Information Technology and You
Dawna Travis Dewire
Of all the chapters in this book, the two dealing with information technology will have the shortest half-life.1 Because of the constant flow of new technology, what is written about today will have changed somewhat by tomorrow. This chapter presents a snapshot of how technology is used today with particular focus on the finance and accounting functions. When you compare your experiences with the contents of this chapter, some of the information will no longer be applicable. Change means progress. Some companies will not have adapted; consequently, they will have lost opportunities and threatened their own future.
Information technology ... information systems ... computing ... do they all mean the same thing? Many people think so. Information systems use information technologies to deliver value to an organization. Information systems capture data, process it and/or store it, and output it as required or requested. Information technology is the technology used to build these information systems—a computer is only one example of information technology.
Consider an automated-teller machine (ATM): The information system uses the account on the card and the input password to verify the user; the withdrawal amount is compared to the account balance; if the funds are available, the information system instructs the cash counter to dispense the cash; the information system also instructs the card reader to return the card and instructs ...

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