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Integration Level Offered By This System Is High

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Question:

What Is The Integration Level Offered By This System Is High?

 

Answer:

Introduction

Automatic Information Systems are extremely necessary in the functions and operations that are carried out by the organizations in the present times. Execution of these operations through manual processes is no longer feasible and it has become essential to adapt latest technology for operational, technical and administrative activities that are carried out in the organization. Accounting Information Systems are one such information systems that automate the operations associated with the accounts department. Banking sector is one of the prime users of such information systems as the majority of activities that take place in banks are related to finance and accounts.

Business Processes

The business processes that are carried out in a bank are as listed below:

  • Account management activities such as opening of a new account, closing of account, modifying the account details etc.
  • Loan Processing activities processing of application, sanctioning of loan, calculation of premiums etc.
  • Credit Management activities such as management of card requests, activation and generation of cards, pin generation etc.
  • Collation of the mortgage details
  • Accounts transactions such as deposit in the account, withdrawal from the account
  • Reconciliation activities
  • Bill payments and corporate vendor payments
  • Online banking activities
  • Customer service and support
  • Employee management and payroll activities
 

Business Requirements

The requirements of business of a bank in terms of accounting information system are associated with the implementation of an integrated system that shall be designed in such a manner that the accounting, auditing and bookkeeping activities are carried out and managed automatically. Also, the management of database along with customer relationship will also be some of the mandatory requirements in association with the banks.

System Requirements

The accounting information system for the banks will be required to have the functional specifications and abilities to carry out the tasks around account management activities such as opening of a new account, closing of account, modifying the account details etc. with ease. It will also be necessary for the system to have features and algorithms for loan processing activities such as processing of application, sanctioning of loan, calculation of premiums etc. Credit Management activities such as management of card requests, activation and generation of cards, pin generation etc. will also be done through the system along with collation of the mortgage details. There will also be requirements around the fulfillment of accounts transactions such as deposit in the account, withdrawal from the account and reconciliation activities. There must be procedures and programs installed for bill payments and corporate vendor payments along with streamlining of online banking activities. Customer service and support along with employee management and payroll activities will also be done through the information system (Ryan, 2016).

The accounting information systems designed for the banks would also require having the following set of system qualities:

  • Enhanced performance of the system will be one of the essential system qualities to make sure that the response time and throughput time involved in the system and its operation is minimum
  • Reliability of the system to make sure that the information around the accounts and finance that is retrieved from the system is accurate at all times and there are no loopholes present in between
  • System adaptability to make sure that the system is adaptable and adjustable as per the environment and can be easily integrated with the existing set of systems
  • Scalability of the system to make sure that the system can be scaled up or scaled down as per the requirements without any need to re-design the entire system from scratch
  • Security of the system shall also be included as one of the prime requirements as it will be essential that the security risks, vulnerabilities and threats do not take place.

Software and Vendor Selection

Some of the popular accounting information system packages and vendors that are available in the market to choose as per the needs and requirements are as listed below.

 

Intuit QuickBooks

Intuit QuickBooks is one of the accounting information system packages that is being widely used because of its amazing performance and the unique set of features that come along with this package. The system fulfills the requirements of various user types such as home users, small business vendors along with large enterprise and can also be customized at the time of purchase to include only the features that are required. The essential and advanced accounting activities are offered by this package with some of the features as listed below.

  • The primary aim of any bank is to provide high quality services to the clients with the costs as low as possible. This package allows cost-savings by including only the necessary activities to be executed
  • There are no issues or drops in terms of performance in the case of this accounting system that leads to higher customer satisfaction
  • There is a lot of critical and sensitive data that is associated with any bank. This data is kept secure and protected in the databases of this system.
  • It allows the customers to carry out the accounting activities at any time as it is easily available and always accessible.
  • The security framework that is used in this software is based upon the latest measures for enhancement of security (Advisoryhq, 2015).

MYOB Accounting Software

MYOB is one of the accounting information system packages that is being widely used because of its amazing performance and the unique set of features that come along with this package. The system fulfills the requirements of various user types such as home users, small business vendors along with large enterprise and can also be customized at the time of purchase to include only the features that are required. The essential and advanced accounting activities are offered by this package with some of the features as listed below. 

  • There are a number of real-time activities that are required to be monitored and executed in the banks and the real-time view is provided by this package
  • An easy and strong integration is set up for all of the Point of Sale transactions
  • The system does not get impacted by the issues in the network connectivity as it remains functional in the offline mode
  • Legal and regulatory compliance and standards are met by this package
  • Customization is made possible through this system (Myob, 2016).

Reckon

Reckon is one of the accounting information system packages that is being widely used because of its amazing performance and the unique set of features that come along with this package. The system fulfills the requirements of various user types such as home users, small business vendors along with large enterprise and can also be customized at the time of purchase to include only the features that are required. The essential and advanced accounting activities are offered by this package with some of the features as listed below.

  • Security of investments that are made by the customers is desired so that there are no risks involved. This sense of security is provided by this system as it has a huge customer base
  • User experience that is offered by this system is rich
  • Credit management and reconciliation activities can be smoothly done with this system (Carey, 2015).

