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Distributed Data Processing An alternative to the centralized model is the concept of distributed data processing (DDP). The topic of DDP is quite broad, touching on such related topics as end-user computing, commercial software, networking, and office automation. Simply stated, DDP involves reorganizing the IT function into small information processing units (IPUs) that are distributed to end users and placed under their control. IPUs may be distributed according to business function, geographic location, or both.

Of particular importance to AIS students is the impact of SOX on internal control standards and related auditing procedures. Whereas SOX does not define the entire content of the AIS course, it does identify critical areas of study that need to be included for accountants. These topics and more are covered in several chapters of this text. The purpose of this chapter is to place the subject of AIS in perspective for accountants. Toward this end, the chapter is divided into four major sections, each dealing with a different aspect of information systems.

1 ■ ■ Learning Objectives After studying this chapter, you should: ■ ■ Understand the primary information flows within the business environment. Understand the difference between accounting information systems and management information systems. ■ Understand the difference between a financial transaction and a nonfinancial transaction. ■ Know the principal features of the general model for information systems. ■ Be familiar with the functional areas of a business and their principal activities.

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Accounting Information Systems by J. Hall

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