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The steps to be followed in a hand system and a computerised system have many similarities. The basic steps in the accounting process for a business is as follows:

Steps

Hand System

Computerised System

1.

Planning and opening an accounting system.

Planning and opening an accounting system.

2.

Entering of the first transactions or opening balances.

Entering of the first transactions or opening balances.

3.

Preparation of source documents - to write them up in the auxiliary journals or books of first entry.

Coding of source documents - to enter them in the auxiliary journals or books of first entry.

4.

Bank Reconciliation.

Bank Reconciliation.

5.

Closing off of the auxiliary journals or books of first entry and post them to the ledger accounts.

Posting of the auxiliary journals or books of first entry to the ledger accounts.

6.

Compile the Trial Balance.

Print the Trial Balance.

7.

Finalising of the Accounts and Adjustments.

Finalising of the Accounts and Adjustments.

8.

Compiling of Financial Statements and other Reports.

Printing of Financial Statements and other Reports.

It is apparent that the processes in the accounting cycle for both systems are basically the same. Some of the processes in the computerised system are automated. Some of the time consuming processes are eliminated in the computerised system. Furthermore, a computerised accounting system is pre-programmed and some defaults may also be set to eliminate human errors.

On the computerised system, any transactions or data is automatically updated and reports are readily available at any time. Once any data is entered, you may at a few mouse-clicks or by pressing a few keys, retrieve (or generate) reports to view the results of your data. Any of the available standard reports as well as customised or user reports can be retrieved (or generated) at any time to check the accuracy of the data entered. These reports can be used for analyses and interpretation to make decisions regarding your business financial performance and position.