Acc681 Accounting Information Systems

Instructor: Jagdish S. Gangolly

Fall, 1997

Office: (BA 333)




Course Description

Course Objectives

Course Readings

Course Conduct & Grading

Course Conduct



Group Project (Project Instructions)

Pop Quizzes

Class Participation

About the Instructor

A Very Tentative Schedule

A Detailed, but Honest Course Description:

A working introduction to the internet: telnet, ftp, gopher, world wide web, including the use of netscape or other web browsers. Information technology and its impact on accounting information systems. Principles of systems analysis and design as related to accounting information systems. Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Fundamentals of relational database theory including relational algebra operations and normalisation of databases. Analysis and design of accounting databases, including semantic data modeling. Structured Query Language and its implementation in Microsoft Access. Database system architecture and its implementation in Access..

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This is the only information systems course in the graduate accounting curriculum. Therefore, it is quite comprehensive in coverage. Since most of you will be users or auditors of information systems, the course is geared towards gaining an appreciation and working knowledge of systems development, software construction and database systems.

By the end of the semester, you should be in a position to:

This, however, is not an introduction to Auditing course, and therefore, the emphasis will be on gaining an understanding of how one goes about developing an accounting information system. The control aspects are dealt with here only to the extent they relate to systems development.

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In addition to the above, when necessary, I shall be assigning specific readings from other books/papers. When assigned, they will either be placed on the reserve at the library, and/or their location announced on the course announcements page.

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The course will consist of lectures, solution of problems/cases, and a group project where you will document, draw specifications for, design and build part of an accounting system.

It is important that you keep with the class. Failure to understand the concepts discussed in the class will reduce the effectiveness of attending further classes during the semester. Should you feel that you are lost, please seek help immediately. I am here to help you. However, it is difficult to discover knowledge the day before a quizz or a test.

We will give a few pop quizzes just to make sure that you are with the class. Throughout the semester, you will also be required to take on-line quizzes from the text, outside of the class.

I shall not be taking attendance. However, I expect you to display professional attitude while in the class. I expect you to be punctual and not distract the class by late entry in to the classroom. It is also my policy not to excuse absences from pop quizzes except under extenuating circumstances. I will call upon you individually to answer questions in the class.

You are aspiring professionals, and therefore I expect you to take responsibility for understanding the topics discussed in the class. I also expect you to hold the high standards of ethics that you are expected to uphold the rest of your professional life as accountants. Immediately,this means sharing the responsibility for the group project. Should any member of the group not share the work on the project, I expect the remaining group members to complain to me IMMEDIATELY. I will try to counsel the erring student. Should this pathology persist, on written complaints by such remaining group members, I shall assign zero points to the group project part of the course for the erring student. However, I shall NOT entertain any complaints after the completion of the group project.

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  • 100 points: Test I
  • 50 points: On-line and Pop Quizzes
  • 200 points: Group Project
  • 50 points: Class participation
  • 400 points: TOTAL POINTS
  • I shall add up the points you score on the four components in the course and arrange the class in descending order of total points scored. Gaps in that order will form the cut-off points for letter grades assigned in the course. The letter grading in the course is therefore strictly relative.

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    The nature as well as the subject matter content of the test will be announced in the class at least one week prior to the announced test date. These tests will, however, test the comprehension of the conceptual materials covered in the class as well as the tools & techniques covered. It may include multiple choice questions as well as small cases and problems. The test as well as the quizzes in the course are open notes/books.

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    The group project will consist of drawing specifications, designing, and building a part of a small accounting system. The required information for the project will be made available via the course announcements page.

    You should divide into groups four each. The groups must be formed by September 11, 1997. Each group must present the project before the class during the times shown in the tentative schedule. All group members must actively participate equally in the presentations during the semester. In addition, throughout the semester, I shall be calling upon individual groups to present progress reports on the group project. The group written project report is due at the beginning of the class on December 2, 1997. The project report must be in HTML format. You will be graded on the basis of the quality of specifications, and their implementation in the accounting system that you design and document.

    The group project is best accomplished if you carry it out as we learn the various tools & techniques in the class. It can not be accomplished by working round the clock after Thanksgiving. Besides, spreading the project over the semester provides a much better learning environment.I shall not entertain substantive questions regarding the content of the project after thanksgiving.

    This is a group project, and therefore I expect each group member to participate equally. Should the group members complain that a member is not participating equally, I shall make efforts to counsel such student. However, I will not entertain complaints after the project has been completed. Should I determine that a student has not adequately shared in the group work, I shall reduce the points assigned on the group project to such students who may not have participated adequately in the project; the reduction in points depending on the efforts by such student. I also may call upon specific members of the group to make the oral presentations.

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    I shall give occasional pop quizzes to test your understanding of the material. Such pop quizzes may be either in-class or take-home; individual or group. When given, each quizz will count for 10 points. Late submissions will not be accepted for take-home quizzes. Pop quizzes can not be made up.

    I shall also assign on-line quizzes for you to take. You will need to take such quizzes at I shall be receiving the quizz grades directly from Cybertext. You will not be able to take these quizzes if you have not subscribed to the textbook. Each on-line quizz will carry 5 points.

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    You are expected to take an active part in the class by asking questions, questioning/challenging the arguments made by me. Occasionally, I may ask individual students or groups to answer questions in the class.

