Designing computer-based accounting information systems

Classical systems theory often considers a company to be a ‘hard’ closed system, whereas contemporary systems theory often considers a company to be a ‘soft’ open system.


Define the ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ systems.

With the aid of diagrams, comment on and discuss the difference between these two theoretical approaches and their implications on designing computer-based accounting information systems.

Read the following extract:

Sociological systems theory contributed a profound understanding of the nature and role of organizational sub-systems in meeting organizational needs. . . . The inspiration came in the form of a rigorous working out of the idea that organisms – and other types of complex systems – were ‘open systems’ (Jackson, 1991: 48).


Explain, with the aid of a diagram, the relevance to an understanding of the accounting information system of ‘open systems’.


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