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Yearly Archives: 2016

What accountants can learn from Kodak

As accountants, we are constantly under pressure to legitimise our own roles. With more and more typical accounting tasks taken over by IT systems – especially in the traditional area of cost accounting – we need to be careful not to miss the train. Daniel Richards details in this blog post why accountants should heed the analogy with Kodak – if we do not change, we will become a thing of the past!


Guesstimate – An uncertain spreadsheet

Users of spreadsheets are often working under the assumption that facts and figures employed are well known and certain. This might be an issue when it comes to planning – so how to incorporate risk and uncertainty in a spreadsheet analysis? Ozzie Gooen has seemingly developed an answer to this – Guesstimate features upper and lower boundaries for values used within specific analyses. It works with confidence intervals and probability distributions that allow its user to work with uncertain “facts, going beyond mere best and worst case scenarios.

VisiCalc – the father of all digital spreadsheets

Our textbook details the history of spreadsheets in general, and their digital version in particular. In particular, VisiCalc has pioneered the spreading of spreadsheets on personal computers, and its pivotal role cannot be underestimated. In this article on the Guardian website, John Naughton delves a deeper into the importance of VisiCalc, especially as the main forerunner of the ubiquitous Microsoft Excel software in businesses and at home.

What happened in Big Data in 2015?

Big Data continues to be a trending topic in the business world. Said world has not stood still in 2015 – in fact, if anything, the topics surrounding the “new corporate gold” have matured and found centre stage worldwide. In a Forbes-article, Bernard Marr summarizes the main developments over the course of last year.

Security threats for 2016

  In Chapter  2, we outline some of the security issues in any information system. These threats are many and we do not cover them in great detail. Recently, Kim Zettner from wired.com provided a great summary of the security threats faced by information systems in the coming year. It is worth a read.

Outgrowing your accounting software?

As a business grows, so too does its accounting needs. And this includes software. The are many choices to be made of a software  

 change is required. My own experience is the key thing to do is first understand where things are not going well. This post from it-director.com offers some useful advice.

    What an operating system probably should not be

      In chapter two of our book we describe some basic concepts like operating system – which is the software running a computer.

    There are many such operating systems and some like Linux are open source, meaning the underlying code can be changed as required. Apparently, North Korea has taken an open source operating system to another level, modifying it to track file usage. You can read an article here about it, but I guess what it reminds us is that operating systems are about controlling after all.

    Happy 2016: What’s new for the savvy accountant

      Happy new year, dear readers of our accounting information systems blog. It is a good time to reflect on one’s professional future, and what might be future trends for the tech-savvy accountant. In this blog post by Jason Bramwell from 2014, we can find many predictions that still hold true in 2016 – the modern accountant needs to be deeply involved with the systems that enable their daily work!