Management accounting of financial records

High School ・Accounting ・MLA ・2 Sources

According to Warren et al., one of the essential parts of running a firm successfully is keeping accurate financial records. The primary role of the firm’s management is to provide correct financial reports to the stakeholders of the company by hiring skilled bookkeepers or accountants.
Nowadays, the preferred method of maintaining accounting books is by using accounting software (computerized computer systems), such as QuickBooks, which has assisted in streamlining most accounting tasks by ensuring reliable financial results to the users. QuickBooks is a product offered by Intuit, primarily marketed to small enterprises and non-profit making organizations. Nevertheless, like anything else, QuickBooks has its advantages and disadvantages as outlined below.
One of the advantages with QuickBooks is that it is easy to use and requires minimal knowledge. The main problem with the accounting concepts is that they are hard and cumbersome to learn and apply (Warren et al. 52). However, the developers of QuickBooks designed the software in a way that it is easy to understand even for the individuals without any financial or accounting background. That is, unlike the manual accounting procedures which demand significant knowledge and experience in accounting concepts, QuickBooks is programmed in a way that the user needs to enter the transactions, and other accounting procedures are automated, giving accurate results.
Integration is another significant merit of the software. The ability for QuickBooks to integrate with other programs make it user-friendly than the manual accounting system. Apparently, when users input all the expenses and incomes of their firms, the information can be exported to the tax preparation program, making the process of filing the income tax returns easier. Again, the software integrates with Microsoft Excel, making it possible to import data from other relevant sources. For manual accounting system, the accountant or the bookkeeper has to manually fill the data repeatedly when he/she need to conduct some additional accounting procedures, which may not be that effective.
The third advantage is improves accuracy. The manual accounting system relies on human effort, where it is in human nature to make mistakes. Unfortunately, in accounting, small errors spell massive disasters which violate the stipulated accounting standards. With QuickBooks being one of the computerized accounting systems, the chances of calculating incorrect totals are minimal. Again, if there is any mistake, it is easy to check the digital documents and instantly fix the input mishaps, which automatically get applied in all financial statements. With manual accounting procedures, a single mistake demands the repeating of the whole process.
Nevertheless, one of the disadvantages of QuickBooks is that it is expensive and costly. As stated by Kelly, QuickBooks is a form of cloud which is far more efficient than having a manual accounting system (4). However, the procurement and the oversight cost of installing the software to an organization is high compared to the manual accounting. The firm requires setting aside some significant amount of cash to undertake the project, at the same time make sure that there is enough amount of money for maintenance. Apparently, the solution to the problem is that an organization can outsource the software from the third party, where he/she will be responsible for installing and offering repairs, upgrades, and maintenance. Nevertheless, the initial cost of having the application in an organization is unavoidable.
The application continually needs upgrades. Over some time, an organization may find itself outgrowing the basic version of QuickBooks. It means, they need to upgrade the software to the advanced version that has additional features. In most cases, these updates are required once per year, with an extra cost which for instance in 2010 amounted to $399.95. However, the manual accounting system does not demand any upgrades; that is when the accountant or the bookkeeper has acquired adequate skills and experience, no more upgrades necessary. The best solution for such a problem is outsourcing the software, where the provider will have to take care of any updates or upgrades at a reduced cost.
Outages are also significant demerits of QuickBooks. Some firms use Online QuickBooks Edition, which allows the users to pay some fee, probably on a monthly basis through a secure web connection (Kelly 23). It means, the application can turn to be fussy when there is an issue with the network connections. However, a company can ensure that the software gets set up correctly, and the firewall allows a straight connection. Again, users can make good use of the QuickBooks connection diagnostic tools to identify the problem. Nevertheless, if the software gets used by many users, they may experience the software running slowly. However, the firm can try to use the Clean Up Data tools, found in the Utility area and can significantly speed up the system.
The QuickBooks features are better suited for small enterprises. It means the software is not scalable when a firm starts to grow or expand. During the growth phase, a company with previously five employees may find itself with 60 full-time workers; therefore, the processes and the software may not be relevant and useful anymore. The solution for this issue is to adopt other scalable software such as quality cloud accounting software, which can scale up as the business expands. Apparently, this problem is not present in a manual accounting system, where the accounting department can handle all sorts of business accounting operations irrespective of the size of the business.
Conclusively, QuickBooks software, which is a representation of computerized accounting systems have significant defects unlike with manual accounting system. However, some of these challenges can be mitigated or solutions found to enhance its efficiency and effectiveness. Nevertheless, organizations can install other customized computer accounting system to solve their accounting issues.

Works Cited

Kelly, Marsha. "Quickbooks Online: Accounting Software Small Business." (2016).
Warren, Carl S., James M. Reeve, and Jonathan Duchac. FINANCIAL & MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING. Cengage Learning, 2013.

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