The first is to become informtion literate to know what information they need, when and in what form.
The second challenge is how to obtain, test, and combine information and integrate it into the existing information system.
The final challenge central to the study of management accounting, is that data processing and accounting systems need to be brought together to decrease redundancy and increase compatibility.
Datebase is not information. It is information's ore. For raw material to become information, it must be organized of a task, directed toward specific performance, applied to a decision.
THE FIRST CHALLENGE
The data users, whether executive or professional, hav to decide what information to use, what to use it for and how to use it.
They have to make themselves information-literate.
By asking: what information do we need in the company? When do we need it? In what forms? And where do we get it?
The moment these questions are asked, it becomes clear that the information a business mose depends on are available, if at all, only in primitive and disorganized form.
The mose difficult of the two challenges
We have to bring together the two information systems that business now run side by side- computer based data processing and the accounting system.
There is the new "transactional " accounting that attempts to relate operations to their expected results.
Today these two information systems operate in isolation from each other. They do not even compete, as a rule.
They work in different department career ladders.
UP FOR GRABS
Managing money: what we now call the "treasury function"- will be divorced from accounitng and will be set up, staffed and run separately.
Computer people still are concerned with greater speed and bigger memories. But the challenges increasingly will be not technical, but to convert data into usable information that is actually being used.