Management Information Systems (MIS) in Finance have been widely adopted both by corporations as well as governments. They are information systems with capacity to maintain large data bases enabling organizations to store, organize and access financial information easily. These systems are primarily used for accounting operations and generation of financial reports.. Increasingly they are also used to support budgetary, planning and decision making processes.These systems are credited with increasing financial transparency, efficiency and accountability. .
The main use of a management information System (MIS) in finance is that it automatically updates all the transactions in the General Ledger. The General Ledger is the core component of all financial information systems. Financial transactions are simultaneously posted on the various accounts that comprise the organization's "Chart of Accounts". Simultaneous updating of accounts such as sales, inventory and accounts receivable, reduces errors. It also provides an accurate and permanent record of all historical transactions.
Cash flow management is an important use of MIS in Finance. Cash Management refers to the control, monitoring and forecasting of cash for financing needs. Use of MIS in Finance helps companies track the flow of cash through accounts receivable and accounts payable accurately. Accurate records also help in monitoring cost of goods sold. This can help pin point areas that eat up cash flow such as inventory costs, high raw material costs or unreliable sales.
Financial budget planning uses proforma or projected financial statements that serve as as formal documents of management's expectations regarding sales, expenses and other financial transactions. Thus financial budgets are tools used both for planning as well as control. MIS in finance helps organizations evaluate "what if" scenarios. By modifying the financial ratios, management can foresee the effects of various scenarios on the financial statements. MIS thus serves as a decision making tool, helping in choosing appropriate financial goals.
The use of MIS systems in Finance enables companies to generate multiple financial reports accurately and consistently. Generation of financial statements both for internal reports as well as for shareholder information takes less effort because of the automatic updating of the General Ledger. Compliance with Government regulations as well as auditing requirements is also easier because the records are accurate and provide a permanent historical map of transactions that can be verified.
A financial model is a system that incorporates mathematics, logic and data in the form of a large database. The model is used to manipulate the financial variables that affect earnings thus enabling planners to view the implications of their planning decisions. MIS in Finance enables organizations to store a large amount of data. This helps managers develop accurate models of the external environment and thus incorporate realistic "what if" scenarios into their long-range planning goals.
Subha Varadan has a bachelor's degree in architecture from India and an M.B.A in finance and supply chain management from California State University East Bay (CSUEB). Varadan won the "Outstanding Graduate Achievement Award " for her M.B.A. She has primarily written on financial topics for Demand Studios from 2008 and has been published on eHow.