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ACC3101 Accounting Information Systems

Semester 1, 2011 On-campus Springfield
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business
School or Department : School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Version produced : 8 March 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Albert Scott
Moderator: Joseph Mula


Pre-requisite: ACC1102 and CIS1000

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at <>.


This course takes a cost contracting approach to analysing accounting information systems, although other perspectives on firms and information systems are also considered. Drawing on the theory of the firm (Coase 1937) and agency theory (Jensen and Meckling 1976, Fama and Jensen 1983), the course examines the role of accounting information systems in monitoring and controlling contracting and agency relationships between the various economic actors in business firms, and in supporting contracting relationships beyond the boundaries of the firm. It focuses on the design of accounting information systems in the context of a business operation with an emphasis on the design of controls and control systems to mitigate against the threats induced by agency based relationships and through intentional and unintentional error. Throughout the course these topics are considered in the context of recent major changes in the business environment, such as globalisation of world economies, sustainability and advances in technologies such as the Internet and telecommunications. Students are taught how to 'find out' about these changes and to analyse them in an information systems context. This analysis will equip students to understand how accounting information systems operate to support the internal and external functioning of firms, and how to make best use of them. Since accounting information systems are at the heart of most business information systems, the course focuses on three major transaction processing cycles viz general ledger/reporting, revenue and expenditure.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate academic and professional literacy skills though comprehension and application of theories and concepts that are relevant to accounting information systems, contracting and agency relationships
  2. explore the way that both internal and external environmental factors impact upon business operation through accounting information systems
  3. use the SAP accounting information systems software package to apply information system processes, including major transaction processing cycles of general ledger/reporting, revenue and expenditure
  4. demonstrate teamwork skills by preparing and submitting a team project
  5. demonstrate written communication skills by preparing and submitting two project reports
  6. demonstrate ethical research and enquiry skills by comprehending ethical decision-making in the context of accounting information systems.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to AIS and theoretical framework and role of AIS in contracting (i) Introduction and definition of AIS; (ii) The theory of the firm, agency theory and cost contracting theory; (iii) The separation of decision control and decision management; (iv) Effects of residual risk bearing on organisational structure, contracting relationships and on AIS; (v) AIS as a strategic weapon; (vi) Global economic, social, environmental and technological change 5.00
2. Accounting systems in business processes (i) Systems development life-cycle; (ii) Systems analysis; (iii) The buy, develop or outsource decision; (iv) Business process reengineering (BPR); (v) Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems 5.00
3. Basic systems development and documentation tools (i) Establishing project teams, project management and Gantt charts; (ii) Systems documentation, data flow diagrams; (iii) Documenting business process with flowchart charts; (iv) Data modelling, entity-relationship diagrams and the REA data model; (v) Management and auditor concerns with systems analysis, design and development, testing and implementation 10.00
4. Revenue cycle system (i) Overview and objectives of the revenue cycle; (ii) Sales and collections; (iii) Major exposures of the revenue cycle and key controls to mitigate risks; (iv) Application of an AIS to a revenue cycle reporting; (v) Ethics and the revenue cycle - stakeholder analysis 10.00
5. Expenditure cycle system (i) Overview and steps in acquisition and expenditure cycle; (ii) Expenditures processing; (iii) Application of an AIS to decision responsibilities for acquisition and expenditure; (iv) AIS technologies and the acquisition and expenditure cycle; (v) Ethics and the expenditure cycle - stakeholder analysis 10.00
6. General ledger and reporting system (i) Chart of accounts and the general ledger; (ii) Setting up a business; (iii) Application of an AIS to business reporting; (iv) Ethics and the GL cycle - stakeholder analysis 10.00
7. AIS and enterprise system using SAP (i) Chart of accounts and setting up general ledger; (ii) Revenue transactions and reports; (iii) Expenditure transactions and reports; (iv) General ledger and financial reporting 10.00
8. Data storage and network issues (i) Databases in accounting system design; (ii) Relational data models and relational databases; (iii) Database management systems and trends; (iv) Databases in SAP; (v) Networks, enterprise-wide networking, connectivity - issues and standards; (vi) Exploiting the Internet; (vii) Managing global information systems 5.00
9. Computer fraud and abuse (i) Definition and common fraud types and motives; (ii) Computer fraud classification and abuse techniques; (iii) Controls for mitigating fraud; (iv) Fraud detection methods; (v) External financial reporting and fraud 10.00
10. Internal controls and AIS (i) a. The need for control in a computer environment; b. Control frameworks, the internal environment and general control activities; (ii) Processing integrity controls in an AIS (input/ processing/ output) and control evaluation 15.00
11. Information systems controls for reliability (i) (iii) Controls in revenue, (ii) expenditure and (iii) general ledger and reporting cycles 5.00
12. Management information systems and AIS (i) Management information systems supported by AIS; (ii) Key performance indicators (KPIs) grounded in AIS; (iii) Requirements for an effective AIS to support DSS and ESS; (iv) Data warehouse and business intelligence (BI) integration with ESS/DSS 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Romney, MB & Steinbart, PJ 2009, Accounting information systems, 11th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • Summers, J & Smith, B 2010, Communication skills handbook, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland.
    (OR Fleet, W, Summers, J & Smith, B 2006, Communication skills handbook for accounting, 2nd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Milton, Queensland.)

