Note #1: General considerations include: 1. Preprint as much data as possible. 2. Use appropriate weight and grade of paper. 3. Use bold type, double-thick lines, and shading to highlight different parts of the form. 4. Use a standard size and one that is consistent with requirements for filing, binding, or mailing. 5. If mailed to external parties, position the address for placement in a window envelope. 6. Have copies of the form printed in different colors to facilitate accurate distribution. 7. Include clear instructions for completing the form. Forms Design Table 22-5 on page 656 is a useful tool for evaluating existing forms and designing new ones: 1. General considerations 2. Introductory section of form 3. Main body of form 4. Conclusion section of form Designing Computer Screens Computer screens are most effective when these procedures are followed: 1. Organize the screen so data can be entered quickly, accurately, and completely. 2. Enter data in the same order as displayed on paper forms used to capture the data. 3. Complete the screen from left to right and top to bottom. Group together logically related data. 22-303 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.4. Design the screen so users can jump from one data entry location to another or use a single key or go directly to screen locations. 5. Make it easy to correct mistakes. Clear and explicit error messages that are consistent across all screens are essential. 6. Restrict the amount of data on a screen to avoid clutter. Limit the number of menu options on a single screen. Program Design Program development is one of the most time-consuming activities in the SDLC. Programs subdivided into small, well-defined modules are a process called structured programming. To improve software quality, organizations should develop programming standards. Although accountants need not be computer programmers, they should understand how software is created. Following are eight steps for developing software: Step 1 Determine user needs. Systems analysts consult with users and agree on software requirements. Step 1 is performed as a part of the systems analysis phase of the SDLC. Step 2 Develop a plan. A development plan is produced and documented. Step 2 is done during conceptual systems design and may carry over to the beginning of physical design. Step 3 Write program instructions (code). This is when the computer code (or program instructions) is written. Step 4 Test the program. Debugging is discovering and eliminating program errors. After a program is coded, a visual and mental review, referred to as desk checking, is conducted to discover programming errors. The Gartner Group estimates that bugs that are not discovered until later in the SDLC cost 80 percent to 1,000 percent more to fix than those discovered earlier. Focus 22-1 on page 657 discusses the difficulty of testing software and the consequences of releasing software with undetected errors. Most of the tasks in steps 3 and 4 are done during systems design and are completed during systems implementation. 22-304 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.Step 5 Document the program. Documentation explains how programs work and is used to help correct and resolve errors. Step 6 Train program users. Program documentation is often used to train users. Steps 5 and 6 are begun in systems design, but most of the work is done during systems implementation. Step 7 Install the system. All system components, including the programs, are combined and the company begins to use the system. Step 7 is completed during systems implementation and conversion. Step 8 Use and modify the system. Factors that require existing programs to be revised, referred to as program maintenance, include requests for new or revised reports; changes in input, file content, or values such as tax rates; error detection; and conversion to new hardware. Step 8 is part of the operation and maintenance phase. Procedures Design Everyone who interacts with a newly designed AIS needs procedures that answer who, what, when, where, why, and how questions related to all AIS activities. Controls Design The often-heard computer adage “garbage in, garbage out” emphasizes that improperly controlled input, processing, and database functions produce information of little value. Controls must be built into an AIS to ensure its effectiveness, efficiency, and accuracy. Some of the more important control concerns that must be addressed are summarized in Table 22-6 on page 658: 1. Validity 2. Authorization 3. Accuracy 4. Security 5. Numerical control 6. Availability 7. Maintainability 8. Integrity 22-305 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.9. Audit trail Physical Systems Design Report At the end of this phase, the team prepares a physical systems design report that summarizes what was accomplished and serves as the basis for management’s decision whether or not to proceed to the implementation phase. Multiple Choice 3 The following consideration(s) is (are) involved in the file and database design. a. use b. operations c. medium d. A and C Multiple Choice 4 “Is additional training necessary?” is a concern to be answered during _____ design. a. input b. output c. files and database d. program e. controls Multiple Choice 5 _____ development is one of the most time-consuming activities in the SDLC. a. Input b. Output c. Files and database d. Program e. Controls Multiple Choice 6 _____ is done during systems design and is completed during systems implementation. a. Develop a plan b. Desk checking c. Write program instructions d. All of the above e. B and C Learning Objective Three Discuss the systems implementation and conversion process and the activities in this phase.22-306 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Systems Implementation Systems implementation is the process of installing hardware and software and getting the AIS up and running. The state of Virginia has been especially successful in designing and implementing its AIS. Focus 22-2 on page 660 describes the improvements the state made to its AIS. Implementation Planning An implementation plan consists of implementation tasks, expected completion dates, cost estimates, and the person or persons responsible for each task. One reason that Blue Cross/Blue Shield’s new $200 million system failed was because there was no organizational restructuring. Site Preparation A large computer may require extensive changes, such as additional electrical outlets, data communications facilities, raised floors, humidity controls, special lighting, and air conditioning. Space is needed for equipment, storage, and offices. Select and Train Personnel Employees can be hired from outside the company or transferred internally. Because effective training is time consuming and expensive, companies take shortcuts. They are busy trying to maintain and upgrade their new system. Effective AIS training must consist of more than just hardware and software skills. Employees must be oriented to new policies and operations, and training should be planned and scheduled so it occurs just before systems testing and conversion. Boots the Chemists at a London-based international pharmacy developed a new approach to training. Store employees that were nervous about the new computer system were invited to a party where a new POS system had been installed. They were asked to try to harm the new POS system. 