whole_VickersStephenPatrick2003_thesis.pdf (49.5 MB)
A new accounting data model
thesisposted on 2023-05-27, 14:19 authored by Vickers, Stephen Patrick
This thesis investigates the design of the data model underlying accounting systems. Despite radical 9hanges to business processes and enterprise information systems over recent decades, the data model used within accounting systems has changed little since the inception of doubleentry bookkeeping over 500 years ago. Earlier studies have proposed alternative data models for accounting systems but these have not been adopted in practice. One reason for this is that they were not developed on the basis of accounting data representative of real world needs. This study uses empirical data derived from models of accounting transactions processed by actual organisations. The motivation for this thesis arises from criticisms made about the inability of accounting systems to provide useful information to users and to support the business activities of organisations. However, there is very little empirical support for the criticisms which have been reported. Evidence gathered from users of accounting systems indicates that many of the criticisms have been overcome by contemporary accounting systems but some of the limitations which remain are a direct result of the design of the underlying data model. A comparison of the models of manufacturing organisations with the alternative proposals for accounting data models shows that these alternatives are not sufficient for modelling the transactions of actual organisations. Recent developments in both financial reporting and enterprise information systems also confirm the need for a model which is able to accommodate changing user needs. This thesis uses an analysis of the accounting transactions from three organisations as the basis for the design of a new data model. The proposed data model extends the traditional recognition criteria to allow flows of a wider range of resources to be integrated into a single system as well as both past and future resource flows. Not only are some future flows used in the preparation of financial statements but their inclusion also permits the same system to be used for forward-planning. When combined with an explicit modelling of continuous resource flows, any need for end-of-period adjustments is removed and the constraints imposed by pre-determined reporting dates no longer apply. Problems concerning the choice of valuation basis and accounting method are avoided by designing the accounting data model to record resource flows independently of accounting choices. This makes the proposed model the first capable of supporting real-time reporting and allowing users to request financial reports based on their own preferred set of accounting policies.
Rights statementCopyright 2001 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Tasmania, 2003. Includes bibliographical references