Accounting Information Systems
Welcome to ACCT863 Accounting Information Systems
You are expected to read the contents of this study guide, also available on Blackboard under “All My Courses.”
This is a level 8 paper, worth 15 points. This paper runs for 12 weeks (excludes exam weeks) and has 1 session per week.
Rooms can change at the last minute and are not listed in the paper study guide. Refer to
arion.aut.ac.nz for your current timetable AND to your paper’s page on Blackboard for any room changes/updates.
Success in your paper
Academic study is intellectually challenging. To come to grips with the content in your paper, what it means, and how it is applied, you need to do the following: • attend all lectures and hear key concepts and theories explained by your lecturers, who are experts on their subjects
• attend all workshops to make sense of what you’ve learned and to apply it to authentic scenarios
• read all material given by your lecturers, make notes on it and make sure that you have grasped the information
• undertake three hours study for every one hour of lectures – draw up a weekly timetable to help with scheduling your study time
• complete all assessmentsAll your lecturers want you to do well and to be well. Make sure you use the many student support services on offer at AUT, if you feel that you are struggling with your studies. • For support within the Faculty, see information on your Blackboard programme organisation.
• For AUT-wide academic and wellbeing support, visit the Student Digital Workspace, under the Learning Support and Student Life tabs.Paper information
There are no pre-requisites/co-requisites/restrictions for this paper.
This paper is a critical evaluation of existing accounting systems. The focus is on designing new accounting information systems utilising current technology and controls which aid in
the reporting of the entity’s financial and strategic goals.
1. Develop a conceptual approach to accounting system requirements.
2. Analyse and evaluate the accounting requirements for various business entities and devise practical accounting information systems.
3. Design an accounting information system in respect of procedures, controls, and documentation.
4. Prepare accounting reports to support operational decision making and external accountabilities.
• Accounting Information System Theory
• Accrual Accounting
• System Documentation
• Database Systems
• Revenue and Expenditure Cycle
• Fraud and control procedures
• System Development
Last summer the company grew rapidly. To handle the new business, Dom hired several students to keep up with the demand. Finally, Dom hired another former golfer, Dustie Ramon, as a part-time supervisor. Dom and Dustie now spend most of their time to acquire new jobs, train employees, randomly spot-check the work, fill in for absent employees, and respond to complaints. Vacation Care Services employs six to eight part-time cleaners to perform most of the cleaning and gardening care.
The business originally was operated from Dom’s apartment, but it moved to a small office space in an industrial park during the summer. The office space is used for storage of equipment and supplies, as well as for the telephone orders and paperwork. Since the business has no “walk-in” customers, Dom or Dustie handles all inquiries regarding the type, availability, and price of services over the telephone or via email. Often, they travel to the homes of potential customers to prepare estimates.
Dom’s parents served as cosigners on the 12-month lease of the office space. In addition, they provided an $8000 loan for working capital and the purchase of an old pickup truck and various pieces of cleaning and gardening equipment. Dom signed a promissory note on June 15 that requires monthly interest payments at 6% per annum payable on the first of each month. Twelve equal principal payments are to begin on April 1.
Vacation Care Services recently ran several advertisements in the local newspaper, but most business has come from customer referrals. On occasions, Dom creates an advertising flyer that the cleaners distribute to neighboring houses. The company does not maintain a formal price list or charge customers for services on an hourly basis. Instead, customers are quoted a fee based upon duration or difficulty of the potential job. Some of the factors that are considered are the size of the home, type and frequency of service, number of people and pets in the home, and number of bedrooms and baths. Occasionally, a cleaner will call to say that the job will take longer than originally planned. In this case, Dom or Dustie will decide whether to charge the customer an additional amount.
Cash-Handling Procedures and Accounts Receivable
Dom maintains a business account for VCS at the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ). About two thirds of Dom’s customers prefer to pay cash on the day that the cleaning service is provided. For credit customers, Dom has established a billing cycle of 30 days. Invoices are mailed out at the beginning of each month, with required payment due before the end of the month. No discounts are given. The invoices are standardized two-part forms that are prepared by hand. Dom stamps the company name and address on the top of the form. The cash payments are accepted by the cleaning employees and turned over to Dom when they return to the office. Each cleaning employee carries a small receipt book, which enables him or her to make out a receipt in duplicate, noting the service and amount received from the customer. The original receipt is left with the customer, and the copy is turned over to Dom with the cash. The cash is placed by Dom in a locked box in Dustie’s desk until the end of the week. Vacation Care Services does not accept bank charge cards because Dom is not yet familiar with the necessary technology and devices that are necessary to do so.
