Alex would like you to undertake some research into Cloud Accounting and its impact. He is very limited in time and has asked you to prepare a Voice over PowerPoint (VOPP) presentation to him and the management team discussing:
What is Cloud Accounting?
What are the benefits and limitations of using cloud accounting when compared to their traditional accounting systems from the perspective of:
Jones and Associates?
the clients of Jones and Associates?
How would the implementation of a cloud accounting information system impact on the corporate strategy and value chain for Jones and Associates?
Compare (in table format) three (3) cloud based accounting packages available to small business in Australia which have the following features:
General Ledger (GL), Accounts Receivable (AR), Accounts Payable (AP), Payroll for 20, Inventory and Reporting;
Digital Dashboard; and Secure Bankfeeds.
Process your clients' transactions for November 2017. Generate and submit the following reports to your client for the month of November 2017;
Profit & Loss
Aged Payables (detail)
Aged Receivables (detail)
The marks assigned include correctness of information and the presentation of your reports. They need to look professional, as though they could be provided to your client.
Your executive summary needs to include:
What is an ERP system?
A clear recommendation to ‘Swim Things’ regarding whether you believe they should implement an ERP.
Justification for your recommendation including the key benefits and potential disadvantages of Swim Things implementing an ERP when compared to their current system, Xero (which you used for Part A of this assignment)
Using the information provided to you, you need to prepare a business report to the CEO including the following:
The impact these weaknesses could have on the organisation;
Specific internal controls which could be implemented by Bucks Phyz in the coming weeks to mitigate the risks posed by the internal control weaknesses you have identified. The CEO does not want theoretical controls suggested. They want practical controls that they can implement. [ Note: all three (3) parts of question two (2) must be included as a table in your report]
A review of the impact of the introduction of corporate credit cards. This needs to include: a detailed review of the benefits and potential risks associated with the introduction of corporate credit cards within Bucks Phyz.
The specific Internal Controls which should be implemented by Bucks Phyz to minimize the impact and occurrence of the risks you have identified?
A recommendation to the CEO regarding who should be issued with a corporate credit card and why? (1 mark)
The purpose of the final examination is to assess your understanding of all topics in the subject without reference to external sources and resources. All learning outcomes may be assessed in the final exam. The final examination will test your abilities to analyse and solve problems and think critically in relation to the subject learning outcomes which are as follows:
Be able to understand and apply foundation principles relating to computerised information systems in contemporary organisations;
Be able to explain the role of data analysis tools and data mining;
Be able to illustrate typical network configurations and identify the components of a network;
Be able to evaluate accounting information system architecture and generate models of business events;
Be able to identify organisational risk and generate systems that control that risk; and
Be able to analyse, synthesise and apply the concepts underpinning systems planning development and implementation
What is Cloud Accounting?
Cloud accounting is similar to the traditional self installed software’s in accounting, only that in this case the accounting software is hosted on remote servers. Data is sent into’’the cloud’’ where it is then returned to the user after processing. It allows employees to access same data in other branch offices.
Benefits and limitations of cloud computing benefits
Cost savings and immediate ROI. The cost of ownership is eliminated and there is no need for dedicated equipment and systems (Bodnar & Hopwood, 2013).
Permanent update of the application. Each change or new functionality is immediately available to all users.
Easy to use. PC / Mac / iPhone / Smart Phone, etc.
Shared management of accounting with customers. The advisor / manager can enter the accounts of their clients at any time or when authorized by the owner: you can pay / charge for consultation.
Possibility of personalization.
Security: Accounting data can not be lost when stored in redundant systems. A backup copy is made every time a data is modified or added (Soll, 2009).
- There is no confidentiality of data
- It does not give a company the facility or option to back up information.
- There is restrictions in applications, not all the applications are supported by cloud computing.
Impact on value chain and the corporate strategy for Jones and Associates?
The impact of cloud accounting does not only include optimization in terms of management of data, but at the same time the cloud accounting has an intrinsic advantage, in regards to the possibility of offering the use of software and hardware online.. This service allows the company to achieve a reduction in software and hardware costs, it also allows the company scale easier in IT systems, and at the same time provides support to achieve more flexible work practices. This creates a value chain in terms of services provided (Bodnar & Hopwood, 2013). Ultimately, the use of data storage in the Cloud can be part of a strategy for planning the continuity of the business, which would ensure the survival of the company before the possible appearance of a critical failure in IT systems.
