Connecting Your Business With the Right Computer System
Selecting the right computer system for your business is an
investment in your company's growth and overall success. A computer that
is suited to your business' needs will enable you to:
- RUN YOUR BUSINESS MORE EFFICIENTLY & COST-EFFECTIVELY.
- EXPAND YOUR FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES.
- HELP INCREASE PROFITABILITY.
Certified public accountants (CPAs) can assist you in identifying a
computer system that fits the requirements of your particular business.
AUTOMATING YOUR BUSINESS
Computerizing your business involves more than just going out and
purchasing the latest model. It requires extensive planning and
research. Before purchasing a system, make sure you consider questions
- What do you expect the computer system to accomplish?
- Will Installing the system be cost-effective?
- What are your hardware and software needs?
- Does the software you need exist, or does it have to be
- Is the hardware compatible with your software selection?
- What will the entire conversion cost you financially and in
terms of time?
- How can employees be trained to operate the new system
CPAs can help you answer these questions to ensure that your business
is using the latest technology effectively.
WHERE DO YOU STAND NOW?
Whether you are converting from a manual system or from an existing
computer system, you need to evaluate your current system by reviewing
the operations and identifying problem areas. For example, late and
inaccurate monthly financial statements, slow turnover of accounts
receivable, or frequent inventory stockouts may indicate that a system
conversion should be considered. A CPA can help you focus on problem
areas and set realistic objectives. As a result, you will be better
equipped to select a system that can help you overcome these problems
and meet your objectives.
The following may indicate that your business can benefit from a
- High clerical involvement or labor cost
- Repetitious or a large number of time-consuming tasks
- Complex mathematical calculations
- Recordkeeping that requires a high degree of accuracy
- Processing that requires timely provision of information
- Need for timely production of management reports
BENEFITS OF COMPUTERS
A properly designed computer system can help perform many of the
critical business functions of your company. With proper application of
the appropriate hardware and software, computers can accomplish the
- Expedite the preparation of financial statements while
minimizing the potential for clerical and computational errors.
- Enhance the process of analyzing financial and operational
- Allow you to see the effects of different financial decisions
quickly by the use of electronic spreadsheets.
- Improve your business' communications through links with other
computers across the country.
SELECTING SOFTWARE AND
Software is the term given to the application programs that run the
computer. Software can be general purpose, custom-written, or
Some of the considerations in selecting software packages are ease of
use, quality of documentation, and vendor support.
Hardware must be fully capable of accepting data input, processing it,
and generating output within a reasonable time.
Following are some other important factors to consider when selecting
CPAs - with their knowledge of computers and businesses - can simplify
the process of selecting and implementing a computer system.
- Present and projected volume of data to be processed
- Manufacturer support
- Ease of equipment operation
- Expandability of equipment for future uses
- Reliability of the hardware, the vendor, and the manufacturer
- Compatibility of printers, monitors and other peripherals
IMPLEMENTING A SYSTEM
Implementing the right computer system for your business requires an
understanding of information technology, business planning, management
information systems, and application of accounting and other controls
crucial to the overall system.
As a business owner, you may not have the time or expertise to automate
your company. CPAs can help you better understand exactly what computers
can do for you and your business.
A CPA CAN HELP YOU
By blending their knowledge of your business with their knowledge of
computers, CPAs can help you select and implement a computer system
suitable for your needs.
- Determine your business' automation objectives.
- Review existing policies and procedures and recommend the
- Develop software requirements.
- Select software and hardware.
- Develop an action plan for implementation.
- Train personnel.
- Prepare business data for conversion to computer records.
- Install the computer and software.
- Initiate and monitor operations of the new system.
- Determine the need for system modifications.
- Implement modifications.
- Evaluate performance of the computer system and recommend the
necessary modifications or enhancements.
- Develop procedures for ensuring security of data.
- Provide ongoing support.
"The Measure of Excellence"
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
1211 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036-8775
Prepared by the Communications Division in cooperation with the MAS
Education and Information Subcommittee
�1990, revised 1991