Characteristic And The Difference Between Batch And Online Processing (Part 1)

Nowadays, the modern accountant needs to know how computerized accounting systems work so that these systems can meet the needs of the organization and the users

Characteristics of Computerized Accounting System

·      All accounting systems follow the same sequence of Input to Processing to Output and

·      Transaction data need to be entered only once at the input stage and the computer program takes care of the rest of the posting of entries.

Difference between Batch Processsing and Online Processing

In Batch Processing, transaction data are keyed into the accounting system as batches.

The batches of transaction data are accumulated until a large volume of data can be processed at one time. Basically, the batches of transactions are accumulated as a transaction file.

Next these transaction files/batches are subsequently posted to the respective ledgers by computer programs.

The ledgers are then periodically processed to generate the output like the financial statements.

Batch processing is often used for routine procedures like updating the debtors, creditors accounts and payroll.


On-line processing involved keying in directly into the system and instantly been processed into information. The user can obtain current/updated information at any given point of time.

Example is the use of product code readers at check-out counters in the supermarkets. Once the cashier keyed in the item sold, this sale is immediately read by the product code reader and stock records, sales and cash are automatically updated.

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