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HI5019 Strategic Information System for Business Assignment
In this business competitive world, organisations are striving to achieve management goals through their excellent business performance. Nowadays technologies have taken over the charge and are providing excellent support to the organisation. However, with an increased competition in the market, organisations are required to improvise on their technological area to promote smooth business operations. It is essential to develop new strategic measures to ensure that the organisations are able to implement the necessary changes in the business processes to boost the business operation. Technology, nowadays have become a necessity for almost every organisation that exists in the market place, and so does the need of upgrading the security and software.
An Accounting Information System or AIS, generally a computer based method used by a business in order to collect and store data and information related to finance, so as to be used by tax agencies, creditors and investors.The use of AIS ensures an efficient and secured recording and reporting of the financial transactions and data in case of a requirement in future. While the business processes like manufacturing, sales and marketing, finance, product planning, etc. are managed by a software and technology known as the ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning; more like a set of applications, ERP helps in collection, managing and interpretation of data from the business processes of an organisation that are listed above.
Case Study 1
Disk4U is a small-capital business consolidated within family proprietary concerns. They deal in Vinyl Records and CDs from various media and genres. Disk4U conducts their primary business through four store fronts spread in the city of Sydney. Their business processes are usually consisting of conducting one-to-one personal sales over physical shops. They conduct personal accounting and auditing of their processes for example, through a small team of internal auditors. The company is not listed on the Australian Securities Exchange or ASX so it is not mandated to produce business reports or financial statements addressed to the shareholders. However, the suppliers and the dealers, business partners etc. require the audit reports and income statement of the company for further evaluation. Therefore, accounting forms a very important part of their business architecture (Mancini, Dameri&Bonollo, 2016). The company has recently ventured into expansion of their sales process through phone and mail orders. This has naturally higher human resource demands. New delivery boys have been recruited and an exclusive telephone network for the usage of the store business processes. The store now supports doorstep delivery on mail or by person. Also, telephone orders can be placed which are later delivered in quick response. In the meanwhile, Disk4U’s business processes have increased manifold. They require more rigorous accounting now that the number of orders has naturally increased. The cost-benefit analysis of the latest plan is usually continuously evaluated along with the Key Performance Indicators, to determine whether the amount of investment going in is likely to bring propitious returns. The store conducted its business in conventional means until it expanded itself into the e-commercial domain through the introduction of a local EBay channel. This has seriously warranted the need of modernized management and accounting preferences. The EBay channel supports online ordering of their products which is subsequently delivered to the customer. The service radius is limited, as of now, to the Sydney metropolis and some outskirts. This overall expansion has dramatically increased the number of orders placed per day. Manual accounting and the internal audit team is finding it extremely difficult to cope up with all the information that is coming in with it (Collier, 2015). There is an urgent need to balance the supply-demand ratio because of the increasing demand of products in the domain. Manual accounting procedures were employed to keep an account of the supply of resources. Disk4U has partnered with the major studios of the country and they directly conduct their retail sales through Disk4U. However, as Disk4U’s demand profiles are rising, they are putting more and more supply requisitions on these studios to get their official vinyl records or CDs. The scope of manual accounting is however, limited in this regard.
The developing business requirements that stem from a growing consolidated business in Australia, as evident from the recent records, require efficient management of information. In this regard, most companies have benefited greatly through the incorporation of Enterprise Resource planning or ERP software which integrates management and planning strategies in the organisation through efficient use and manipulation of data as and when required (Leon, 2014). The use of Information systems can improve the manual accounting procedures greatly. When it comes to business growth, it is incumbent on the management to continuously report the financial data on a platform where it is accessible to the stakeholder. The information which can be considered as material needs to be incorporated in the financial statement. According to listing rules of the ASX, it is absolutely essential to maintain continuous reporting and disclosure of data which can, in some way, influence the informed decision of a stakeholder or a prospective investor. Therefore, information can be considered as the lifeblood of any growing business. To sustainably manage information, improvement needs to be brought about in the conventional style of accounting and business reporting.
An ERP or the Enterprise Resource Planner will integrate and manage all aspects of the business through an automated topology. Right from the traceability of the business brand to the supply of raw materials, from the management to the optimization of the payroll, strategic planning of production to financial control and even the stakeholder relationship and consumer relations etc. everything is manageable through an ERP solution. ERP typically offers greater insight into the organisation’s supply chain management. In a small or growing business, it is important to make critical decisions when it comes to accounting of a huge repository of information. More and more businesses are migrating from an excel spread sheet based accounting procedure to an ERP based integrated business control procedure subsequently gaining promising results (Ramazani, Askari&Fazli, 2014).
