I am a software developer and several of my tasks include the development of software procedures for posting sales, purchases, manufacturing, ordering activities into general ledger (creation and correction of bookkeeping/accounting entries for general ledger). Usually I have some business style instructions what should be done and I have my own knowledge and experience. But sometimes I receive from business people tasks like "this posting (document Id provided) is not correct, please, check and correct it and check similar cases as well". And then Hell goes loose - I find document with the similar problem and then I navigate further along links and discover new cases of incorrectness, I am looking for more general and more specific cases, some manual corrections I take into account and so and so on. Sometimes I just stop and ask my colleagues to provide some more general rules which all the postings should obey (individually or collectively - as a group or chain of documents), but no one is eager to think about it. E.g. rounding issues can be very hard. Those cents seems to be insignificant, but users are very upset when they appear.
This seems to be more general problem in accounting community - e.g. Google finds practically nothing for queries
formal methods in accounting,
formal methods in bookkeeping.
Clearly - those rules should be produced by the business people. My question is - how can I encourage them to think more generally and more rigorously, to define not just what should be done but define formally so that all the situations are considered and defined? Or - maybe that is the problem with me (M-theory is my hobby and maybe this can lead to some distorted sense of reality, maybe)?