Advantages of accounting packages compared with a manual system are as follows.
- The packages can be used by non-specialists.
- A large amount of data can be processed very quickly.
- Computerized systems are more accurate than manual systems.
- A computer is capable of handling and processing large volumes of data.
- Once the data has been input, computerized system can analyze of data rapidly to present useful control information for managers such as a trial balance or a debtors schedule.
The advantages of computerized accounting system far outweigh the disadvantages, particularly for large business. However, the following may be identified as possible advantages.
- The initial time and costs involved in installing the system, training personnel and so on.
- The need for security checks to make sure that unauthorized personnel do not gain access to data files.
- The necessity to develop a system of coding (see below) and checking.
- Lack of ‘audit trail’ it is not always easy to see where a mistake has been made.
- Possible resistance on the part of staff to the introduction of the system
Computers are used more efficiently if vital information is expressed in the form of codes. For example nominal ledger accounts will be coded individually, perhaps by means of a two-digit code: example
• 00 - Ordinary share capital
• 01 - Share premium
• 05 - Profit and loss account
• 22 - Purchases
• 30 - Debtors ledger control account
• 40 - Creditors ledger control account
• 55 - Interest
• 56 - Dividends etc
In the same way, individual accounts must be given a unique code number in the sales ledger and purchase ledger.