Hierarchical and Relational Database Accounting Systems: Critical Aspects and Trade-Offs

Part of the Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation book series (LNISO, volume 3)


Although the transition from hierarchical to relational databases marked a crucial turning point in the development of accounting systems, the concept of hierarchy has not entirely been abandoned. The aim of this research is to highlight the critical aspects and trade-offs between the hierarchical and relational structures of a database accounting system (DAS). First, we address the relationships between database accounting structure and accounting data coding: hierarchical coding, as distinct from sequential encoding schemes, may have different implications on the selectivity/accuracy/efficiency of the DAS. Next, we investigate the impact that both structure and data encoding schemes have on select queries and update queries: hierarchical models allow for higher efficiency in performing select queries, but higher rigidity in executing update queries; conversely, relational models allow for higher flexibility of update queries, but higher complexity in performing select queries. Finally, we offer suggestions for managing the trade-offs between both types of DAS.


Hierarchical  Relational  Database accounting systems Selectivity  Flexibility  


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carlo Caserio
    • 1
  • Luciano Marchi
    • 1
  • Gabriele Pulcini
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of PisaPisaItaly

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