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1. The current organizational structure
2. What operational problems (e.g., inefficiency, errors) do you think the organisation could experience because of this structure?
3. What is the most likely system acquisition method— commercial software, custom software, or ERP?
4. Describes and prepare a system flowchart of the sales procedures for the chosen organisation (company)
5. Identify any control problems in the system and what sorts of fraud are possible in this system?

1. Development and adoption of the accounting software packages,
2. The current market size,
3. Identify the leaders in the market and what gives them the competitive advantage,
4. Identify the current gaps or challenges encountered by users or customers of accounting software/packages and make relevant suggestions or recommendations.

Part 1

1. Hoogwegt Australia is a common owned ancillary of the private company Hoogwegt Groep B.V., located in Arnhem, the Netherlands. Hoogwegt is a provider of dairy goods and food components to a widespread group of producers situated on each main continent. There are 12 sister concerns internationally that all have widespread industry awareness and competence.

2. When considering the existing organizational structure of Hoogwegt it seems that they might have an unproductive structure. The structure has teams or groups performing unconnected tasks (Anon, 2017). Such as, the structure has manufacturing groups performing the accounting and finance tasks, and they only do the marketing of goods. Due to bulk of reports and accounting been carried out in different departments, there had been errors and inefficiencies.

The business had been facing issues because of the risk that can be caused due to bringing new employees for carrying out certain task (Al-Mashari, Al-Mudimigh and Zairi, 2003). When the operations are growing and there is a need for betterment of workflow efficiencies then it is important that the day to day operations are digitalised and proper accounting is done. One approach to assess, whether the business is on path and matches the industry competitors, is to observe the early adoption rate of the new technology. There are many reasons for which the businesses have to look forward to automate accounting (Nah and Delgado, 2006). The one highly visible result is that Australian economy is in the phase of sustained development and the small businesses are getting more of the workload and therefore they need more employees. 

The scaling of warehouse operations for meeting the demands, along with management of bookkeeping to be done on manual basis can possibly bring clerical errors that can have an adverse impact on the business' financial reports (Allen, Kern and Havenhand, 2002). 

3. This business requires a system that can coordinate its different enterprises. The system should define the duties which are segregated from production group so that the production department can solely focus on the role of producing and similarly the accounting department is totally focusing on the accounting part. In this structure it can be seen that concept of accounting independence was not followed. The accounting activities have to be segregated and independent of other functional regions like marketing and production divide (Nash, 2000). The accounting part has to keep track and monitor the movement of raw materials and also it has to keep track of the sale of the finished goods. When separate accounting software is used in the business, it gets authorisation of purchasing raw materials and disbursing the payments to workers and vendors. When the accounting task is not segregated from other activities it can cause lots of errors and can ruin the business reputation. 

The automatic accounting programs can provide quick and instant reporting for management, such as:

  • summary of the aged debtors,
  • trial balances,
  • sales analysis,
  • payroll analysis,
  • stock valuation and
  • many other similar tasks (Umble, Haft and Umble, 2003).

There are different facilities also offered by the accounting software or accounting systems like recording of the sales invoices and getting their printouts, automated updates of customer accounts and sales ledgers keeping a record of bank receipts and payments. There are different facilities also offered by the accounting software or accounting systems like:

Part 2

- recording of the sales invoices and getting their printouts,

- Automated updates of customer accounts and sales letters

- keeping record of bank receipts and payments,

- automated calculation of payroll and linked entries (O'Leary, 2000). 

4.

                                     

As per the given flowchart of the system, the chosen organisation gets a request from the customer which is also known as the purchase order. The sales representative has to lock in the purchase order and it is forwarded to the contract agent for review of the standard terms and conditions. In case the order fulfils those conditions then the agent approves the order and then it is moved to the attorney for rechecking it. Once that attorney  approves the same then it is sent back to the agent from where the order gets  picked up and is ready to be shipped. In any case if agent does not approve the order then some changes are recommended or else it is marked as rejected. In any case it is it sent back to the agent for making the amendments or even if the order is cancelled.