Compare three cloud based accounting packages
This online accounting package is simple to use and gives the user options for online payments, time tracking, making of accounting reports , expense tracking and many other features. Its main highlights include the ability to customize invoices and sending late reminders.
Kashoo is a simple app used in accounting for small and medium businesses and can be accessed from a web browser or I pad at any time. It is cheaper compared to FreshBooks. The application has a simple dashboard and options to categorize expenses and incomes for tax purposes. It provides one with the option of sharing data and a simple double entry accounting for making financial statements and bank reconciliation.
Xero online accounting allows a person to check cash flow in real real time. The stand out feature for this package is that it allows people within the organization to share data. It aso allows for customizing invoices.
Cloud On-line Accounting
Swim Things is a local company in Australia that deals with supply and distribution of swimming products in Australia
Important financial tools of analysis are used to steer the growth agenda of the company and to ensure that the strategic plan is followed through. They include;
- Aged Payables (detail)
- Aged Receivables (detail)
- Inventory Item Summary
- Profit and loss
- Trial balance and balance sheet
Swim Things is a local company in Australia that deals with supply and distribution of swimming products in Australia. As a strategic plan, swim things wants to undertake a rapid growth and expansion of its stores and now employs 8 staff with shops and distribution centers in 3 different locations. An ERP system will help in integration of various business functions. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a process by which an organization or a company synchronizes various aspects of a business. It is the integration of key business components by mainly a manufacturing company. The system integrates various key areas of a business such as inventory, sales, finance, marketing, procurement, inventory order and the human resource. There are large software applications that help a company in context of a software. The software helps in implementation of the system (Bragg, 2005).
What is Cloud Accounting?
Sam and Kiera are using XEro, as the ERP implementation software. As a company seeking growth over a strategic five year term, it has several distribution shops and a central location to hold their inventory. It is important to note that, unless the functions of planning, inventory management, human resource management and sales are integrated, then it will be near impossible to attain high efficiency in the business.
A clear recommendation to ‘Swim Things’ regarding whether you believe they should implement an ERP (Cloud computing, 2012).
I believe that Sam and Kiera should implement the ERP system so that they can be able to manage, plan and control inventory, distribution of inventory, management of human capital and overall sales management. Implementation of the ERP basically provides an increased business efficiency.
Justification for your recommendation including the key benefits and potential disadvantages of Swim Things implementing an ERP when compared to their current system, Xero
Benefits of ERP
- It is a cloud based software
- Increases productivity and efficiency
- Management and control of inventory
- Easy to use and flexible
Disadvantage of ERP over Xero
- It becomes a disadvantage if the system is handled incorrectly
- There are so many indirect costs that are associated with an ERP system
- It may be costly in customization and therefore an inflated direct cost(Cloud computing, 2012).
A summarised overview of the Sales Process for Bucks Phyz
The customer makes an order , the sales department records the order, the goods are sent to the customer and when the credit period or time limit is almost up, an invoice is sent to the customer who then pays for the goods.
Internal control weaknesses in Bucks Phyz sale process; (2.5 marks)
- Lack of controls with authorization of transaction due to high turnover of employees.
- Ineffective information systems which has resulted to fraud in the company.
- Responsibilities and job roles not clearly defined since there is a high turn over of employees.
The impact these weaknesses could have on the organisation; (2.5 marks)
- The weaknesses on sales lead to a company’s overall inefficiencies. For Bucks Phyz, weaknesses in the sales process leads to increased losses. This is because; the capacity of the company is compromised and in turn leads to inefficiencies. There is also fraud in sales revenue due to weak internal sales control of the company(Bodnar & Hopwood, 2013).
Specific internal controls which could be implemented by Bucks Phyz in the coming weeks to mitigate the risks posed by the internal control weaknesses you have identified
all purchases should be authorized by Lucinda the Finance director. There should also be a formal procedure in the when a purchase or sale is made in the company.
