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INFT6500 Accounting Information Systems 3

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  • Course Code: INFT6500
  • University: Newcastle University
  • Country: United Kingdom


A brief summary of the ?rm and it’s current situation appears below. This may not be complete, and may even be inaccurate. If you wish to ?nd out more or clarify any aspects relating to the job you seek more information from your instructor.

Overview – Maria’s Aquariums

Maria’s Aquariums was set up by Maria Piscatore some 25 years ago. Maria was very interested in ?sh (both cold water and tropical) and she set up breeding facilities to pursue that interest. Initially she saw the work more as a hobby than as a business. However as time passed Maria began to produce many more and larger varieties of aquarium ?sh and, somewhat to her surprise, people were interested in purchasing them. Initially she sold her ?sh direct from the hatchery on the Central Coast in NSW, but over time the business just grew and eventually it became not just the hatchery but also 3 retail outlets selling ?sh bred in the hatchery (as well a full range of aquarium supplies that she sourced from other wholesale outlets). The retail outlets are located in Gosford, Chatswood and Wollongong. The hatchery site now also includes the head o?ce and a large warehouse to which the retail aquarium supplies (which are eventually be sold from the retail outlets) are delivered and stored.

Maria retired in 2012, the business is now run by her eldest son, Raymond. The business is relatively pro?table but Raymond has come to realise that unless he takes steps to improve the e?ciency of the current operations that situation will not continue.

Raymond also hopes to expand the business. He has done some market research and believes that there would be good demand for additional retail outlets in Goulburn, Co?s Harbour and Canberra. (The hatchery could easily produce su?cient stock to supply the additional demand). In the medium term Raymond hopes to expand the business along the east coast of NSW and in the longer term nationally. BUT Raymond knows that his expansion plans will not work until he ?rst improves the way the business functions at present.

The time is right to look at how IT can support the existing business AND enable his future business plans. This is why he wants your assistance!

Currently, Raymond spends a portion of each week at each retail outlet (he needs to do this to monitor their operations), some time ‘on the road’ visiting the ?rms that supply the products sold in the shops and the remainder at the head office. Of course this involves a great deal of travel and is leaving little time to continue developing his business. He realises he will not be able to spend the same sort of time in the Goulburn, Coffs Harbour and Canberra stores when they are opened.

Your implementation plan will concentrate on the issues involved in the implementation of the system you have recommended for Maria’s Aquariums.

Your report should contain:

  • Implementation Strategy: an outline that details the implementation strategy you will be using for the new system. Discuss why you have chosen this strategy, the issues and risks you could expect to encounter, and how you will manage
  • Testing Strategy: an outline that details the testing strategy that you will implement. It should detail what is to be tested and how you will test it. This should dealwith the whole system testing strategy. You should include examples of test data that you would include in a test bank and describe the situations that they are intended to cover. You should also include evaluation strategies that detail how you will decide if your testing has 
  • System Controls: - an outline  of the system controls that will be implemented in your new system. This should be an overview of all controls that you consider necessary; ranging from large-scale issues such as disaster/recovery planning, normal operations procedures, backup schedules and procedures as well as security
  • Post Implementation Review Strategy: – an outline of when the review is to occur, what is to be reviewed and what the outcomes of the review are likely to


Background of the study:

Maria’s aquariums was originally founded and set up by Maria Picastore who was an aquarium and fish enthusiast and gradually with time, her hobby in fishes turned out to be a business when people started purchasing the exotic hybrid fishes that she used to produce. Gradually the business expanded and she started selling other aquarium supplies from the retial stores that she had started in Chatswood, Wollongong as well as Gosford and the hatchery along the central coast of NSW was the acting wholesale distributer of the retail shops. Once she retired from the business operations her eldest son Raymond took over the business and started making plans to even expand it in the future.

Presently, he has studied the market and decided to implement a strategy that would help in further improving and expanding the business. Now he needs a new technology that should help him to automate business processes and make operational tasks faster and more efficient so that he can expand the business as he has planned. He requires a perfectly designed system that should execute payrolls as well as other processes accurately as well as in the in the least possible time. The system should be able to generate accurately customized tax and revenue reports and all the retail outlets should be connected to the headquarters.