5. The business was facing issues of evaluating their particular needs against different offerings in the market. There was too much manual recording of the information in Excel or Word files which had to be reduced so that errors could be avoided. In the given structure there were unreliable reporting and it was tedious to sift through manual files when any details required. Also as discussed above the control problems in the system were that all the departments were not in sync and any department could do accounting job irrespective of the expertise (Zornada and Velkavrh, 2005). This could lead to the manipulation in numbers or errors by people due to lack of their experiences.

1. Indeed, even 10 years prior, the demand and utilization of cloud based accounting programming was insignificant in Australia. Reliance on conventional method for accounting was very high amongst business organizations. As per Gartner (2011), the manual accounting sections with the utilization of pen and paper was a typical situation in Australia amid the 1980s. In any case, initiation of a few accounting programming and spreadsheets had changed the arrangement of accounting role in the nation amid 1990s. In any case, Brender and Markov (2013) said that the significant impediment of ordinary accounting programming is that the same can't be associated with the web. Use of cloud based accounting programming in Australia amid late 1990 such as Xero, Quick books and others has achieved a development in the accounting elements of the business firms. The cloud based programming is not at all difficult to utilize, web based and integrated one. These have added to the developing fame of accounting software packs in the nation.

In the perspective of Christauskas and Miseviciene (2012), cloud based accounting programming has turned out to be more than a basic accounting pack to a business managing device. The principle challenge confronted by the firm amid the 1990's was absence of integration because the distinctive components of accounting roles were not ready to connect with each other. Indeed, there was absence of coordination among selling, buying and stock management. Then again, with the expanded complexities in controls, even non-accounting disciplines felt the need to move ahead of the excel sheets. This caused the basis for formation of particular sections like tax collection, secretarial roles, compliance roles and finance. But, these roles were needed to be incorporated with the back office roles. The idea of cloud accounting is not new one in Australia though there was an absence of execution of cloud based accounting programming even five years back. This was usually because of the issues experienced by customary bookkeepers in utilizing cloud based accounting programming. In any case, circumstances have changed in Australia and currently the demand for cloud based accounting programming is becoming famous in Australia.

Hoogwegt Australia

2. Looking at the size of industry, Australia is a very small producer of milk rather it is on world's third biggest dairy exporter because the 50% of milk being produced is exported. It is the third biggest rural industry in Australia which follows wheat and beef. The dairy industry of Australia has a gross value of 4 billion AUD (Fisher, 2016). There are different products in walled in production like yoghurt, butter, milk, cheese, milk powder etc.  In the concentration of Australian dairy industry is mostly towards south-east of Australia and Victoria is the biggest state of production. Victorian production is majorly seasonal and gets into the export market for better returns.  The dairy industry is highly dependent on water availability and since there has been crisis on water policy therefore the industry has done rationalisation. 

3. The major leaders of dairy industry of Australia are Fonterra and Murray Goulburn.  Both of these companies have a competitive advantage because they have long history and there is a mature management system utilised with unique natural environment. The mature and state management system means there are strict quality control standards which are sure the safety of diary goods.  These two have been making use of ERP for keeping control and check over their expenses so that they can achieve lowest cost and better efficiency to remain competitive in the global market. 

