Accounting Information Systems (AIS)
Time lag is one characteristic used to distinguish between batch and real-time
systems. Explain. Give an example of when each is a realistic choice.
Resource use is one characteristic used to distinguish between batch and real-
time systems. Explain.
Discuss how batch processing may be used to improve operational efficiency.
If an organization processes large numbers of transactions that use common
data records, what type of system would work best (all else being equal)?
Accounting Information Systems (AIS)
Real time processing are automated computer systems that process the input data immediately its
received, they are referred to as operating in real time while the master files are updated in batch
mode where the a tailored program takes a series of data files as the input then processes them
and produces another set or series of output data files. This process of collecting data in batches
or sets and processing in that order is known as batch processing. (Hall, 2006)
- Time lag is the processing time needed and the urgency of the processed information. The
mail room for instance that handles cheques transfers doesn’t have to be processed online as its
urgency cannot be compared with the cash receipts on the point of sales requirements that will
require an update on the inventory system. Real time processing requires accuracy and speed or
shorter time intervals when processing information.
Accounting Information Systems (AIS) 2
Real time processing requires shorter time lags data is processed on line as it continues to stream
in like in grocery or drug stores where the Point of Sales systems are in use where the sales and
inventory are updated at the point of sales. Real time processing is also applicable in automated
teller machines. Batch processing may do with a longer time lag as data is collected over a
certain period of time and processed in a batch like for example in payroll and the billing
systems. (Hall, 2006)
- Resource use is one characteristic that differentiates real time and batch processing systems.
Real time processing requires small or shorter time intervals to process its inputs and the outputs
are required within shorter time intervals.
Batch processing processes its inputs in batches that may require longer time intervals to
accumulate into required batches so as to be processed and produce its outputs in required
batches. Batch processing also optimizes the use of computers by maintaining higher rates of
utilization and interactive work. Modern batch applications utilize the program frameworks
written in Java to provide error free or fault tolerance processes such as Spring Batch to ensure
high speed processing systems which is integrated with grid computing to provide reliable
Batch processing is a reliable and efficient way of processing large volumes of data where there
is accumulation of data over a certain period of time. Data is collected and processed and the
batch results analyzed and recorded to be compared to the next batches. Batch processing also
requires separate different programs for inputs, processing and output. For example the payroll
and the billing information systems.
Accounting Information Systems (AIS) 3
- Batch processing can be utilized to improve operational efficiency by enhancing the
processing of accounts receivables and payables in defined batches. This minimizes the cost and
saves the time spent on the processing operations. Batch processing leads to easy independent
verification of manufactured goods and the quantities involved per transaction processed. (Khan,
- Real time processing is the best system where a large volume of data that needs similar or
common processing regularly. Such data cannot be accumulated to be processed in batches as it
may cause uncertainties due to the nature of its similarities.
Batch and real time processing have different benefits and disadvantages. Each process depends
on the nature of job available and the sources together with the processing time required to
perform the task.
Accounting Information Systems (AIS) 4
Khan, M. (1993). Theory & Problems in Financial Management. Boston: McGraw Hill
Hall, A.J. (2006) Accounting Information Systems, 4 th . Ed.South western publishing company