Global Management Accounting Services (GMAS) is an integrated suite of outsourced accounts management services that are provided to several small and medium sized business units and organizations. It aims to maintain the quality and continuity of the operations, implementation of the technologies, resource management and optimization along with better management of labor. There are various services and operations that are carried out by GMAS. The report covers the analysis of the business process that is followed and carried out in GMAS. The strengths and weaknesses of the current system along with the new systems and technologies that can be implemented have been covered in the report.
List of Participants, Inputs and Outputs
The participants in the current system include the managerial and operational members of the staff at GMAS along with the various clients that are associated with GMAS. The accounting system that is associated with GMAS is also a participant that is used in the purpose of providing the desired services and applications.
The set of inputs include the sales data and records. The information of the contract signed by the client, claim details, customer and supplier information come under the inputs that are provided to the system.
The set of outputs include copies of invoice, forms of unpaid debt, reconciliation statement and payroll reports.
Current Business Process Model
Current Business Process Model
The business process model that is currently followed in GMAS is as illustrated above. There are various activities that are covered under this process. The flow of the accounts receivable department and the associated activities are represented with the help of a diagram.
Strengths of the Current System
- The current system has a strong reports management system and there are weekly and monthly reports that are generated. These reports aid in the verification and validation of all the activities that are carried out by GMAS.
- The follow-up process that is followed in GMAS is strong as it is this process which helps in the collection of information regarding the invoice and payment management (Nih, 2015).
- The integration and cohesiveness of the current system is also one of its major strengths as all the activities are inter-linked and inter-dependent on each other.
- The members of the staff are used to the current system which makes it easy for them to understand the processing of the system.
Inefficiencies of the Current System
- Security is one of the major challenge and drawbacks that has been observed in association with the current system. There may be security risks and attacks that may impact the sensitive accounting and financial details. These security vulnerabilities and weaknesses may give rise to the security risks and attacks, such as:
- Risks to the information sets by the occurrence of the security attacks like information breaching, information loss and leakage, denial of service attacks, malware attacks etc.
- SQL injection attacks may be executed to damage the database being used in GMAS.
- There may be various forms of network attacks that may also take place which may have an adverse implication on the network security. These attacks include man in the middle attack, eavesdropping attack etc.
- The use of technology and technical tools in the current system is not as per the latest advancements. There are several automated and advanced technologies that are present in terms of the Business Intelligence services and activities. This has led to the involvement of certain replicated and unnecessary activities that could be avoided for faster processing of the operations.
Improvement through Business Process Re-Engineering & Use of IT
There are various modifications that need to be done to the current set of business processes that are carried out in GMAS.
The core business processes include accounts receivable, claims process and management, invoice generation and management, verification and validation, information management, cash flows and credit processing. There are sub-activities that are involved in each of these processes (Zigiaris, 2010).
There are certain inefficiencies that are associated with the current processes as listed and described in the section above.
IT can be of great aid for the elimination of the inefficiencies listed above.
There are many of the security tools and techniques that can be used and applied for each of the business process for the enhancement of the security of the overall system. These security techniques shall be applied so that the financial transactions and information is secure and is also kept private.
There are many technological tools that have been developed under the umbrella of Big Data and Business Intelligence. These tools and technologies shall also be used and applied to make sure that the tasks such as information analysis and management are carried out in an automated manner.
Technologies for Business Process Improvement
Business Intelligence (BI) is a technology that is used for the analysis of the data to allow the management with the ability to take easy business decisions.
There are many technologies that come under BI, such as data analysis, data mining, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP), data warehousing and many more. These technologies can be applied in this case for the enhancement and improvement of the business processes.
Data analytics and Online Analytics Processing (OLAP) are the technologies that can be used for the analysis of the supplier and customer information. There are also a lot many details that are associated with the operation of claims processing. The information around claims such as claim type, premium details, insurance plan, owner details etc. can be automatically analyzed using data analytics tools to identify whether the claim is valid or not (Babu, 2012).
OLAP includes the analysis on the multi-dimensional aspects and the results that are obtained after the analysis bring out the solutions to the complex and huge calculations that are involved in the accounting operations and activities. Trend analysis along with sophisticated data modeling is also carried out by using the same. Similarly, data mining and data warehousing are the technologies that come under BI which are used for intelligent analysis and management of the data (Nakhaei, 2012).
Big Data Tools
Big Data is a buzzword that is present in the field of technology in the current times. These tools make sure that the huge clusters of data are managed with ease and the necessary business information is also extracted from the same.
In the case of GMAS, there is a lot of data and information that is involved in terms of the accounts related data, supplier and customer information and a lot more. This data may be of different types, such as, structured and unstructured data along with semi-structured data. There are also different types and formats of data that are involved in the information and data sets associated with GMAS (Jain, 2013).
Big Data tools can be applied in the case of GMAS for efficient management of the data and the streamlining of the business processes and operations.
Traditional databases are no longer applicable and suitable as per the need of the current data requirements. It has become necessary to make use of advanced databases for the management, storage and retrieval of information and data sets.
Cloud databases have recently come into the picture after the huge success and adaptation of cloud computing platforms in various business sectors. Cloud services are being used by every industry and accounts management department is no different (Arora, 2012).
