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.
Importance of Accounting Information Systems
Prior to the introduction of accounting information systems, every organization was required to maintain their records or data whether on a group of computers or manually. It was earlier really difficult and time consuming to verify and to find any data that is recorded in these computers or files prepared manually (bhonsle, 2013).There was a need for change in this field of data recording. With the invention of accounting information systems, the recording of data on computer systems and manually was replaced by these software accounting systems. The main purpose of these accounting software’s is to store, record and classify the data entered into them and provide this useful information with a click of the mouse. Now almost every other firm uses such software’s for the ease of their employees. The entry of accounting information systems has put an end on the manual recording of data in small, medium and large scale firms (Girri, 2001). There are different accounting systems (software’s) available in the market as per the needs of each firm. Accounting software can be prepared by third parties or the firm can prepare itself or they can prepare it together with a third party, that’s why some of accounting information systems are called tailor made accounting software’s (Singhania, 2005).
Earlier companies use to record, analyze, classify and compare data manually or on computers that do not have any common servers. Accounting information systems are cloud based storage systems that stores the information of an organization and provide it according to the need of hour (carl, 2000). It has become really easy with the introduction of these software’s, now if something is to be compared, on a click the employees gets information from such software’s this not only saves their time but also provides with accurate and appropriate results (Arey, 2013). We will now talk about MEEN & SURI Corp, an Australian firm that’s deal in washing machines and other household goods. This firm follows a line organizational structure and has opted accounting information system into their working. MEEN & SURI is a medium scale company and has a vast area of operations. MYOB is the current accounting information system that is used by MEEN & SURI. There are many accounting information systems but below mentioned are few that are on top 3 in Australia.
MYOB: was introduced by an Australian firm and its introducer is Christopher Lee. It is an invention of early 2000’s. MYOB enjoys the cap of 360000+ active users in the Australian and international market (messy, 2011). The full form of MYOB is Mind Your Own Business. It is a cloud data storage system that provides it users services related to taxation, recording and analyzing of data, comparison and other accounting services.
Types of Accounting Software in Australia
Quick-Books: Another accounting information system introduced by an Australian firm is Quick-books, the founder of this AIS was intuit. This software offers services to small or medium size Organization (Misty, 2008).
Reckon-One: Reckon is not that much popular, if it is compared with that of MYOB & Quick-books. It is mostly used by small scale firms and it enjoys a market cap of 120000 active users. It provides services related to payroll etc (Milo, 2015).
Coming back to MEEN & SURI Corp, this Australian firm is using MYOB accounting software into their working. The reason why they use MYOB rather than Quick-books or Reckon-One is because of its range of benefits that are given below:
- Accuracy: One of the main benefits that are provided by MYOB is its accuracy. A firm will only opt an accounting information system that will provide its management with accurate results. There is no point in having large AIS if the results given by it are not accurate.
- Speed& Safety: MYOB is considered to be the one of the fastest Accounting information system that provides accurate results with a fastest speed along with its speed, it is also known for its safety features. There will be less chances of stealing, theft or leaking of confidential data secured with MYOB.
- Ease of use: MYOB is one of the most easily used or we can say it is easily accessible; it doesn’t need much of expertise to use it. It is the most competent accounting information system that is prevalent in Australia and New Zealand(kunal, 2007).
Now we will talk about the organizational structure that MEEN & SURI Corp follows, they follow line organizational structure, in this type of structure there is usually one head (Managing Director or Director) and he is followed by other sub heads (mehta, 2008). This structure is also known as military form of Organizational structure. Most of the self made organization follows this kind of structure. Below is a diagram that will help to understand Line organizational structure easily:
(Above is a Diagram that illustrates how it works in a line Organizational structure)
In a line organizational structure a company only follows to the direction of the managing director or the director. This type of organizational structure suffers from many errors. As the managing director is the only one who has the entire burden of decisions to be made, hence errors are possible to occur. A custom made or a tailor made software for is the most suitable acquisition method for any firm as it allows a company to include or exclude features of the software. Custom made software’s are expensive but they are user friendly and take care of the safety& security of its users.
In a line organizational structure there are many chances of fraud and control problems to occur in daily operation of the firm. As shown in the above diagram there is two departments i.e. Production and Sales. They both are not inter-linked and are managed by two different managers. Here is where the problems occur, Sales manager is not known of the activities that are going in Production department and Vice-Versa. If production department needs any information from sales department, it will take them a long time to acquire such information as there is no co-ordination between these two departments. Another problem is that frauds are also possible under such organizational structure; as different departments are managed by different managers, they will try to hide confidential information to other managers for their personal hidden profits (Vissan, 2005).
With the advent of computers and internet, a need of change was felt in the working of the, small, medium and large scale industries. Computers were first put into use and initially they were used for recording and storing of various information of the business slowly internet was put into use. Then after few years of all this Accounting information systems were introduced, these were the software’s that were using cloud data storage system, which enabled its users to store, record, analyze and classify its data on the servers. This invention of AIS hit the Business market around the world with a boom. In Australia Accounting Information System came as a blessings for many small and medium scale firms as they opted and became a permanent user of such software’s (Yong, 2007). In Australia MYOB accounting information system is the king of the market with a number of 320000+ active customers.
In Australia alone MYOB enjoys a market cap of 320000 active users and a total of 600000 users (Today, 2015). MYOB is followed by Quick-books and Xero. In year 2015-16 the profits of MYOB was around 831-834$ (million). MYOB is said to be the king of Australian and New Zealand Business industry in field of accounting software’s. Below is a table that shows the market price of share of MYOB, Xero and reckon-one as they give throat cut competition to each other.
Blue is for MYOB, Red is for Xero and Quick-books are signed by green. Now as you can see MYOB has the highest number of market price per share among all. This table is taken from a book (Alice, 2010).
Above has been discussed all the bright sides of accounting information systems, now we will here discuss the gaps and challenges that are faced while using accounting software’s.
- Technology is not always 100% loss free, in case of accounting information systems also companies are advised to take care of these software’s by regular updates and daily maintenance(Kaur, 2015). Still such software’s can be hacked and the confidential information stored in them can be leaked.
- Custom made or tailor made software’s that each and every firm desires of are so expensive that a large part of firms revenue goes to maintain such software’s(Garry, 2011). Hence these software’s are not economical.
- These software’s demands to be handled by only experts, a new user will get confused due to complexity of the software’s.
- Accounting information systems are no doubt, introduced for the benefit of a firm but their regular updates and daily maintenance puts a heavy burden on the management mentally and financially as well.
It is really important for companies who make accounting information systems to understand that not each and every firm is capable of maintaining such software’s by updating them regularly. Not every firm who is earning profits is rich. So in order to bridge this gap such companies need to take into consideration given below recommendations:
- Accounting information companies need to expand their area of services, they must lend a technical support to their user companies free for at least a year.
- In the first year of installation of such software’s all the regular updates should be provided for free or at a discount of at least 50-70%.
- Custom made software’s should be charged as per the demand of the clients for their software’s. Software with less specification should be charge less.
By observing all the above provided facts, a brief conclusion is written over here. Nowadays accounting information systems are much needed software’s for a company. They can be refer as a life line of a company’s information system as all the information’s are stored and recorded into them. They come with their own merits and demerits, even after that they managed to rule the market by their features. Hence Accounting Information Systems are now the most considered Software’s in a company.
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