Considering all the requirements of Raymond for the successful business improvement and expansion software called BambooHr has been suggested. This report will highlight the different aspects of the strategic implementation of this software within the organization suc as its advantages, disadvantages etc.


Implementation strategy:

BambooHR is one of the best human resources management systems that is being used by small and medium businesses like Maria’s aquariums. It has an extremely user-friendly interface and a presentable and professional look. An open application-programming interface or API is used in the software that allows even third party software integration with a variety of tack-on modules, for instance project management, payroll as well as applicant tracking or AT. It helps in making the human resource management within an organization much more flexible and efficient than the traditional manual software’s and manual techniques (Rovida et al., 2015). It is a complex process to decide and work on the strategy of implementation of this software within Maria’s aquariums. It is explained in a systematic format below:

Step 1: Getting started:

In the first step, the trial account should be transferred to a fresh new account that will remove all the data of the trial version from the system database. All the important information like the name of the company which is Maria’s aquariums, and other fields have to be filled in after clicking on the getting started tab on the home page. Specific questions, such as when the HR department plans to give access to all its employees and in which departments, whether or not employee identification numbers will be used, if the administrator is planning to incorporate any third party software or services in the BambooHr application will have to be entered at the time of first time registration on this page (Proctor, Powell & McMillen 2013).

Step 2: First things first - Basics

In this step the basics about the software functioning have to be understood which typically takes a three day training programe. The training will highlight how to use the different kinds of reports within the system. By the end of the training different tasks such as analyzing standard reports, gender profiles, employee headcount, turnover reports as well as including additions and terminations of employees will be clear to the HR manager.

Step 3: Advanced features:

In this section of the training, the application tracking system will be explained and the different tasks it performs, such as learning to create new job vacancies in the BambooHr portal, write fresh offer letters, onboarding new joiners etc (Selvarasu, Sankaran & Itoo, 2014). Other features such as leave policies, types of leaves that should be available to the employees of Maria’s aquariums will be described here. Advanced features will also include the plans like medical, life insurance as well as retirement, and plans that can be defined in the software, that the employees will be entitled to avail (Lovri? & Horvat, 2016).

Risks associated to the strategy:

  • It is a bit costly for a medium scale business like Maria’s aquariums to continue using it in the future. It can be a risk for the company’s information migration to a completely new solution in the future, if Raymond decides to stop using this software considering its high price, in the future (Smolcic, Thomas & Sawyer, 2014).
  • The option to customize the organizational chart is quite complex to understand therefore it can be a risk since any misconception about the advanced features may result in inputting of wrong information by the HR administrators which in turn can affect business operations (Khan, 2013).

Risk mitigation techniques:

  • The key requirement of the organization has to be identified and accordingly the customization of the BambooHr solution can be ordered to the company. Eliminating unnecessary modifications can help reduce the cost of purchasing the software since the price of Bamboo software greatly varies with the customizations needed in it.

The organizational chart can be made even simpler by eliminating the need to include all the designations of Marias Aquariums in the portal, since it is needed in more complex and larger organizations. In a medium scale business like this, such a complexity is not needed presently in terms of defining the organizational structure. However, future provision to customize the software as and when the business expands more is always there within the BambooHr software (Jan et al., 2016).

Testing strategy of the software:

Once the BambooHr software has been successfully implemented in Maria’s aquariums, Raymond will have a session with the HR manager wherein he will explain Raymond the testing process of the software. Subsequently the information will be passed on to the other employees as well. All the features of the BambooHr software will be run through once last time. The HR manager will help Raymond understand how he can contact and stay in touch with the sales people as well as the store managers in the different retail outlets from the head office, using the software. Whenever a customer purchases any product, form any of the retail store and a customer intends to pay through his debit card all the information such as the customer’s name, phone number as well as his physical address will be collected and stored in the BambooHr software (Stone & Dulebohn, 2013). This ensures repeat business from the same customer in the future is possible and home delivery can be offered to him to build trust and goodwill for future repeat business. This in turn will help improve the customer satisfaction. BambooHr is also tied up with all the well-known banks such as the National Australian bank, Westpac bank, commonwealth bank etc. and can help the customers carry out transaction in each of these banks via net banking (Hill & Brierley, 2017).


