Meta-Digital Accounting in the Context of Cloud Computing

Meta-Digital Accounting in the Context of Cloud Computing

Alexandru Tugui (“Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Romania)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch003
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Technology has always dominated human society, and each stage of society’s development has corresponded to a certain technological limit. Thus, the leap to overcome the technological limit of each era has been marked by a revolution. Examples of this are the development of the steam engine, in 1769, which marked the transition to the Industrial Age; and the first electronic computer, which was designed in 1937, constructed in 1944, and launched in 1946, marking the transition to the Cybernetic Era (Cornish, 2004). The evolution of information technology after 1970 turned information into a primary production factor alongside labor, nature, and capital. Consequently, at the end of the twentieth century, theory and practice in the field assimilated the concept of a new economy: the digital or Internet economy.

Accounting has been present in human society ever since the division of labor. Over time, accounting, which is the technique and science of accounts, has adapted to the technological level and the limits of each era, especially through the evolution of the alphabet, numbers, and writing.

When stone and clay were used for writing, they were found in the accounting memoirs, describing debts, claims, collections, and payments. Clay pads from temples such as Uruk, Nippur, Kiş, and Suruppak bear witness to this fact (Heilbroner, 1999; Lipin & Belov, 1962; Vlaemminck, 1956; Obert, 2011). The transition from using animal skin to using paper has led to significant progress in terms of accounting techniques. The invention of printing, in the first half of the sixteenth century, facilitated the popularization of the accounting science. Two centuries later, the Industrial Revolution found accounting ready to meet the information necessities imposed by the speeding up of the movement of production factors and by the needs of capital holders. Toward the end of the nineteenth century, accounting was revitalized in terms of its technique, from the perspective of new concepts and qualitative accumulations. To this effect, the United States imposed a rapid pace of modernization of accounting concepts and techniques in order to inform a wider range of accounting information users. The triggering of the cyber revolution, in the middle of the twentieth century, left its mark on developments in accounting at the beginning of the 1980s, when the average cost of electronic equipment became affordable to organizations that found themselves in the race for computerization, a characteristic of the first technological wave (Moschella 1995; O’Brien, 1999). The end of the twentieth century brought the need to assimilate the progress made by information and communication technology. In this new era marked by the digital economy, the literature explored the concept of digital accounting, which was specific to the digital economy.

Over the last 4–5 years, the most popular information technique has been cloud computing, which is a collection of information and communication technologies that essentially represents the materialization of J. McCarthy’s idea of utility computing from the 1960s (Zhang et al., 2010; Parkhill, 1966). In this context, we consider that, through the assimilation of cloud computing technology into the organization, the concept of digital accounting can move to a superior level of macro-economic aggregation, which we call meta-digital accounting.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Cloud Computing: A model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources-for example networks, servers, storage, applications and services-that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

EDACC (European Digital ACCounting): A working scenario for digital accounting centered on the electronic invoicing technology.

Digital Agenda: Represents the synthesis of the European Commission’s strategy for the usage of ICTs in order to achieve economic growth.

Meta-Digital Accounting: A highly abstract and general concept regarding the level that accounting will reach in the next stage of digital economy.

Digital Economy: A concrete form of economic manifestation of production and service flows dominated by digital technologies, where associated information flows are functionally dependent on ICTs

Digital Accounting: The accountancy specific to the current digital economyDigital accounting can be defined as the accountancy specific to the current digital economy.

Knowledge: Information with sense.

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