Alice* shared one of her constant frustrations in a meeting about their accounting system. She is an accounting supervisor in a medium sized company with offices across the country. Her problem is the staff in other departments saying that the computer system belongs to the Finance department, search so they don’t have to take responsibility for the quality of the information. It’s not their responsibility if the information in the accounting system is wrong or out of date.
Accounting systems used to be confined to recording entries, producing invoices and making payments. Current accounting systems integrate into other business software, so that the Sales, Purchasing, Manufacturing, Distribution and Human Resources systems are now part of the “Accounting System.” More and more, other systems, such as Document Imaging and Customer Relationship Management, are integrating with the accounting system.
In a world where computer reporting is expected to be detailed and instantaneous, there is no room for error. In short, EVERYONE owns the data.
By the same token, information needs to be shared. There should be no arguments about who “owns” the data. If it is needed in decision making, it needs to be made available to the decision makers, regardless of their department.
The more that operational data gets married to the financial data, the more focused the reports and the better the decision making. The more integrated the systems, the easier it is to marry the data. But can systems be too integrated? Stay tuned for the next blog!
* Not her real name.