Dom has a filing cabinet that contains all of the company’s records. Financial details regarding charges and payments to each customer’s account are kept on a card (Fig. 1) in a blue binder. Charges are posted from the work orders and are filed chronologically. Payments are posted from the duplicate receipt or the received bank payments list that Dustie prepares. At the end of the month, Dom totals the record to find out how much to enter on the invoice. Dom uses an accordion file (which has a compartment for each letter of the alphabet) to store a copy of the mailed invoices.
All bills received by the company are filed in a separate accordion file (which has a compartment for each day of the month) according to their due date. Once a week, Dom checks the file to see which bills should be paid. The bills that are due are handed over to Dustie for payment. She uses the computer to access BNZ’s online banking website. She then enters the payment details into the online form. Once the payment is confirmed on the screen she markes the invoice as paid and stores them in the separate folder for paid bills.
Personnel and Salary Policies
The hiring of personnel is handled by both Dom and Dustie. The company regularly advertises for help in the student newspaper. The initial screening interview of employees is handled by Dustie, but the final hiring decision is made by Dom. Once hired, cleaning employees generally stay with the company for an average of three to six months. The training of new staff members is usually handled by Dustie. Dom and Dustie receive a salary, but cleaning employees are paid a percentage of the fee received from each cleaning job. Beginning workers are guaranteed to be paid the greater of $15.25 per hour or a fixed percentage (40% during their first six months on the job, 50% thereafter) of the fee received. Cleaners use their own transportation to and from each job and are reimbursed 27 cents per mile. The cleaners are paid for their mileage out of the petty cash box when they return their equipment at the end of the day. Cleaners sign a sheet stored in the cash box that shows the number of miles driven and the amount of cash paid to them. This arrangement has worked well, since most of the cleaning jobs are located within 10 miles of the office.
Vacation services employees, in contrast to cleaning personnel, are treated as short-term contractors. For vacation services, Dom requires a three-day minimum charge at the rate of $30.00 per day. Vacation services are never performed by the cleaners. Rather, Dom and Dustie maintain a list of 15–20 college students who have agreed to work, when available. Generally, they receive two-thirds of the collected fee. Dom does not reimburse these students for mileage, since vacation services are available only to customers in the immediate college area.
Equipment Storage and Usage
Dom tries to maintain tight control over cleaning supplies and equipment. Every morning before class, Dom personally sorts out the supplies and equipment for each job. Either Dom or Dustie distributes the materials. When class schedules conflict, Dom’s mother, Patricia Woods, comes in as a relief worker to hand out supplies, answer the phone, and collect the documents and monies that workers submit after each job. She also assists in posting work orders and receipts to the customer record cards. Patricia Woods worked in an accounting department a number of years ago, and she helped design the current documents and records.
Although rushing to sort out supplies and equipment is difficult, Dom feels that it is worth the trouble because some employees have helped themselves to extras in the past. Supplies are kept in a locked cage and are replenished as needed from the local shop. Dom receives a wholesale discount for purchases over $500.00. Major purchases such as vacuum cleaners are ordered from local wholesalers.
Dr. Evans has been very impressed with the growth of Dom’s business and has recommended Vacation Care Services to his associates on staff at the local hospital. Last week, Dr. Evans asked Dom to meet over dinner to discuss the future. He then asked whether Dom would be interested in expanding the cleaning business, since the janitorial service contract for Dr. Evans’s medical suite would be expiring soon. He stated that he had spoken with another colleague, Dr. Celeste Capp, who also uses Dom’s services. They, in turn, had spoken with their investment adviser, Brenda Dillon. Both doctors are prepared to invest in Dom’s expansion into the janitorial services field. They know that many fellow physicians are interested in reasonably priced janitorial services. Drs. Evans and Capp also mentioned that they are partners in a new medical office complex that will be built next year. Contracts for the janitorial services in the common areas of this complex would be considerable. Dr. Evans suggested that Dom should speak with Brenda Dillon about the proposition.
The next day, Dom and Brenda Dillon toured the company’s offices. She stated that a full assessment of the company is necessary before she makes a final recommendation to Drs. Evans and Capp. Since the company recently completed its first full year of operations, Dillon has referred Dom to your accounting firm to assess the company’s procedures, records, and operations.