Saasu

Saasu is one of the accounting information system packages that is being widely used because of its amazing performance and the unique set of features that come along with this package. The system fulfills the requirements of various user types such as home users, small business vendors along with large enterprise and can also be customized at the time of purchase to include only the features that are required. The essential and advanced accounting activities are offered by this package with some of the features as listed below.

  • A lot of customization can be done in terms of the various currency options that are supported by this system
  • There are several other systems that are present in the organizations and the integration with all of these systems is made possible

Xero

Xero is one of the accounting information system packages that is being widely used because of its amazing performance and the unique set of features that come along with this package. The system fulfills the requirements of various user types such as home users, small business vendors along with large enterprise and can also be customized at the time of purchase to include only the features that are required. The essential and advanced accounting activities are offered by this package with some of the features as listed below.

  • This system does not require the presence of a human resource for its monitoring and evaluation
  • Bookkeeping activities along with reconciliation tasks can be smoothly done
  • Integration level offered by this system is high (Miller, 2016).

Methods of Utilization of Technology

Some of the software and packages that is available to be adapted and implemented by the banks have been listed above and there are a number of other vendors in the market as well.

Custom Developed Software

Banks can make use of custom developed software to implement the same in their architecture. Custom developed software is the one which is designed and delivered as per the exact specifications and requirements that are demanded by the customer. There are certain functional aspects that are required by a particular bank which may be of no use for the other. For instance, there will be difference in the desired features for a small scale bank and a large scale bank. Custom software has the ability to fulfill the requirements of all. However, there is one drawback that is associated with this option as it scores high in terms of the cost.

Package Purchasing

There are also ready to use packages that are available in the market to be purchased and used as it is. The costs that are associated with such packages are generally lower and these also take lesser time to be implemented. There is also a high degree of reliability that is associated with these packages as the customers can easily look through the reviews and feedback provided by others. Trainings are also available easily through this package and the documentation is also available in abundance. There are certain drawbacks that are associated with this package in terms of the mapping with the requirements as the features are already designed.

Outsourcing

It is a method in which a third party will be contacted to accomplish the design, development and implementation of the accounting information systems in the banks. The entire responsibility of carrying out these activities will be on the third parties which will involve lesser administration and management by the banking staff. This process may however take an increased time and will not fit if there is an immediate requirement.

Level of Efficiency

There are a number of success factors that shall be evaluated to understand the efficiency of the technological implementation of accounting information systems that will take place in the banks.

  • Mapping of the actual and estimated values in terms of the schedule and budget. In case of a perfect match, the level of efficiency will be high.
  • Percentage of manual processing that was done earlier than implementation and calculation of the same post implementation.
  • Employee satisfaction in terms of the overall organization and management of the accounting activities with the aid of the automated system.
  • Customer satisfaction levels to understand the ability and efficiency of the technology to meet the customer demands and expectations
 

Potential Security Risks and Data Breaches

Confidentiality Attacks

Eavesdropping

There are a number of channels and activities that are involved in the business processes of a bank. These entities may be internal or external to the organization which leads to the inclusion of a number of different access points. It is because of this reason that eavesdropping in to the system can be easily done to capture confidential data (Wood, 2016).

Unauthorized Tracking

Banks are associated with a lot many and certain non-stop transactions and activities. There is huge to and fro of information that takes place through several channels which leads to unauthorized tracking by the malicious entities in one of the channels. These attacks become difficult to track as there are varied entities involved. 

Data Mining Attacks

Data mining and data analytics is used in the information associated with the banks to apply the concepts of business intelligence to achieve streamlined results. However, the attackers often execute data mining attacks on the information to cause damage to the confidentiality of the same (Amato, 2016).

Reconstruction Attacks

During the exchange of the information, it is often observed that the attackers capture the banking information and reconstruct it to give it a new shape and structure. Such attacks have a huge impact on the confidentiality of the information.

Integrity Attacks

Message Alteration

Integrity plays an extremely important role in case of the information that is associated with the banks as it is necessary to have authorized modifications failing which there will be huge damage that will be caused. Integrity of the information is violated by the execution of message alteration attacks in which the exchange of messages that take place between the two banking activities is modified and changed in an unauthorized manner (Microsoft, 2016).

 Media Alteration

Integrity plays an extremely important role in case of the information that is associated with the banks as it is necessary to have authorized modifications failing which there will be huge damage that will be caused. Integrity of the information is violated by the execution of media alteration attacks in which the exchange of media that take place between the two banking activities is modified and changed in an unauthorized manner (Aws, 2016).

Availability Attacks

Flooding Attacks
 
Banking services that are provided by the accounting information systems are often impacted adversely by flooding as the availability attack. It is an attack in which the attackers launch unwanted data on the information system to degrade its performance which is gradually moved to the state of a breakdown (Nichols, 2016).

 Server Impersonating

There are many servers that are associated with the accounting information systems that are used in the banks. Server impersonation is done to trick the users to gain important information (Mahmoud, 2015).

