(a) Decision support systems (DSS) help to fulfil management’s requirements for computerized information systems assisting them in complex and unstructured tasks.
Describe the relevance and uses of a DSS to management accountants.
(b) Name and explain three tasks that the systems analyst would undertake in the design phase of information systems development process.
(c) Explain why Local Area Networks (LANs) have been successful in improving the flow of data and information in organisations.
a) Decision support system (DSS)
These are information systems at the organization‘s management level that combine data and sophisticated analytical models or data analysis tools to support decision making (specifically semi-structured and un structured decision making).
Relevance of DSSs to management accountants:
DSSs help management accountants to make semi-structured and unstructured decisions relating to accounting.
Uses of DSSs:
DSSs assist management accountants in:
1. Evaluating planned asset acquisitions
2. Evaluating investment options
3. Controlling organizational expenditure
4. Evaluating proposed asset disposals
5. Budget planning enabling simulation of how the budget would look like when various parts of it are altered.
b) Tasks undertaken the systems analyst in the design phase of the information systems development process:
1. Soliciting ideas and opinions from users, vendors and IT specialists. Users ideas and opinions are useful in reviewing systems designs such as output designs (specifically document/form design). Vendor and IT specialist‘s opinions are critical when producing hardware and software specifications.
2. Ensures adherence to internal technical design standards e.g. program design standards that ensure completeness, usability, reliability, performance and quality of the system being developed.
3. Design of outputs, inputs, interfaces, software and processes for the system being developed.
4. Participation in design reviews in order to establish areas where improvements can be made to the system designs.
5. Oversees the preparation of the systems specification document.
c) Local Area Network (LAN)
This refers to a collection of computers within a single office of building that connect to a common electronic connection (network backbone).
Reasons for the success of LANs:
LANs enable faster sending/receiving of data and information.
Since the movement of data and information is electronic, the sending and receiving of data and information over the LAN is almost instantaneous.
LANs eliminate bottlenecks
Without a LAN, the sending/receiving of data and information contained in documents is usually through a 3rd party responsible for delivering the documents to the intended recipient
department. At the recipient department the documents also have to be sorted out before being delivered to the intended employees LANs eliminate the bottleneck of a 3rd party since an