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Accounting on the Internet

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mwilliams86
Words 1695
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The relatively new job sector made available through accounting and the Internet has come to existence with the assistance of E-accounting. The first electronic spreadsheet was designed in developed in 1979, following the creation of the first successful PC created by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozinak. Bob Frankston and Dan Brinklin developed the first electronic spreadsheet for the Apple II created by Steve Jobs and named the spreadsheet program, “VisiCalc”. The creation of VisiCalc turned out to be one of the most important business applications for the PC. Prior to its inception in 1979 all accounting was done primarily by hand or with the use of very complicated and massive computing devices. It was not until the invention of the PC did the public at large and independent accounting professionals have access to accounting technology on the Internet. Electronic accounting began with the use of spreadsheets. Spreadsheets allowed accountants to translate the manual functions of the general ledger into a computerized accounting system. Software companies would eventually create software programs to focus on accounting, based on traditional accounting processes. E accounting is the use of online accounting applications and Internet technologies to support the business accounting function. E-accounting involves performing regular accounting functions, accounting research and the accounting training and education through various computer and internet based accounting tools such as: digital tool kits, various internet resources, international web-based materials, institute and company databases which are internet based, web links, internet based accounting software and electronic financial spreadsheet tools to provide efficient decision making. Insynq president John Gorst stated, “E-Accounting is one of the few providers in the industry with a service model that encompasses online accounting applications, data management, and document management and workflow tools.” E accounting is used currently in a myriad of different business environments today. From the grocery stores, to banks, to local department stores, e accounting is used by all business entities of the economy. For example, you are in the market to make some type of investment. Being a relatively new to the investment area you decide to call your local e trade to receive information on stock options. You call into the financial intuition and speak to a representative explaining to that customer service agent that you are interested in purchasing shares of stock. When you call in, your directed to a call center where a financial representative provides you in the information you request regarding share purchase quotes and using their intranet computes the amount of predicted future earnings based on your purchase. E accounting is also used in other industries not directly related to the financial sector. To explain, consider inventory of a store such as a Target. Target utilizes a computerized inventory system that automatically orders and sends out inventory request to their remote warehouse based on purchasing activity as well as historical data and trends via their internet and intricate data management systems. These two examples point out one of the advantages of E accounting that allows businesses and owners to focus on revenue generating activities and less on the accounting functions. In addition to providing various sectors of a business with IT support to easily compute otherwise complicated computations, E commerce eliminates the needs for some aspects of the business that would require cash outlay. The overall streamlined affect adds to the overall cost benefit e accounting adds to any business model and with increasing profits by cutting costs has been more important than ever in today’s struggling economy. The use of accounting on the Internet has brought about new job positions for the accounting professions. Traditionally the accounting professional has always been known to be a profession requiring the individual to be in the office doing the job function assigned rather it be auditing, book keeping, consulting, etc. The introduction of accounting online using accounting software and hardware not only allows users to compute otherwise complicated computations accounting professionals can now operate remotely in an array of new accounting professions. Technological advancements have made provisions for these professions today. The developments of these new job sectors have come about out of necessity to facilitate the change in the way that companies are doing business. In addition to needing to the accounting profession to adapt to the new way companies are doing business, the accounting profession also must adapt to companies way to lean current operations by eliminating extra in office personal to promote and maintain a certain level of cash flows. Additional personal requires for additional office space, additional office materials, furniture, etc. As a result companies view the ability to save money by not employing in house auditors and accountants as a way to cut cost. These two factors bring about the demand for new jobs to facilitate the demands of the market. We have seen and will in the future see an increase in demand for Remote tax consulting services, remote bookkeeping, remote financial statement preparation, remote Auditing, and continuous auditing processes. These professions were once considered to be far to costly and too far into the future to even be considered an occupation of today. E commerce facilitating websites such as Amazon, EBay, and PayPal have also aided in the creation of a new job market for accountants. Due to the increase in ecommerce private accountants for companies and investors will have to design, administer, control, and audit much more complex information networks. CPAs will have to modify their assurance procedures to allow for more information being disclosed with greater speed and frequency. Currently there is some reliance on distant auditing, however as our economy and other economies around the world continue to develop the Internet make for greater reliance on interactive distance auditing. With exceptions for physical inspection of assets requiring that the auditor be physically present for the audit, Internet technology will make physical proximity and personal presence in auditing much less important. On-line access to materials, and remote transfer and retrieval of documents, will be enhanced by audio and video capabilities. This will make distance auditing via the Internet fully interactive, fully functional, and fully operational.
Allowing for remote auditing makes the costs of some audit responsibilities significantly less costly than the otherwise would be. Also, the many different ways auditing can be performed, the frequency at which the audits are performed, and the scope to which audits are performed will increase as accounting on the internet is integrated more and more into business models across the business spectrum. A large portion of on-line auditing will become continuous. Today, continuous accounting is a costly factor because continuous accounting requires extensive labor and or machine hours depending on the function of accounting. In the near future continuous on-line distance auditing over the Internet will increase opportunities for more timely detection of serious lapses in financial reporting and financial performance. One of the major drawbacks of technological advancement has always been and will continue to be the security of the systems that technology helps create and improve. This tradeoff between technological advancement and security can best be explained by the technology phenomenon itself. As the innovators who create and implement these intricate computer hardware and software continue to innovate, so do the hackers and security breech software. Since financial information can encompass an extensive amount of information, the security of the information transmitted is of the upmost importance. Internet users have in the past and will have to continue to discern false information from factual information. One of the most prevalent Internet breech schemes is called phishing. Phishing is an email type scheme that leads the user to believe that it contains legitimate information from your trusted financial institution. The purpose of these emails is to lure the user into believing that their bank requires additional information such as their username and password, bank account number, social security number, etc. These types of emails are sent to a multitude of different users and often times include hyperlinks that have links to web pages that are identical to those of your financial institution. However, these websites are configured in such a way that they actually relay your personal information to the hacker who then uses your personal information to steal your money. In November 2006, 11% of fake banking websites attempted to spoof UK banking brands, while 75% of false banking sites targeted customers of US banks. The UK hosted 2% of these false banking sites, while the US hosted 63% of phishing sites globally [4] Another threat to the advancement of accounting on the Internet is spyware. Financial information of a user is extremely sensitive and private information however hackers have made available software that can be used to breach this level of assumed privacy. PCSecurityNews.com reports that 8 out of 10 PC’s are infected with some sort of Spyware, with an average of 24.4 spies per PC scanned. Microsoft estimates that 50% of all PC crashes are due to spyware, Dell reports that 20% of all technical support calls involve spyware [6]. This statistical data sheds light on the cost involved to protect information and the privacy of such information. The graph below represents graphically the amount of spyware per industry as of 2005 [3]

As one can see, accounting has a whole has changed dramatically since its first inception into the technological era with the creation of the electronic spreadsheets. Accounting on the internet allows for businesses to do business and account for business transactions regardless of its location. As the accounting software and platforms continue to innovate and improve on past methodologies so will accounting on the internet. Such innovations will continue to help in the future as they have in the past to perpetuate the accounting study as a whole.
Bibliography Page

1) http://www.trinity.edu/rjensen/ecommerce/000start.htm

2) Three Shocking Statistics on Spyware!. (2007) PC Security News. Retrieved March 22, 2007 from the WWW: http://www.pcsecuritynews.com/spyware_statistics.html

3) Some Interesting RSA Phishing Stats. (2006, November 9) ZDNet.co.uk. Retrieved March 21, 2007 from the WWW:http://community.zdnet.co.uk/blog/0,1000000567,10004498o 2000331828b,00.htm

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