Across Australia, one of the most trusted software platforms for implementing ERP integration into business and accounting processes is SYSPRO. SYSPRO supports integration across all levels of the entire business infrastructure. It is a beginning ERP user’s most interactive and friendly environment. SYSPRO has been adopted to synchronise the different processes and environments which include:
6. Job Shops
Small businesses like Disk4U who are expanding into the larger domains of the industry need to be flexible, adaptable and responsive in their actions. Whether the businesses incorporate manufacture to stock, to order or using discrete process or are simply third party vendors, SYSPRO offers a variety of tools to plan and implement improvement and maintain the internal controls. SYSPRO offers accounting, reporting and resource management techniques that are much easier to learn, master and operate rather than the bulky spread sheet methods used conventionally. SYSPRO ERP software attempts to improve the core competencies of small and medium businesses including:
1. Management of inventories so that the rising trends on the availability-cost ratio can be optimised efficiently. The general effort is to keep the inventory of completed and sellable products to as minimum as possible (Gogus&Ozer, 2014). Therefore, SYSPRO will help in decision making by helping the managers to understand which product to be stocked, at what expense and in what sequence.
2. Whenever a quite is confirmed, SYSPRO will automatically increase the level of supply actions that are required to fulfil the customer order. It also ensures the cost integrity and calculation of profit for all the bid processes. In this way, the Accounting software integrated into SYSPRO will help to provide the quotes that control the costs and keep incurred costs to a minimum. SYSPRO also comes with a specialised Product Configurator which helps to regulate the order processing for small businesses.
3. SYSPRO helps in defining and implementing single-level simple billing as well as complex bills which incorporate multiple measuring units and coarse relationships.
4. SYSPRO improves upon the conventional methods of calculating lead times and elapsed times instantaneously and dynamically. Therefore, it better optimises the product order quantities. There is another specialised feature in the software known as Engineering Change Control or the ECC which facilitates the proficient management and adaptation to chance of versions.
5. The entire scheduling of the business processes in Disk4U right from acquiring deals associated with their relevant auditing to the delivery management can be maintained and managed by the SYSPRO tools. SYSPRO incorporates single-constraint and multi-constraint scheduling followed by the schematic sequencing of procedures leading to a sustainable blueprint of operations in the business architecture.
6. It is of utmost importance in limited capital businesses to plan the capacity and requirements for materials supply (Antonelliet al. 2014). This includes the inspection of work which is in progress. This functionality is supported by SYSPRO where a product is typically receipted with respect to a variety of factors when the final product quality varies.
7. Labour or staff management is very important when a business considers expansion across domains (Ibrahim, 2013). Disk4U is a growing business and needs to hire more staff to successfully implement its novel practices. Therefore, it needs to monitor the actual labour hours versus the estimated requirements. SYSPRO will help with its labour management tools.
8. SYSPRO incorporates shop-floor data collection software which is independent of the versions and topologies used. SYSPRO integrates with the existing CAD methods to help out in this regard.
9. SYSPRO will capture the details of a specific job, track and analyse the costs associated with it and determine the profitability extracted from it in real-time. This also determines the fixed costs and overheads so that it becomes easy for the management to monitor any discrepancies from their ideal model. For business reporting regulations, the job data can be easily retrieved from the R&D department.
10. One of the leanest advantages of using SYSPRO is that it can provide efficient costing control where it supports the modelling of what-if material effects and routing costs. It also helps in evaluating the job-cost performance, analysing the pricing and margins with unadulterated visibility of the details, including the cost details of the co-products and the by-products.
11. SYSPRO Espresso comes with the package. It is a mobile ERP solution that can be used by the employees of the organisation who are given access to sensitive data. Espresso is a real-time information repository that can be referenced when the employees are not in the office for incidental needs. It can be called a ‘device agnostic’ because it gives free and unhindered access to effectively operate the business even when the executives are not present in the office environment.
The cost to benefit ratio is miniscule when considering an ERP solution for Disk4U considering its current stature as a limited capital privately owned business organisation. The cost consideration of using ERP software depends on a number of factors. For a small business like Disk4U will include the consideration of the deployment type. Considering the budget allocated for the process, the on premise deployment of both the software and the infrastructure can be availed from SYSPRO. Some related costs of consultation, business modelling and employee training needs to considered but these are mostly periodic in nature. Therefore, the return on investment is excellent. However, there are options of hardware rental through hosted deployment type which can do the work for small businesses. Software licensing costs are included (Alewine, Allport&Shen, 2016 ).
Case Study 2
Sungate foods, a company producing rice and wild rice deals both domestically and internationally, buying from approximately 350 farms and delivering the items as per the requirements of the customers. The orders and financial transactions are recorded manually, wasting huge time and creating errors (Dillard &Yuthas, 2013). Weeks are wasted over the work, involving staffs who could have helped in other areas in order to improve the functioning of the company; hence, large numbers of staff are appointed, leading to a jumbled cluster of data.