    Postings on the course newsgroup (sunya.class.acc681) will count towards class participation. You are strongly encouraged to post your questions on the newsgroup and answer questions that may have been raised by others. Frivolous postings, postings that are not civil (or violate nettiquette or common decency) and irrelevant postings will receive negative evaluation. It is the QUALITY of the posting and not their number that will contribute to class participation points.

    You are expected to have asked the question on the newsgroup prior to seeking answers from me during my office hours. Therefore, it is important that you learn how to use the newsgroup and e-mail early in the semester.

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    Jagdish S. Gangolly is currently an Associate Professor of Accounting and of Management Science & Information Systems in the School of Business, and a Senior Program Faculty member of the Ph. D Program in Information Science at the School of Information Science & Policy. He holds a Bachelor's degree with a major in Mathematical Statistics, a master's degree with a major in Operations Research, and a Ph. D degree in Accounting. He is also a Certified Internal Auditor. He has previously taught at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Kansas, Claremont McKenna College & the Claremont Graduate School, and California State University at Fullerton. He has worked in senior executive positions in management services in the pulp & paper industry as well as in soft-drink franchising. His articles have appeared in Journal of Accounting Research, Auditing: Journal of Practice & Theory, Journal of the Operational Research Society, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, Expert Systems with Applications: An International Journal, and Artificial Intelligence in Accounting & Auditing. In 1989, he was the guest editor of Advances in Accounting. Presently, he serves on the editorial board of the journal Issues in Accounting Education of the American Accounting Association. His current research activities are primarily in the areas of conceptual information retrieval and formal specification of control in accounting information systems. He also has collateral research interest in the relationships between Accounting and Legal Philosophy.


    [Sept 2 - Sept 4] | [Sept 9 - Sept 11] | [Sept 16 - Sept 18] | [Sept 23 - Sept 25] | [Sept 30 - Oct 2] | [Oct 7 - Oct 9] | [Oct 14 - Oct 16] | [Oct 21 - Oct 23] | [Oct 28 - Oct 30] | [Nov 4 - Nov 6] | [Nov 11 - Nov 13] | [Nov 18 - Nov 20] | [Nov 25 - Nov 27] | [Dec 2 - Dec 4] | [Dec 9 - ] |

    WEEK 1

  • Day: September 2 & 4, 1997 (Tuesday & Thursday).
  • Topic: Introduction to Unix and the Internet..
  • Browse: UH.
  • Do: Get Unix account.
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    WEEK 2.

  • Day: Sept 9, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Introduction
  • Read: MG: Ch.1.

  • Day: Sept 11, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Topic: Elements of Information Systems
  • Read: MG: Ch.2.
  • NOTE: Deadline for forming groups.
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    WEEK 3.

  • Day: Sept 16, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Elements of Information Systems (Continued)
  • Read: MG: Ch.2.

  • Day: Sept 18, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Topic: Introduction to HTML.
  • Read: MK: Ch.1 - 4.
  • Return to Contents or Schedule

    WEEK 4.

  • Day: Sept 23, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Technology: Hardware & Software.
  • Read: MG: Ch.3.

  • Day: September 25, 1995 (Thursday).
  • Topic:
  • Read: MG: Ch.4.
  • Return to Contents or Schedule

    WEEK 5.

  • Day: September 30, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Advanced Information Systems.
  • Read: MG: Ch.5.

  • Day: October 2, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Return to Contents or Schedule

    WEEK 6.

  • Day: October 7, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Elements of Database Systems.
  • Read: MG: Ch.6. (Omit Structured Query Language. )

  • Day: October 9, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Topic: Systems Analysis & Design (Functional Modeling).
  • Read: MG: Ch.7.
  • Return to Contents or Schedule

    WEEK 7.

  • Day: October 14, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Introduction to Relational Databases & Microsoft Access
  • Read: SR: Ch.1,2..

  • Day: October 16, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Topic: Data Modeling: Entity Relationship Diagrams
  • Read: SR: Ch.3.
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    WEEK 8.

  • Day: October 21, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Normalisation of Relational Databases
  • Read: SR: Ch.4.

  • Day: October 23, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Topic:Relational Algebra
  • Read: SR: Ch.5.
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    WEEK 9.

  • Day: October 28, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Relational Algebra (Continued).
  • Read: SR: Ch.5.

  • Day: October 30, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Topic: Structured Query Language
  • Read: SR: Ch.6.
  • Return to Contents or Schedule

    WEEK 10.

  • Day: November 4, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Structured Query Language (Continued)
  • Read: SR: Ch.6.

  • Day: November 6, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Topic: Structured Query Language (Continued)
  • Read: SR: Ch.6.
  • Return to Contents or Schedule

    WEEK 11.

  • Day: November 11, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic:Database System Architecture
  • Read: SR: Ch.7.

  • Day: November 13, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Topic: Integration of Functional & Data Models.
  • Read: MG: Ch.8.
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    WEEK 12.

  • Day: November 18, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • Topic: Database Design
  • Read: MG: Ch.9.

  • Day: November 20, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Topic: FLOAT

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    WEEK 13.

  • Day: November 25, 1997 (Tuesday).
  • TEST

  • Day: November 27, 1997 (Thursday).
  • Thanksgiving (No class)

  • Return to Contents or Schedule

    WEEK 14.

  • Day: December 2, 1997 (Tuesday).

  • Day: December 4, 1997 (Thursday).

  • Return to Contents or Schedule

    WEEK 15.

  • Day: December 8, 1995 (Tuesday).
  • Return to Contents or Schedule

    Updated on September 6, 1997 by Jagdish S. Gangolly