Teaching Transaction Processing using Trial-Version Software in Accounting Information Systems Courses
This paper discusses the value of using transaction-processing software in Accounting Information Systems courses. A variety of AIS learning objectives can be met using the transaction-processing software. These objectives include understanding internal controls and security systems, understanding the basic functions of transaction-processing software, gaining knowledge of software vendors and experience with a commercially available software product, gaining an understanding of end-user computing skills, and finally understanding how data files are organized and related to each other. An efficient method for obtaining transaction-processing software is to use commercial, low-end accounting packages that are available in trial version. Vendors provide trial-version software as a marketing tool. Using trial-version software is advantageous due to its minimal cost, but it has the disadvantage that each vendor limits the software in specific ways. Information on individual trial-version packages is presented, including how to obtain them, their features, and their limitations. Instructors that decide to use trial-version software must match the software's limitations to the projects the students will complete and to the students' computer literacy.