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Towards paperless accounting source records: a transaction cost approach

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1 Author(s)
Tallberg, A. ; Dept. of Accounting, Swedish Sch. of Econ. & Bus. Adm., Helsinki, Finland

For certain classes of documents, the transition to digital form will largely be determined by the implicit contracts that are written based on the fact that these documents exist. Accounting source records (i.e. invoices etc.) constitute an interesting case. They are archived for audit trail purposes, but seldom utilized after they have been filed. However, a significant structure of implicit and explicit contractual relationships relies on their existence and presumed authenticability. The paper analyzes factors associated with the transition of accounting source records from paper based to digital form. The results of the paper comprise a set of predictions regarding how the form and substance of accounting source records will change as this genre of documents is transformed into digital form under the pressure of low transaction cost trade. From this case, some general points are extracted regarding the way in which the contracting role of certain genres of documents and the way they serve to economize on different kinds of transaction costs, can be useful to consider when thinking about how to implement these functions using different technology. Some tentative points to take into account when performing analyses of this kind are proposed

Published in:

System Sciences, 1997, Proceedings of the Thirtieth Hawaii International Conference on  (Volume:6 )

Date of Conference:

7-10 Jan 1997