IT Financials Glossary

Financial accounting system

Posted in Systems by mgentle on August 26, 2010

Financial accounting system: see General accounting system.

General Accounting System (GAS)

Posted in Systems by mgentle on August 26, 2010

General Accounting System (GAS): the company’s official system of record from a legal and regulatory perspective. It comprises a collection of accounts or chart of accounts that covers assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses. It is from the GAS that financial statements are prepared for debtors, creditors, lenders and financial markets.

Also known as the financial accounting system or the books or the general ledger.

GASs don’t have the level of detail required to manage IT projects and applications, hence the need for Management Accounting Systems.

Management Accounting System (MAS)

Posted in Systems by mgentle on August 26, 2010

Management Accounting System (MAS): a parallel accounting system that augments the general accounting system. It manages costs and revenue based on management criteria like projects, applications or customers. Unlike the general accounting system, a MAS does not need to comply with legal or regulatory requirements – but if the former feeds the latter, it must be possible to demonstrate how the final numbers were arrived at.

MASs can vary from Excel spreadsheets and time entry systems all the way to PPM or ITFM systems.