accountants, information technology, information professionals
When computers first appeared in organizations, accountants had an opportunity to enlarge their information-providing responsibilities by embracing the new technology and the people who made it work. They elected not to pursue this opportunity and, perhaps unwittingly, launched not only a new group of information professionals, but also a new and sometimes competitive information function in organizations. Now some accountants are suggesting that the profession expand its boundaries to include all information. A second opportunity for accountants to become the purveyors of all information may exist due to a different set of circumstances that are more favorable to acting on the opportunity. Unlike the earlier situation, accountants would not have to deal with management responsibility for the technology and its related information professionals. Further, the continuing move toward integrated systems lends itself to a more global approach. Ultimately, whether accountants become the purveyors of all information will depend upon whether accountants move to meet the new demands for information in organizations. Accountants who are effective in advising managers in matters that combine both financial and non-financial, as well as internal and external information, should be successful in expanding their role as information providers.