22-307 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.Employees quickly found out that they could not harm the system and learned that it was easy to use. Complete Documentation Three types of documentation must be prepared for new systems: 1. Development documentation describes the new AIS. It includes: A system description copies of output, input, and file and database layouts Program flowcharts Test results User acceptance forms 2. Operations documentation includes: Operating schedules Files and databases accessed Equipment security File retention requirements 3. User documentation teaches users how to operate the AIS. It includes a procedures manual and training materials. Test the System Inadequate system testing was one reason for the Blue Cross/Blue Shield system failure described previously. Documents and reports, user input, operating and control procedures, processing procedures, and computer programs should all be given a trial run in realistic circumstances. In addition, capacity limits and backup and recovery procedures should be tested. Following are three common forms of testing: 1. Walk-throughs are step-by-step reviews of procedures or program logic. 2. Processing test transactions determines if a program operates as designed. 3. Acceptance tests use copies of real transactions and files rather than hypothetical ones. 22-308 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.Chemical Bank suffered the consequences of not adequately testing an upgrade to its ATM system. Customers in New York who withdrew money found that there accounts were debited twice. Before the problem was corrected, 150,000 withdrawals with a total value of $8 million were posted to customer accounts. Even software purchased from an outside vendor must be tested thoroughly before being installed. Systems Conversion Conversion is the process of changing from the old to the new AIS. This includes converting hardware, software, data files, and procedures. Conversion Approaches Four conversion approaches are used to change from an old to a new system: 1. Direct conversion immediately terminates the old AIS when the new one is introduced. Focus 22-3 on page 661 discusses the problems at Sunbeam Corp., in part caused by attempting a direct conversion with no backup system. Al Dunlap, a new CEO at Sunbeam Corp., made drastic cost cutting moves in which many went too far and ended up hurting the company. His restructuring plan called for eliminating 87 percent of the company’s products and half of the 6,000 employees. Al terminated computer personnel who were earning $35,000 to learn that they could be making $125,000 a year elsewhere. He replaced the computer personnel with contract workers who made significantly more than $35,000 a year. Some of these contract workers were the computer personnel that he eliminated from the company previously. Al used the direct conversion approach to modernize its information system. Unfortunately, the new system did not work. Without any backup system the entire system was down for months. Orders were lost and some customers did not receive their shipments. Sunbeam had to manually bill its customers. The price of Sunbeam’s stock plummeted and in 1998 Al was fired. 22-309 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.The SEC began investigating Al to find out that $62 million of the $189 million in income for Sunbeam did not comply with accounting rules. Also, Arthur Andersen, Sunbeam’s auditors, paid out $110 million in damages to settle a shareholder class-action suit. In February 2003, Sunbeam filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. 2. Parallel conversion operates the old and new systems simultaneously for a period of time. 3. Phase-in-conversion gradually replaces elements of the old AIS with the new one. 4. Pilot conversion implements a system in just one part of the organization, such as a branch location. Data Conversion Data conversion can be time-consuming, tedious, and expensive. The difficulty and magnitude of the task can be easily underestimated. The first step in the data conversion process is to decide which data files need to be converted. Then they must be checked for completeness and any data inaccuracies and inconsistencies removed. Once the files and databases have been converted and tested for accuracy, the new system is functional. Multiple Choice 7 Blue Cross/Blue Shield contracted for a new $_____ million system which did not work properly. This resulted in $_____ million in overpayments and a loss of _____ clients. a. 200; 70; 30,000 b. 100; 60; 35,000 c. 200; 60; 35,000 d. 100; 70; 30,000 Multiple Choice 8 Walk-throughs are conducted by the: a. development team b. system users c. programmers d. all of the above e. A and B Multiple Choice 9 22-310 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.The first step in the data conversion process is: a. check data for completeness, and any data inaccuracies, and remove any inconsistencies b. decide which data files need to be converted c. conduct data conversion d. validate new files Learning Objective Four Discuss the systems operation and maintenance process and the activities in this phase.Operation and Maintenance The final step in the SDLC is to operate and maintain the new system. A post-implementation review should be conducted on a newly installed AIS to ensure it meets its planned objectives. Table 22-7 on page 662 provides a list of important factors to consider and questions to answer during the post-implementation review. Factors include:
Goals and objectives
Controls and security
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When the review has been completed, a post-implementation review report is prepared. The table of contents of this report is provided in Table 22-8 on page 663. User acceptance of the post-implementation review report is the final activity in the systems development process. However, work on the new system is not finished. Studies show that over the life of a system, only 30 percent of the work takes place during development. The remaining 70 percent is spent on maintaining the system. 22-311 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc. Multiple Choice 10 Studies have shown that _____ percent of the work takes place during development and _____ percent is spent maintaining the system. a. 30; 70 b. 70; 30 c. 65; 35 d. 35; 65 22-312 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.Answer to Multiple Choice Questions:
Multiple Choice Question Answers
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22-313 Copyright © 2015 Pearson Education, Inc.
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