4. The current gaps or challenges which are faced by clients of accounting software would involve:

  • Lack of security:  software users are concerned regarding security of the information as these can be accessed by the foreign parties. Although the firewalls are expected to have capacity to resolve this issue but these firewalls can be broken at times (IEEE Cloud Computing Call for Papers, 2014). 
  • Weak reporting capacity of you of the accounting software systems are very weak in assisting the customers who want to get the business data. It is simpler to put in the data however difficult to extract it.  Even for data transfer in, a few of the accounting software items don't permit data to be imported or taken out. 
  • Lack of efficiency and it is known that the business owners want their work to be done at a quicker pace and also in an effective manner. A few of the accounting software items are not user-friendly and the full use of keyboard is prohibited (Kanellou and Spathis, 2013). Use of mouse can make the process to be time-consuming. There are different features which are also missing in these software programs. 
  • Outdated: a few of the accounting software programs are outdated and lack of accuracy. This might lead to errors, slowdown of system, mistakes and data corruption. 
  • Costly and lack of features: generally the customers look forward to obtain the upgraded versions so that they get all the features which they require. 
  • Difficulty in customisation: there are various system restrictions which do not allow the users to carry out customisations as per their need. A few of the systems are very difficult to understand. 
  • Customer relationship management is not easy: when the software or system is complicated then the customer might get stressed out due to lack of training and guidance in utilisation of the software. Even the additional trainings are very costly (Aiken, 2002).
  • 24 x 7 technical assistance: when the accounting software has some issues then the customers have to wait for the next business day for getting the same fixed.  However this issue can be resolved if 24 x 7 technical assistance is available (Heiskanen, Newman and Similä, 2000).
  • Overspeed of accessing data: given that the accounting software is accessed by Internet it is usual that there would be delays because of distance with the locations. The speed issue can also be caused by the speed of server which is utilised for running this accounting software

Therefore it is recommended that accounting software that gives too many complications to the customers are generally the ones which are not up-to-date and not user-friendly therefore they would require change or up gradation (Light, 2001).

For dealing with the above mentioned threats,   it is also recommended that the management find out the strategies to deal with this threats that are faced by ERP, cloud computing, software systems and all those approaches by including the authentication ways, predicated cryptography and information centric protection (Yilmaz, 2015).  It is also important that simple software is utilised and it is better if the software is cloud-based so that it is easier to be used.   It is recommended that the software that is utilised should allow trading in multiple currencies so that the issues which are linked with the exchange rate changes are reduced to minimum. 

References

Aiken, P. (2002). Enterprise resource planning (ERP) considerations. VCU/Institute for Data Research.

Allen, D., Kern, T., & Havenhand, M. (2002). ERP critical success factors: An exploration of the contextual factors in public sector institutions. System Sciences, 2002. HICSS. Proceedings of the 35th Annual Hawaii International Conference on, 3062-3071.

Al-Mashari, M., Al-Mudimigh, A., & Zairi, M. (2003). Enterprise resource planning: A taxonomy of critical factors. European Journal of Operational Research, 146(2), 352-364.

Anon, (2017). [online] Available at: https://prosoftxp.com/pdfs/hoogwegt.pdf [Accessed 20 Aug. 2017].

Fisher, M. D. (2016). Staff Perceptions of an Enterprise Resource Planning System Implementation: A Case Study of Three Australian Universities,

Gartner. (2011). ERP readiness assessment. ( No. 224071510 – Version 1).Gartner.

Heiskanen, A., Newman, M., & Similä, J. (2000). The social dynamics of software development. Accounting, Management and Information Technologies, 10(1), 1-32. doi:10.1016/S0959- 8022(99)00013-2.

IEEE Cloud Computing Call for Papers. (2014). IEEE Cloud Computing, 1(2), pp.41-41.

Light, B. (2001). The maintenance implications of the customization of ERP software. Journal of Software Maintenance and Evolution: Research and Practice, 13(6), 415-429.

Kanellou, A. and Spathis, C. (2013). Accounting benefits and satisfaction in an ERP environment. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 14(3), pp.209-234.

Nah, F., & Delgado, S. (2006). Critical success factors for enterprise resource planning implementation and upgrade. Journal of Computer Information Systems, 46(5), 99.

Nash, K. S. (2000). Companies don’t learn from previous IT snafus. Computerworld, 16(21), 32-33.

O'Leary, D. E. (2000). Enterprise resource planning systems: Systems, life cycle, electronic commerce, and risk Cambridge University Press.

Umble, E. J., Haft, R. R., & Umble, M. M. (2003). Enterprise resource planning: Implementation procedures and critical success factors. European Journal of Operational Research, 146(2), 241- 257.

Yilmaz, R. (2015). Accounting for purchased software based on Turkish accounting standards. Pressacademia, 2(2), pp.181-181.

Zornada, L., & Velkavrh, T. B. (2005). Implementing ERP systems in higher education institutions. Information Technology Interfaces, 2005. 27th International Conference on, 307-313.

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