Cloud databases are the databases that are created and are present on the cloud platforms. These virtual storage spaces allow the users and business organizations to store and perform all of the data operations on the cloud. There are many cloud databases that have been created by different vendors as per the necessary cloud model and the requirements of the organization.
In case of GMAS, private cloud model shall be used for the creation and setting up of the cloud database. In this manner, there will be abundant storage space that will be available with the elimination of the infrastructural costs associated with the databases.
These cloud databases are also compatible with the latest technical tools and applications, such as Big Data tools and Business Intelligence applications. This would allow GMAS to include enhanced level of automation in its set of services and business operations (Curino, 2011).
Security is one the critical and most significant aspects of the financial and accounting information. It is because of the reason that this category of information is extremely sensitive and its exposure to the unauthorized entities and units can be very dangerous.
There can be legal implications and punishments that may also come up in case of a security attack or occurrence.
Technology shall therefore be used in the area of security for the secure management of data and information. There are many security tools that have been developed that can automatically detect the malicious activities and the attempts of the intruders to enter or access the sensitive data sets.
Network security tools can be used in the case of GMAS as the use of cloud databases and cloud services may bring in many network related security attacks. There are network based intrusion detection and prevention systems that have been created. These systems have the capability to detect the network intruders as soon as they attempt to scan, monitor or enter the networks (Pareek, 2011). There are alerts that are created by these security tools that aid in the prevention and avoidance of the security risks and attacks. There are also automated network scanning and monitoring systems that can also be used in association with GMAS. These systems will keep a log of the network data and information so that the malevolent activities can be detected and the information around the same is regularly maintained and updated (Boneh & Mitchell, 2010).
There are security tools that are also created for malware protection. There can be various malicious codes that may be launched by the attackers and intruders along with the attempt to execute the denial of service attacks. These attacks and codes can be avoided and prevented by using anti-malware and anti-denial tools. These tools will regularly scan the information sets and the networks to make sure that such security attacks do not take place. There are also features to control the ransomware attacks that are present in some of these tools.
Access control and authentication are two measures that are necessary to make sure that the security of the information and the system is always maintained. There are many access control mechanisms that are available and have been created with the advancement of technology. There are tools that can also be used in this regard in terms of role based and attribute based access control mechanisms. The authentication of the users and entities can also be done by using technical authentication checks and controls such as biometric based authentication systems and likewise (Thion, 2008).
There are various ready to use accounts management systems and software that have been created. These packages can be observed and analyzed by the executive of GMAS to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each system. In this manner, the details around the pros and cons of the systems and the flaws present in the current process followed at GMAS will be highlighted.
The management may then decide to adopt a customized version of such packages or a sub-system of such packages in their business operations and activates. There are automated packages that are available for payroll management services, claims processing systems, invoice and billing generation and likewise.
Proposed Workflow Diagram
The business process model of the proposed system has been illustrated above. There are various inputs, outputs and operations that are associated in the system that has been proposed.
The set of inputs will include the inventory details, orders that will be placed along with the billing information that will be provided. All of these details and information around the billing, customer and supplier details and inventory will be fed in to the system. The information will be processed by using Big Data tools such as ETL or Hadoop. The operations such as processing of the facts, recognition of the patterns, aggregation of the data sets, dimension processing etc. will be carried out.
There will also be use of data analytics, warehousing and mining that will be witnessed in the entire business process.
The output that will be generated by the new set of business processes will include the sales data and reports that will be processed along with marketing and logistics details.
There will be involvement of security tools and concepts that will also be witnessed in each stage.
Operations of the Newly Re-Engineered Business Process
There will be many activities and operations that will be carried out by the new system that has been proposed.
The new system will have a variation from the current system and there will be addition of the technologies and concepts from the areas of security, Big Data and Business Intelligence in the new system.
The data and information around billing, customer and supplier details will be fed in the system. The processing of the information and claims along with the calculation of payroll activities such as salaries of the employees and likewise will be done in the system. However, it will have an additional process of validation and verification at each step from the aspect of security.
The security tools will make sure that the information and the activities that are involved are not exposed to the unauthorized entities.
Once the processing of information will be done, there will be outputs that will be generated in the forms of processed claims, sales reports and records along with the reports on the operational data and information.
GMAS is set of services that involve financial data and information. This information is sensitive and critical in nature. It aims to maintain the quality and continuity of the operations, implementation of the technologies, resource management and optimization along with better management of labor. Reports management, follow-up processes and level of integration are some of the strengths of the current system. There are also many inefficiencies and weaknesses that are involved with the system in terms of security of the information along with the use of outdated technology. Many new technologies and technical concepts shall be used in GMAS for the enhancement of the business continuity and the streamlining of the operations. There are many technological tools that have been developed under the umbrella of Big Data and Business Intelligence. These tools and technologies shall also be used and applied to make sure that the tasks such as information analysis and management are carried out in an automated manner. There are many of the security tools and techniques that can be used and applied for each of the business process for the enhancement of the security of the overall system. These security techniques shall be applied so that the financial transactions and information is secure and is also kept private. These technologies shall be analyzed on the basis of the needs and requirements of the organization and shall be applied and used thereafter.
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