Today we will discuss about documentation techniques used in accounting information system. There are three different documentation techniques which are listed by surgeons hall in its book ” accounting information system“. Data flow diagrams, entity relationship diagram flowchart are popular documentation techniques that can be used for demonstrating as an information system. This is very old saying that “A picture is worth a thousand words is extremely applicable when it comes to documenting systems”. A written explanation of a system or any activity can be difficult to understand. While it has been experienced that visual images can convey vital system information more effectively and efficiently than words. Documentation techniques provides us a new way to express and information system in the form of ritual images and diagrams.
Why we need Documentation Techniques
Every personnel working in an organization is an end user of a system. Systems designers and auditors, accountants use system documentation routinely. They must have the ability to document systems in graphic form as well. }This is an important skill for accountants to master.
Six basic documentation techniques
- Data flow diagrams (DFD)
- Entity Relationship diagrams(ERD)
- Document flow-charts
- System flowcharts
- Program flowcharts
- Record layout diagrams
Data Flow Diagrams
}The data flow diagram (DFD) uses symbols to represent the entities, processes, data flows, and data stores. }DFDs are used to represent systems at different levels.
}An entity is something that exists in itself, actually or possibly, concretely or abstractly, physically or not. It need not be of material existence. (wikipedia) }A person, partnership, organization, or business that has a legal and separately identifiable existence ((business dictionary). }Entities in a DFD are external objects at the boundary of the system being modeled }They represent sources of and destinations for data.
}Entities may be other interacting systems or functions, or they may be external to the organization. }Entities should always be labeled as nouns on a DFD, such as customer or supplier.
What should keep in mind in DFD
}Processes in the DFD should be labeled with a descriptive verb such as Ship Goods, Update Records, or Receive Customer Order } Process objects should not be represented as nouns like Warehouse, Accounts Receivable Dept., or Sales Dept }Each data flow label should be unique }When data flow into a process and out again (to another process), they have, in some way, been changed. }Approve Sales process takes Sales Order and out of it as Approved Sales Order.