Every profit or nonprofit business entity requires a reliable internal system of accountability. A business accounting system provides this accountability by recording all activities regarding the creation of monetary inflows of revenue and monetary outflows of expenses resulting from operating activities. The accounting system provides the financial information needed to evaluate the effectiveness of current and past operations. In addition, the accounting system maintains data required to present reports showing the status of asset resources, creditor liabilities, and ownership equities of the business entity.
In the past, much of the work required to maintain an effective accounting system required extensive individual manual effort that was tedious, aggravating, and time consuming. Such systems relied on individual effort to continually record transactions, to add, subtract, summa-rize, and check for errors. The rapid advancement of computer technology has increased operating speed, data storage, and reliability accompanied by a significant cost reduction. Inex-pensive microcomputers and account-ing software programs have advanced to the point where all of the records posting, calculations, error checking, and financial reports are provided quickly by the computerized system.
The efficiency and cost-effectiveness of supporting computer software allows management to maintain direct personal control of the accounting system.