As you search for the accounting degree program that’s right for you, you might encounter programs of study in accounting information systems (AIS). For accounting students who have an interest in management information systems – essentially, how people use computer and information technology in business – a degree in accounting information systems can combine these disciplines to provide an education that enhances students’ abilities and job prospects.
What to Expect from an AIS Degree Program
Accounting information systems degree programs are available to students at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree levels. Some schools don’t offer a degree program in AIS specifically, but they may offer a concentration in the subject of study.
In an accounting information systems degree program, students will learn the theory behind information systems and the practical techniques to integrate these systems into businesses as well as accounting theories and how to apply them. They will learn to design accounting information systems in addition to studying general business and accounting courses. Students should expect to take introductory through advanced level courses in accounting, auditing and information systems design. They may take taxation and ethics courses alongside classes in data mining and evolving technology.
Why Might Accounting Students Study AIS?
For accounting students whose sole career goal is to prepare financial statements, a general accounting degree program makes sense. For other students, though, an AIS degree is not only a way to explore multiple educational interests, but also a way to increase their skills. For example, companies working to develop their own accounting information systems may seek help from their accountants to find existing software or develop their own software, according to Investopedia. The additional computer and technology training that a student will receive in an AIS degree program can improve their proficiency using computers in general, which is important for today’s accountants. In fact, many accountants will need to know at least the basics of how to use a company’s accounting information system in order to retrieve the financial information from which they work.
Having a background in AIS rather than general accounting can also help improve a candidate’s potential for career advancement. Understanding the information systems that help a business function is essential for upper management positions such as chief financial officer (CFO).
Studying accounting at the college level is essential to succeed and thrive in the field, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported. However, what educational path students take can vary greatly depending on their goals and their strengths. For students who have an interest in technology and information systems as well as accounting, a degree in accounting information systems could be the perfect choice, allowing them to gain knowledge in both fields without having to double major. An AIS educational background can improve aspiring accountants’ computer skills, enhance their abilities to assist clients or employers in developing information systems and even set the stage for advancing into upper management roles within companies and organizations.