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Albrecht, WS, Albrecht, CC & Albrecht, CO 2009, Fraud examination, 3rd edn, Cengage Learning South-Western, Mason, Ohio.
  • Anderson, GW, Rhodes, T, Davis, J, Dobbins, J & Jenzer, A 2009, Sams teach yourself SAP in 24 hours, 3rd edn, SAMS, Indianapolis, Indiana.
  • Arif, N 2008, SAP ERP financials: configuration and design, Galileo Press, Bonn, Germany.
  • Bagranoff, NA, Simkin, MG & Norman, CS 2008, Core concepts of accounting information systems, 10th edn, John Wiley & Sons, New York.
  • Brinkmann, S & Zeilinger, A 2000, SAP R/3 Financial accounting: making it work for your business, Addison-Wesley, Harlow, England.
  • Coase, RH 1937, The nature of the firm, Economica, vol. 4, pp. 386-405.
  • Fama, EF & Jensen, MC 1983, Separation of ownership and control, The Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 26, pp. 301-325.
  • Fama, EF 1980, Agency problems and the theory of the firm, Journal of Political Economy 88, vol. 2, pp. 288-307.
  • Fama, EF 1983, Agency problems and residual claims, Journal of Law and Economics, vol. 26, pp. 327-350.
  • Gelinas, UJ Jnr & Dull, RB 2010, Accounting information systems, 8th edn, Cengage Learning, Mason, Ohio.
  • Horngren, CT, Harrison, WT, Bamber, LS, Best, PJ, Fraser, DJ & Willett, R 2010, Financial accounting with MyAccountingLab, 6th edn, Pearson Education Australia, Frenchs Forest, New South Wales.
  • Hurst, Q & Nowak, D 2000, Configuring SAP R/3 FI/CO, Sybex, San Francisco, California.
    (chapters 4 and 5.)
  • Jensen, MC & Meckling, WH 1976, Theory of the firm: managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure, Journal of Financial Economics, vol. 3, pp. 305-360.
  • Mazzullo, J & Wheatley, P 2005, SAP R/3 for everyone: step-by-step instructions, practical advice, and other tips and tricks for working with SAP, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • Narayanan, V 2007, SAP R/3 FI transactions, Infinity Science Press, Hingham, Massachusetts.
  • Rockefeller, BW 1988, Using SAP R/3 FI: beyond business process reengineering, John Wiley, New York.
    (chapters 3 and 4.)
  • Stair, R, Moisiadis, F, Genrich, R & Reynolds, G 2008, Principles of information systems, 7th edn, Thomson Learning, South Melbourne, Victoria.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 56.00
Private Study 70.00
Workshops 39.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives assessed Graduate skill Level assessed Notes
PROJECT 1 (INDIVIDUAL/TEAM) 100 20 20 Apr 2011 1,2,3,4,5 U1,U2,U3,U4,U5,U7,U8,U9 3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3
PROJECT 2 (INDIVIDUAL) 100 20 11 May 2011 1,2,3,5 U1,U2,U3,U5,U6,U8 3,3,3,3,3,3
PARTICIPATION 100 10 10 Jun 2011 1,2,3,6 U1,U2,U3,U4,U5,U7,U8,U9 3,3,3,3,3,3,3,3
PART A OF 2-HOUR EXAMINATION 50 25 End S1 1,2,3,6 U1,U2,U3,U8,U9 3,3,3,3,3 (see note 1)
PART B OF 2-HOUR EXAMINATION 50 25 End S1 1,2,3,6 U1,U2,U3,U4,U8,U9 3,3,3,3,3,3

  1. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date after the timetable has been finalised.

Graduate qualities and skills

Elements of the following USQ Graduate Skills are associated with the sucessful completion of this course.
Ethical research and enquiry (U1)Advanced (Level 3)
Problem solving (U2)Advanced (Level 3)
Academic, professional and digital literacy (U3)Advanced (Level 3)
Written and oral communication (U4)Advanced (Level 3)
Interpersonal skills (U5)Advanced (Level 3)
Teamwork (U6)Advanced (Level 3)
Cultural literacy (U7)Advanced (Level 3)
Management, planning and organisational skills (U8)Advanced (Level 3)
Creativity, initiative and enterprise (U9)Advanced (Level 3)

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    This is a restricted examination. Candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination); calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination). Students are not permitted to take mobile telephones, pagers or other electronic means of communication into the examination room. Students whose first language is not English may also take into the examination, a paper-based translation dictionary that is free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination. Electronic translations dictionaries are not permitted.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Assignments: (i) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must submit the assignment to the USQ electronically. (ii) Students must retain a copy of each assignment submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the examiner. (iii) The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment only in extenuating circumstances. Computer systems failure will not be valid grounds for applications for extension of assignment due dates. If students wish to claim extenuating circumstances then they shall provide validated documentary evidence explaining the circumstances prior to relevant due date. The examiner shall consider the statement and decide on the outcome. No extension will be granted if an extension is applied for after the due date of the assignment. A request for an extension included with the late assignment will not be granted. (iv) No extension will be granted after the solution has been made available to students. (v) Assignments are to be submitted in accordance with assignment instructions provided or as directed by the examiner. (vi) The examiner will not accept submission of assignments by facsimile or in paper form.

  2. Referencing in assignments: Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at <>.

  3. Course weightings: Course weightings of topics should not be interpreted as applying to the number of marks allocated to questions testing those topics in an examination paper. The examination may test material already tested in assignments.

Other requirements

  1. Computer/Software requirements are outlined in the Introductory e-book.

  2. Students are required to have or have access to a personal computer system and required software (see above) that are fully operational PRIOR to the commencement of the semester in which the course is offered. Systems failure will not be valid grounds for applications for extension of assignment due dates. Ensure backups are regularly maintained on external storage media, for example, CD, USB drive or external hard drive. In addition, as discussions and presentations will be undertaken using the Internet (for external students), students are required to have a web camera and headset (or microphone and speakers) to facilitate interaction. Other software and applications will be identified on the course website.

  3. Students will require access to email and Internet access to UConnect for this course.