Scenario Mapping Can Transform Accountants into Database Planners

This article is intended to act as an advocate of the accounting profession. Now is the time for financial experts to take over the phase often given to individuals in the technology fields. This strategy really doesn't pay back the cost encountered in designing an effective accounting system. What follows in this write up is a suggestion that the meeting point for business and databases is really scenario planning or spelling out your financial tracking needs in documented conversations. And in this case, between business accounts and technical database developers.

When pursuing a database design project objective, the question of scenario mapping arises often enough to be considered as a design issue. The whole idea is to bring together two environments that can only be connected by conscious effort and insight.

Accounting Information Systems Are Basic Requirements For All Profit Maintaining Companies.

The business environment is the external activity that carries on in real-time transactions and the accounting language is the syntax and semantics of those transactions while the software programming that supports this business activity resides in an unfamiliar and often unnoticed world of electronic circuitry represented by several programming languages that control the operational flow of these machines.

The one technique for recording and communicating concepts that cover both the accounting world and the world of computers are natural language sentences that can be understood and operated on by practitioners of both worlds. These natural language sentences (English in our case) can easily be woven into requirements and specification scenarios for both sides to allow for the design of a database driven application that satisfies the business needs of accountants and software engineers.

Business Database Systems Are Keys To Future Market Expansions.

This is the process of mapping referred to as scenario mapping and defined as the matching of business requirements with computer requirements. Thus, scenario mapping is the set of activities that transforms a person’s action into the art or technique of bringing the two worlds together.

Along these same lines, there is an increasing concern that accounting is not expressive enough to match the potential created by the phenomenal growth of software language technology. And although accountants have taken a leading role in developing frameworks for performance evaluations that encompass financial and non-financial measures, the outcome of antiquated accounting systems design methods prevent them from catapulting into similar growth patterns.

A General Ledger System Every Company Would Take Pride In Developing.

This prevents accountants from fully availing themselves of the opportunities to expand their role in supporting strategic management and control of innovative and accurate business systems. But through the use of scenario mapping and the XML language the accountant can provide greater support in this area through greater involvement in the design process.

This approach is particularly useful because these design models formed by scenario mapping can be embedded into XML sub-tags and carried indefinitely through a projects life-cycle. This final linkage can provide the basis for conceptual and working database processes allowing an integrated design framework to emerge and enable the accountant to assist in the development of meaningful accounting information systems. This then strengthens the role of the accountant to become an important contributor to the development and evaluation of corporate strategy and database planning.


All of this being said, it's time for accountants to be given the leading role in designing an accounting system that accurately reflects the main features of a company through the eyes and insight of a financial expert. This includes requirements, feasibility studies and design specifications. It is up to the techs to effectively map the plan into the database driven computer system.

Tom Gruich

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