To deal with the present scenario and to ensure a solution to the existing problem at hand, the company should consider the introduction of information technology in its daily accounting and collection of data (Collis & Hussey, 2013). The alignment of information technology with the functioning of the company will ensure an efficient and smooth result. The issue of collecting and managing of the data regarding the company workers and the daily financial transactions can be solved with this step. Also, it would ensure a more connected and organised running of the business, hence making AIS a clever option for the company. Opting AIS software will not only let the company save time and effort by efficient management of data, but it will also let the company save its valuable profit that otherwise was swept away in the hectic procedure experienced before (Muhammad &Kusuma, 2014). AIS can help to provide a more precise and appropriate storage facility, leading to the company to boost its performance in the competitive market of 21st century. The neat and accurate storage and management of data will also ensure in the company’s reduced expenses spent on auditing (Shaul&Tauber, 2013).
Talking about successful recording of financial data, AIS can also help in providing a detailed idea about the financial situation of the company. As the main objective of a company is to earn and manage cash efficiently. AIS software can help the company benefit in the same. With a thorough analysis of the present financial condition of the company, the AIS can help to plan the strategies and steps to be taken in future to acquire a more improved and effective outcome.
An AIS software designed well to fit the requirements of the company will enhance the capability to take effective and on spot decisions for the welfare of the business. The efficient storage and handling of the data regarding the company people will provide the company satisfaction and security, allowing the workers to access the data allowed that they have a right on; keeping the other information intact, that is significant to the company. This will also help in the evaluation system of the staff, helping the company to decide the future of a staff member on the floor depending on their performance and quality of work; paying wages and calculating the daily profit and loss percentage will be a matter of minutes (Hoch &Dulebohn, 2013).
Along with the accounting system, comes a number of facilities that can help in speeding up the daily work of the company saving more than enough time to plan and implement profitable schemes. Facilities like onscreen sales and supplier’s invoices, customer account updating, adjusting stock records, association of business database with accounting combinations, entries associated with staff and automatic payroll calculation. The AIS can also help in providing instant reports like balance sheets, sale analysis, valuation of stocks and calculating overdue amounts in customer accounts (Chofrehet al. 2014).
As Sungate foods are dealing with its present situation, it would be a wise decision to introduce AIS software such as, MYOB or Mind Your Own Business. Used worldwide, MYOB is accounting software providing favourable solutions to any kind of business. It ensures accuracy in work with the minimal effort suited to the company. Reducing frustration of dealing with the tiring heap of accounts piled up on the table daily, the company would have more time to spare on the fields to be explored. Providing clear and neat onscreen data MYOB works with efficiency ensuring the best results avoiding errors caused by poor figures. It not only helps in increasing and maintaining the market, but also the initial cost of the software is minimal; allowing the company to take the decision of introducing the software without any additional headaches (Bernroider&Mitlohner, 2015).
As efficient software, MYOB excels in certain small yet helpful characteristics that can prove advantageous to the company. Simple facilities like speed, which allows company to save valued time and effort, can be gained by the use of this software. Built-in customer databases,stock records, supplier and customer details and formatted screens help in error-free speeding up of the process recording data. Documents associated with the payrolls, purchase orders, invoices, etc can be acquired automatically without any efforts as before. The records are not only generated automatically, but also updated regularly with a press of a button. This in turn also ensures the instant availability of data when required. The software also helps creating appropriate images based on the data fed, providing a more vivid idea about the company business. As Sungate Foods deals internationally and domestically, the accounting software will also help to manage multiple currencies easily. Minimised problems related to exchange rates can allow the company to enhance trade relations with multiple companies, helping it reach the next level (Tran, 2013).
The use of MYOB will not only improve the position of the company in the world market, but will also help the staff members get motivation. Training the staff as required for the operation of the software, will make the workers more skilled; ensuring a greater interest for work and improving the image of the company in the world market in turn. The advent of AIS software thus gives the key to the issues faced by the company in order to improve and connect itself to the modern market.
The conventional styles of accounting and business reporting are no longer efficacious for growing business concerns that are expanding into the larger domains of conducting sales. The requirements are getting stricter and the numbers are growing beyond the control of manual accounting and reporting procedures. Therefore, sustainable solutions need to be incorporated in order to cope up with the demands. The use specialised information systems for accounting helps the employers to monitor the business processes, make critical decisions and report the same for the consumption of the stakeholders. It has been addressed by the learners that the Accounting Information Systems or AIS and the Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP Software, can be used to efficiently manage costs, jobs, production and the overall performance of the business. For Disk4U, the ERP Software SYSPRO uses specialised tools to deal with various levels of the business architecture and for Sungate, budget-efficient software like MYOB has been suggested to efficiently manage the human resources, mills and develop a simple yet extensive accounting strategy that meets the needs of the developing business community of Australia.
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