Impact of the introduction of corporate credit cards
encourage larger and more frequent purchases. Also since this is a small company, the staff are more likely to make inventory purchases on a regular basis because it has limited cash on hand. There is also a risk of accumulation of high debts and high interest payments when the corporate credit card is used in a bad way which may cause major financial problem for the company (Bragg, 2005).
Potential risks associated with the introduction of corporate credit cards within Bucks Phyz
- Risk of not controlling expenses
- High costs
- Loss of time and possibility of fraud
- Rise in Charges and commissions
Specific Internal Controls which should be implemented by Bucks Phyz to minimize the impact and occurrence of the risks you have identified
Benefits and limitations of Cloud Computing
Buckz Phyz should consider creating a formal credit card procedure that gives authority or dictates which employees are authorized to use Bucks Phyz corporate credit cards. For example Lucinda and the Finance Director should be incharge of implementing this policy. The policy should state the types of purchases that are allowable for Buckz Phyz and the procedure for documenting the expense made via the corporate credit card.
Regular statement review is yet another internal control that can mitigate any risk that the company faces with the introduction of the corporate credit cards. This should be checked by George, the sales manager, because he knows a thing or two about pricing. Credit cards statements and supporting receipts should be reviewed by a senior employee who is knowledgeable in the operations of the business. The ideal employee to carry out this work is one who is not a credit card holder and should also be willing and comfortable to enforce internal control policy regarding to coding of expenditure and receipts (Bragg, 2005).
The importance of information systems in organizations
To further assess the importance of the concept treated, in the question "Why is it important information systems and information technology? Is asked, to which it responds the following: Why is it important? Accounting, finance, operations management, marketing, human resources administration or any other main business function. I think that such a response is more than enough to visualize the importance that is currently given to information systems, because, in the words of the authors of, these types of knowledge constitute an element vital to successful organizations and businesses (Buyya, Vecchiola & Selvi, 2013).
Information system have changed the way organizations in the current settings operate. Most of the processes are automated and operations are run by machines. IT provides a model in which the current platform of operations is implemented. The current competitive advantage takes or reduce the advantage of rivals. Information Technologies is conceptualized as convergence of computing in telecommunications and data mining techniques. There are various levels of data mining which is specifically important to organizations and companies seeking to have large data bases
Be able to understand and apply foundation principles relating to computerized information systems in contemporary organizations;
There are several principles and foundations that have governed computerized information systems. They include; recognizing and managing complexity in an organization. The second is to focus on the adoption of the technology as an integral part of the system. The third is to deliver tangible and visible benefits that can help the organization in the future. Other principles include the mitigation of risks, provision of strong leadership and extensive communication to the end users. It should also deliver a seamless user experience for it to be easily understood (Williams, 2010).
Explain the role of data analysis tools and data mining; be able to illustrate typical network configurations and identify the components of a network;
Data analysis is a tool that uses data or big information to analyze and interpret it for decision making. The role of data analysis is to ensure that an organization is making inroads in adoption of technological systems. Computer systems and networks have various components which include, network interface card, network operating card and the local operating system LOS. Other components include the servers, the clients , transmission media, shared data and peripherals (Williams, 2010).
Evaluate accounting information system architecture and generate models of business events;
the business models generated and the events that the company generates include the accounting information system models which is used for profitable business models.
Identify organizational risk and generate systems that control that risk;
Organizational risks involved in systems include business inherent risks, operational risk, financial riks and risks that the company may loose a lot of information upon compromise of the systems.
and be able to analyse, synthesise and apply the concepts underpinning systems planning development and implementation.
Planning, analysis and development of systems is done by the company in order to
Bodnar, G., & Hopwood, W. (2013). Accounting information systems. Boston [etc.]: Pearson Education.
Bragg, S. (2005). Inventory accounting. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.
Buyya, R., Vecchiola, C., & Selvi, S. (2013). Mastering cloud computing. Waltham, MA: Morgan Kaufmann.
Cloud computing. (2012). Brussels.
Romney, M., & Steinbart, P. (2018). Accounting information systems. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
Soll, J. (2009). The information master. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Williams, M. (2010). A quick start guide to cloud computing. London: Kogan Page.
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