Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Barbour, Edna Hollar, 1922-||Avery, Clarence G.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Accountancy


Accounts receivable; Electronic data processing


The purpose of this study was to investigate the advantages of utilizing a data processing service bureau for accounts receivable accountings Published materials offer no apparent indications as to the acceptance or competence of data processing service bureaus on accounts receivable accounting. Library research was an important source of information on the operational features of mechanical or electronic data processing equipment, systems, and programs. However, most of the material for this study was gathered from interviews and correspondence with service bureau representatives, and with controllers, systems specialists, credit managers, and accountants in companies with experience on accounts receivable applications with data processing service bureaus. The study indicated the following advantages of using a data processing service bureau for accounts receivable accounting 1. Data processing service bureaus can provide the user with an economical alternative to purchasing or leasing his own data processing equipment. 2. Data processing service bureaus usually provide systems and programming assistance to the potential user. 3. The service bureau client does not ordinarily have to be concerned with the internal functioning of the automated system. 4. Data processing service bureau contracts are customarily short-term. 5. Problems of idle capacity, machine breakdowns, and re-processing are shifted to the service bureau. 6. Service bureaus are capable of handling a wide variety of applications, including accounts receivable. 7. Service bureaus are actively involved in the development and implementation of the most advanced applications of computer technology. The study indicated the following disadvantages of using a data processing service bureau for accounts receivable accounting: 1. Service bureaus do not usually assume full functional responsibility for a client's system. 2. Service bureau users are limited by fixed input and output schedules. 3. The responsibilities of the service bureau are restricted to the terms of a written contract, if. Service bureaus often do not appreciate the need for allowing a user ample time to prepare for conversion to a service bureau application. 5. Available service bureau programs for accounts receivable do not necessarily utilize the full potential of the computer. 6. Service bureaus usually provide standard programs which may or may not fit the user's particular system. 7. The service bureau user may not be able to withdraw his system expediently if the application is unsatisfactory. 8. Loss of ledger history is a disadvantage of automated accounts receivable systems. 9. Periodicity of reports and the absence of source documents from the service bureau user's premises can make the user totally dependent on the bureau for knowledge of his accounts receivable. 10. Erroneous volume estimates by service bureau systems analysts can result in accounting costs far exceeding projections. 11. The role of the service bureau as an outside agency can create problems of communications and control.


Includes bibliographical references.


vii, 133 pages




Northern Illinois University

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