Evaluation strategies:

Audit Strategy:

The effectiveness of the BambooHr is audited using this strategy, in which the following points are considered:

  • Independence from the other concerns and subjects within the organization at the tie of auditing.
  • Data analysis as well as systematic gathering of all the technical data within the organization to understand the testing strategy.
  • An evidence based evaluation of the HR rules and regulations such as real-time collection of customers feedbacks form the retail shops at the time of checking out or purchasing products to decide if the software can be improved (Ballantyne & Packer, 2013).
  • Clear defining of the software’s objectives and finally implementing it in Maria’s aquariums.
Analytical strategy:

This approach is based on cost-benefit relationship analysis, also known as utility analysis. It seeks to use economic terms of evaluation, which can be better understood by the decision maker of Maria’s aquariums. Raymond will be able to better interpret the terms used in the analytical approach. Takas such as employee hiring, training, turnover, appraisal systems as well as utility analysis for Maria’s aquariums can be performed by this strategy (Brewster, Chung & Sparrow, 2016).

Situations within Maria’s aquariums to be covered by the software:

Some of the organizational situations that BambooHr management software will be handling efficiently within the business are listed and explained below:

- Recruitment: 

This software will ensure that all the processes of recruiting new employees starting from conducting tests and assessments of candidates, webcam interviews etc. will be done by this software and most of the processes will be automated.

- Productivity: 

This software will ensure on time completion of all the important on job training programs that will be conducted online. It will also monitor the performance and productivity of the employees based on results and calculations of the daily sales targets set for the sales people (Hill & Alexander, 2017). For example, when a customer comes to purchase a product at any of the retail store, the software will automatically calculate the percentage of daily sales target (DSR) achieved and based on their after sales support and other parameters, productivity will measured and monitored.

- Training and Compliance: 

Training course work and test links will be available online in the software, which the HR manager can send to the individual employee. The software will, also automatically assign a deadline, as soon as an employee registers for a particular on job training program which has to be completed by the employee before the set date. The employee has to comply with the training policies and the software will be able to remotely monitor if the employee is accessing unethical means to pass the test and immediate actions will betake against the employee if he is found taking help of unethical means to pass the test (Wallace & Webber, 2017). 

- Outsourcing: 

Again, the software can perform this important task. It can help in getting tasks done much faster and efficiently by outsourcing some of the tasks to other third party organizations or individuals. The BambooHr software is capable of monitoring the productivity of these third party individuals who will be responsible to work for the company and automatically process their salaries through the inbuilt payroll tool (Gusset et al., 2014).

- Maintaining customer profiles:

Whenever customer visits a retail store for shopping, a profile for that customer is created and stored in the BambooHr database, which stores information such as the customer name, phone number etc. This ensures repeat business from that customer in the future.


System controls needed in the software implementation:

Disaster recovery plan: 

A proper disaster recovery plan has to be implemented within Maria’s aquariums in order to ensure that even if there are any issues like servers breakdowns are natural disasters there is no data loss and the normal operations of the business till continues. The steps of implementing a proper disaster recovery plan are explained below:

1. Development of a policy statement of contingency planning: 

The policy statement stating the important guidelines that has to be followed by the employees in case of a disaster has to be clearly set and they will be recorded in the BambooHr portal.

2. An analysis of business impact to be conducted:

This analysis will give a complete understanding of the possible consequences of a disaster such as a flood or tsunami that can cause temporary shutting down of the hatchery along the central coast of NSW. Such a study will help the business to decide other alternate options to keep running the business smoothly in such circumstances (Yao et al., 2015).

3. Development of recovery strategies:

The concerned authorities including Raymond should decide recovery strategies such as alternate location for hatcheries or other suitable recovery plans.

4. Developing an IT contingency plan:

An alternate IT plan such as maintaining back up servers and systems that can still run in case of disasters or unforeseen situations should be maintained within the organization.

5. Planning testing, training as well as exercising: 

The disaster recovery plan has to be properly tested before its implementation in the practical scenario otherwise, it can in turn cause even more problems for Maria’s aquariums. The backup systems and servers should be regularly maintained form time to time to ensure their smoother functioning in any unforeseen disaster situation to help the organization recover back to its normal operations.

