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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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10–9. Extend Use of Existing Computer Database

Whenever the person responsible for filing makes the recommendation to have everyone access data directly through the computer system, rather than through documents, the response is usually that not everyone has access to the system. That is, some employees cannot access the correct files they need, they do not know how to access the information, or they do not have access to the computer network in order to do so. In most cases, this is not an idle complaint; these people really will not be able to function unless significant changes are made to the computer system.

This best practice is a mandatory one if on-line access to data is to take the place of paper documents. It involves several steps, which are needed to open up access to the computer system. This is not an item that can be completed in a haphazard manner, for it is too complicated to complete without using a rigid, step-by-step approach, which is as follows:

1.
Determine who uses information. Before opening up computer access to employees, it is necessary to determine who needs the access. For example, it makes no sense to provide computer terminals to everyone in a company, only to discover that half of them do not have the slightest need for information. Accordingly, one should interview all employees to see what they need and determine where in the computer system that information can be found.
2.
Calculate changes in access volumes. If the new system will result in ...

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