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QuestionAccounting has been evolving and is still evolving. Explain factors that explain the changes and differences in the way accounting is done.
AnswerAccounting is an old practice that has developed over centuries. Early developments were related to the development of numbers, currency and the methods for recording information (like double entry accounting). In modern times accounting practice has developed further. This has been necessitated by the increased demands of business for fast, detailed, accurate and efficient accounting. One of the most important advances in accounting came with the development of computer technology. Since then digital accounting has almost entirely replaced ledgers and paper records. Microsoft Excel is the most influential computer programme used for accounting, being used by as many as 90% of companies (WorldatWork, 2013). Being able to use excel effectively has become a key skill for accountants, and has changed the everyday tasks of accountants massively. When using digital accounting functions such as data entry, verifying data and functions, and formatting data and tables/graphs become important daily tasks for an accountant. Digital accounting also changed the way accounts are used and reported. Reports and visual representations can easily be created and edited. This makes management accounting much more effective, as different levels of detail can quickly be presented and interpreted by management. In recent years specific accounting software has become popular, this is often used in addition to Excel, but in some cases is replacing it. Leading software is produced by Oracle, SAP, Sage and others; these packages provide a full set of interlinked accounting tools. A new kind of simpler accounting software is becoming popular – termed accounting ‘apps’. These are generally simplified and cheap accounting packages that assist in completing simple book keeping tasks. They are popular among small firms with limited expertise and resources. The ‘apps’ are often designed to be accessed through mobile technologies such as smart phones and computer tablets.
ReferencesWorldatWork, 2013, 90% of Companies Use Microsoft Excel In Compensation Process (online), Available: [https://www.worldatwork.org/adimLink?id=70910], Accessed: 16/09/16
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