.
1.6.3 Subject Scope
The research will be centered upon computerized accounting while examining what accounting is, the difference between manual and computerised accounting, the pros and cons of computerised accounting and characteristics of financial reports generated as a result of computerised accounting. The other aspect to be examined is financial reporting while tackling the qualities and or the characteristics of financial reports.
a) This research paper will be of prime benefit to the management and staff of Stanbic Bank Uganda Limited, not only for the Garden City branch, Kampala for other branches as well, since it will enable them identify and understand the risks and problems associated with computerized accounting and financial reporting and how best to combat such problems.
b) This information will also be of great importance to other business companies and bodies that have adopted and those that are yet to adopt the system of computerized accounting in knowing the pressure points to be emphasized and well managed in order to pursue the system successfully.
c) The study will also be of great benefit to the students who will be able to access this information that will guide them in research and equip them with knowledge as far as manual and computerized accounting is concerned and the importance of computerized accounting as far as financial reporting is concerned.
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