6. Planning of maintenance strategy:

The disaster recovery plan and the maintenance strategy has to be properly planned and implemented and there should not be any gaps in there reality of implementation. The plan as decided by Raymond after consultation with the concerned department should be well accepted by all the other workers. Only then can it be implemented successfully in case of a disaster.

Back up cycles:

Maria’s aquariums is a medium scale company that do not have many computers and they are connected in a shared common network with a centralized. Data that is transmitted can be stored on different platforms such as emails, word and excel files, presentations as well as the data that is generated by the BambooHr centralized software in the head office. The data from all the subsystems in the retail shops can be backed up in routine cycles to one centralized server that is installed in the head office, which will be under constant monitoring, by Raymond. One half of the data will be back up in the midnight which will be from the retail stores located in Gosford and Chatswood. The other half of the data from the retail outlets in Wollongong can be backed up during the daytime in an interval of 12 hours (Carroll, 2016). This will ensure a systematic data back up within the business. Alternatively, the store managers and salespersons can take instant data backups in flash drives and external hard drives (Agarwal, Goel & Gupta, 2014).


Security measures:

Security measures such as setting up strong passwords, which should be a mixture of numbers, uppercase, and lower case letters should be used in the computers within the workspace. Additionally, strong enterprise antivirus solutions such as Kaspersky internet solution should be installed in the systems to prevent malicious virus attacks on the servers. Audit trail features should also be incorporated wherein Raymond as well as the HR personnel can keep a track of what information has been accessed by which employee and on which system (Alamsjah, Prayogo & Pursetyo, 2016).

Normal operations:

The normal operations of Maria’s aquarium can be ensured by the proper implementation and running of the bambooHr solution through which the headquarter will always remain connected to the retail outlets in Gosford, Chatswood as well as Wollongong. In this way, he can have a real time track of all the sales person and store managers across the different sites including the workers in the hatchery along the coast of NSW. Different operations such as payroll management (which is the only automatic process in the present scenario within the business) as well as other management tasks such as operations, sales and marketing will be automated and help in the overall normal working of the business (Anderson, 2013). 

Post implementation review strategy:

There are different stages of the post implementation review strategy. For Maria’s aquariums, these stages are triggering of the idea to implement BambooHr and then presenting a proposal regarding the same to the management including Raymond. Once it is accepted and approved by the management, it will be tested and then implemented within the business. All the process details at every stages will be documented and stored by the HR management for future references. If there are any problems arising at the process of implementation then alternate solutions and fall back have to be documented in the change records database (Aswathappa, 2013). After the successful implementation of the BambooHr software, its functioning will again be re-verified using real-time based situations when the customers are shopping at the retail stores and based on the outcomes the change will be stated as successful and the project manager will be taking Raymond through a survey. There he can put forward his opinions and ideas of further improvement of the strategy within the business for the future.



Agarwal, M., Goel, P., & Gupta, R. C. (2014). E-HRM and Recent Strategies: New Spice for HR Practitioners. Global Journal of Finance and Management, 6(6), 557-562.

Alamsjah, M. A., Prayogo, L. S., & Pursetyo, K. T. (2016). Business Analysis of Intensive Fish Farming with Aquaponic Systemusing Probiotic and Biofertilizer from Gracilaria sp. Seaweed Waste. Asian Journal of Applied Sciences (ISSN: 2321–0893), 4(02).

Anderson, V. (2013). Research methods in human resource management: investigating a business issue. Kogan Page Publishers.

Aswathappa, K. E. M. A. L. (2013). Human resource management: Text and cases. Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Ballantyne, R., & Packer, J. (2013). Ecotourism: themes and issues. International handbook on ecotourism, 1-8.

Brewster, C., Chung, C., & Sparrow, P. (2016). Globalizing human resource management..

Carroll, R. (2016). Identifying risks in the realm of enterprise risk management. Journal of healthcare risk management, 35(3), 24-30.

Gusset, M., Fa, J. E., Sutherland, W. J., & Horizon Scanners for Zoos and Aquariums. (2014). A horizon scan for species conservation by zoos and aquariums. Zoo biology, 33(5), 375-380.

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