What is Accounting Information Systems?
Accounting Information Systems (AIS) is a discipline that informs theory and practice in accounting and auditing, in a way that draws upon information systems, broadly defined. In so doing, AIS employs theory and practice from the cognate disciplines of MIS and computer science as well as from accounting, auditing, other business disciplines including management and marketing, and the disciplines of economics, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history.
The importance of AIS is vital, given the essentially total reliance of accounting and auditing on computerized information systems. The accounting function within organizations was among the first consumer of business computing. Accounting systems are a primary application in organizations large and small. These accounting systems do not operate in isolation because information technology plays a ubiquitous role in all aspects of the lives of individuals and organizations. Indeed, decision makers increasingly access accounting information systems directly, bypassing accounting and MIS functions, for purposes of their own analyses and reporting. Within these organizations, information systems and technologies arekey for value adding and risk management. We also see enhanced innovation in the building of solutions for accounting and auditing, as well as data repositories for all organizational users.Information technology, of course, also brings its own risk to the organizational risk landscape and that risk must be identified, understood, and managed.
AIS researchers, and members of the AIS section of the AAA, work in the following areas of inquiry, among many others:
- Continuous auditing
- Continuous monitoring
- Data analytics for areas such as:
- Audit planning
- Fraud detection
- Management accounting
- Decision support systems for:
- Management decision making
- Design of accounting information systems
- Enterprise systems
- Forensic audit and IT
- Fraud detection
- Group systems
- Intelligent systems
- Interaction with accounting information systems
- Internet financial reporting
- IT audit
- IT controls
- IT governance
- Ontological representation of accounting information systems
- Privacy and ethics
- Return on investment in IT
- Risk management and IT
- Social media and accounting
- Social networks and accounting
- Visualization of accounting information
AIS researchers use a wide variety of innovative research techniques to address these questions. These include design science approaches to construct new artifacts, case studies, field studies, surveys, experiments, and archival research as well as fundamental theoretical analysis.
The AIS discipline also plays a significant role in educating future accountants and auditors about the implications of information technology for the practice of accounting and auditing.
Joining the AIS section allows accounting and auditing faculty and practitioners to be exposed to leading-edge research and teaching practice