 QoS Abuse

QoS stands for Quality of Service and it is often put at risk because of the malevolent activities that are carried by the attackers to impact the system availability. Issues with the availability of the system impact the quality immediately (Panetta, 2016).

 

Guidelines on Mitigation of the Risks

  • Banks can make use of the anti-denial tools and components in their accounting information systems and the overall architecture to make sure that the system availability is not impacted in any scenario
  • Accounting information systems will be accessed by many entities and it shall be made sure that advanced authentication mechanisms such as Single Sign on, one time passwords and multi0step authentication with the use of biometrics is implemented (Lu, 2014).
  • Network attacks are the most common forms of security attacks that take place in association with the accounting information systems. It is therefore essential to make use of advanced network monitoring and network auditing tools to put a check on all the activities that take place on all the networks through which the system is accessed (Jing, 2014)
  • Encryption of the information is a prime necessity as the attacks take place in spite of putting and implementing the security measures. Encrypted information will be of no use for the attackers and its misuse will be prevented.
  • There are a number of intrusion detection and prevention systems that are available that have the ability to detect any of the malicious activity attempted on the system.
  • Upgrading and maintenance of the accounting information system shall be done to make sure that there are no version specific attacks executed.
  • Basic security of the systems shall be ensured by installation of the firewalls along with the use of proxy servers and anti-malware packages (Bhabad, 2016).

Conclusion

Accounting Information Systems are one such information systems that automate the operations associated with the accounts department. Banking sector is one of the prime users of such information systems as the majority of activities that take place in banks are related to finance and accounts. The requirements of business of a bank in terms of accounting information system are associated with the implementation of an integrated system that shall be designed in such a manner that the accounting, auditing and bookkeeping activities are carried out and managed automatically. Also, the management of database along with customer relationship will also be some of the mandatory requirements in association with the banks. The accounting information system for the banks will be required to have the functional specifications and abilities to carry out the tasks around account management, loan processing, reconciliation activities, online banking, customer relationships and many more. There are a lot many vendors in the market that may be selected to acquire the desired system. The acquisition of the technology can be done through a number of different methods such as custom software, outsourcing, packaged purchase and many more. There are numerous security issues and problems that may emerge with the implementation of automated systems in terms of information security and data protection issues. These issues and risks shall be handled with the aid of the implementation of basic and advanced security mechanisms

 

References

Advisoryhq. (2015). 5 Best Small Business Accounting Software in Australia. AdvisoryHQ. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.advisoryhq.com/articles/5-best-small-business-accounting-software-in-australia/

Amato, N. (2016). The hidden costs of a data breach.. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2016/jul/hidden-costs-of-data-breach-201614870.html

Aws. (2016). Overview of Security Processes. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://d0.awsstatic.com/whitepapers/aws-security-whitepaper.pdf

Bhabad, M. (2015). Internet of Things: Architecture, Security Issues and Countermeasures.. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.ijcaonline.org/research/volume125/number14/bhabad-2015-ijca-906251.pdf

Carey, M. (2015). Cloud Accounting Overview 2015: MYOB Essentials vs Xero vs Intuit QuickBooks Online vs Reckon One - Digital First. Digital First. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.digitalfirst.com/2015-overview-cloud-accounting-software/

Jing, Q. (2014). Security of the Internet of Things: perspectives and challenges. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://csi.dgist.ac.kr/uploads/Seminar/1407_IoT_SSH.pdf

Lu, C. (2014). Overview of Security and Privacy Issues in the Internet of Things. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.cse.wustl.edu/~jain/cse574-14/ftp/security.pdf

Mahmoud, R. (2015). Internet of things (IoT) security: Current status, challenges and prospective measures - IEEE Xplore Document. Ieeexplore.ieee.org. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7412116/

Microsoft. (2016). Core Infrastructure Optimization: IT & Security Processes - Best Practices for Business IT. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.microsoft.com/india/infrastructure/capabilities/itprocesses.mspx

Miller, k. (2016). Xero Review 2016 | Reviews, Ratings, Complaints, Comparisons. Merchant Maverick. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.merchantmaverick.com/reviews/xero-review/

Myob. (2016). Online Accounting Software for Small Business | MYOB. Myob.com. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.myob.com/au/accounting-software/compare

Nichols, A. (2016). Perspective Threats Risk Analysis Process. Sans.org. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/auditing/perspective-threats-risk-analysis-process-63

Panetta, K. (2016). Gartner's Top 10 Security Predictions 2016 - Smarter With Gartner. Smarter With Gartner. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/top-10-security-predictions-2016/

Ryan, E. (2016). THE EVOLUTION OF ACCOUNTING SOFTWARE: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE |. Gaaaccounting.com. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.gaaaccounting.com/the-evolution-of-accounting-software-past-present-and-future/

Wood, P. (2016). Social hacking: The easy way to breach network security. ComputerWeekly. Retrieved 12 May 2017, from https://www.computerweekly.com/tip/Social-hacking-The-easy-way-to-breach-network-securi

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