Not sure if I have the right forum...but I am wondering....my employer has advised me that I am going to need to start working with an accountant as I am the DBA. Is this becoming more and more common that DBA's have to work with financials as most databases are based on financials?

Also, if this is becoming more and more popular....what can I do to get myself more up to date with finances as I only have a Computer Info Systems degree.

8 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by didyouthink76

Certainly it is important to liase with the end user in any project. If you are managing a database for accountants, then yes you will need to understand what they will use the database for and what information they expect to be able to recall.

For your second question, might be best to ask a finance expert what they would suggest, but I am sure there are many good books that can bring you up to speed with finance terminology and practices. GoogleBooks or Amazon might be a good place to start browsing.


Your query probably belongs more in Computer Science, but it fits here well enough. I was in a similar position a while ago, in that I had to take over maintaining a general ledger and time & billing system consisting of 1700 business basic programs written over 17 years using around 65,000 ISAM data and index files; it implemented much of the GAAP (see below). The system was originally implemented on a Basic Four system (or some such), then migrated to a DG Nova and later to SCO UNIX. Due to limited memory and disk space of the original system, the programs were written using single-letter variable names, comments are sparse, and several (up to six) numeric values are often combined into a single database field (column). The file formats are nicely documented, and the original programmer employed structured programming and code reuse techniques, so I still have some hair left. They're still using that system 10 years later.

Can you, as a DBA, work with relational databases without understanding the relations in and among the data? Probably not.

First, remember that bookkeepers work with general ledgers, making sure the double-entry books are balanced. Second, be aware that accountants do much, much more. Simply put, they don't simply verify debits and credits; they account for revenues, expenses, income, and equity. They measure a business' financial health and produce reports that detail that health for the business' owner(s).

A good place to start might be to acquire "Accounting for Dummies". And read it. :) It helped me refresh my memory, as I had taken financial and management accounting and financial management back when I was working on my BS degree.

If you really wanted to understand accounting, it would be best to go to the source, the . These are the standards that make up the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). I've not needed to delve that deeply into the subject, though.

Good luck. And don't lose your mind. :)


Thanks everyone. I guess I will be doing some reading this weekend and trying to make some sense of the accounting and hopefully piecing together with my database. I just tend to start getting nervous when our bookkeeper doesn't know some accounting terms like "landed costs".....

This topic has been dead for over six months. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.