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Implementation of Technology in Accounts And Finance

RESEARCH PROPOSAL

Implementation of technology in accounts and finance

Abstract

The rapid changes in the business conditions are calling for innovation in the various processes. In this situation, the technology stepped in and brought some radical changes in the organisation. The time consuming manual processes have been changed to prompt result production. The ledgers have been replaced by excel sheets and the accounting books have been replaced by various accounting software. The automation of the accounting system has revolutionised the method of taking financial decisions in companies. The managers are now able to access various financial details and reports promptly. They can even procure various types of records and reports from the accountants immediately.

1. Introduction

Technology has become a big part in people’s lives.To match up with the fast paced living environment, technology has started infiltrating people’s work lives as well. Accounting department is one of the most crucial departments in an organisation. Automating this crucial department will surely have an impact in other departments of the organisation. The research reflects upon widescale information and details supporting the statement ‘implementation of technology in accounts and finance’. The data presented in the research shows the advantages and the disadvantages of computerised accounting, the impact it is having on the accounting profession and its impact in the various business processes of an organisation. The research also explores the future prospect of the technology which is used in accounting. Technology has brought in several developments in the accounting scenario of an organisation such as the financial reports are accurate; the accountants are much more efficient and so on. The managers are able to access the information promptly as they can be transferred electronically. This enables smooth and prompt decision making in the organisation which in turn increases the profitability of the organisation.

2. Research problem

There are many new and innovative technologies are being adopted by the different organizations in the department of accounts and finance the corporate world. The accounts and finance department of the organizations have been gaining many advantages with the implementation of the new and advanced technologies. However, it has been found that some of the issues and challenges have been arising in the implementation of the technologies in the accounts and finance. It has been found that there are many organizations which are facing issues in the selection of the best suited technologies according to the demand and requirement of the situation. Due to this reason, many issues have been rising among the members of the accounts and finance department of the organization. It has been found that the new and advanced technologies are complex in nature. Due to this reason, the employees of the organizations have been facing issues in the implementation of the technologies. The employees are not able to understand the functioning of the technologies. This has been affecting the performance of the accounts and finance department of the organizations in a negative manner. It has been found that the implementation of the technologies in the accounts and finance involves high cost. Due to this reason, the small and medium enterprises are not able to adopt the technologies in the accounts and finance department of the organization. Due to this reason, they are not able to compete with other companies of the industry which is one of the issues of the implementation of the technologies in the accounts and finance.

3. Background

Historical

The accounting systems are being used by man since 8500 BC. The accounting systems have not seen many changes in the recent past. Although in the new digital era it is inevitable for the accounting systems to escape from the grasps of technology. Previously, accounts in various companies were maintained in books by accountants manually (Wang, Gupta and Rae, 2015). However, the companies have started recognising the importance of technology and the ways it can be implemented in the accounting to get better, faster and error free results(Dintenfass, 2018). With the invention of new operating systems specially designed for the accounting and financial departments are making the accounting systems much easier and less time consuming than manual accounting. The various professional bodies such as the Association of the Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) have also recognised the importance of technology in the various accounting operations. They have accepted the fact that there is much scope for changes in the accounting systems with the help of technology for making better decisions in business.

Theoretical

In order to survive, an organisation seeks to change and adapt to the changing conditions, according to the open systems theory. The changing business environment and the evolvement of the business processes into complex systems have increased the competition and have changed the decision making processes and the various business processes of many companies. Maintaining high quality, instant access to information, accurate and efficient performances are the main requirements of the modern business organisations. In the fast moving world, the companies are inclined to searching for new methods to increase the profitability of their employees(Ruivo, Oliveira and Neto, 2014). To facilitate this purpose, they are seeking the help of various technologies. The companies are involving technology in the various decisions making processes, designing of the business processes, business transaction and so on. The accounting systems are affected by technology in terms of recording and maintaining the finances and creating various financial reports of the organisation(Silvestro and Lustrato, 2014). The accounting procedures have been taken from the manual books to an electronic platform. Besides the usage of common technology, the companies are also indulging in the usage of various ERP systems such as the Balanced Scorecard to determine the financial status of the company.

Social

The improvement in the technological fields has transformed the business processes as the paper ledgers and the book-keeping books have changed to excel sheets. Advanced software packages are improving the business processes and are providing them with a chance to customize the processes according to their needs. With the involvement of technology in the various business processes the functionality of the departments has improved a lot. Focussing on the accounts department, the accountants are now able to prepare reports and analyses more accurately in a much less stipulated timing(Gitman, Juchau and Flanagan, 2015). The various reports are computed nowadays and they are available within minutes to the managers of the organisation, thus, making the decision making process even faster.

The availability of various accounting software helps the accountants to perform all the tasks in software. The various tax reports are prepared using software tools nowadays, which shorten the time taken for computing complex calculations. The reports are much more accurate and they are always updated according to the new tax laws in the country. The technology has also conquered the audit profession as they have made the inputs, handling entries very easy and even the trial balance is computed automatically.

Intellectual

After the introduction of technology all the information regarding the production management to the delivery of the products are recorded in computerised forums. The computerisation of the accounting systems has made information accessible to all the parts of the company such as the stakeholders, employees, managers and so on (Jain, 2016). The main challenge regarding this system lies in remaining loyal to the organisation and handling the information carefully without any security breach (Tayeh, Al-Jarrah and Tarhini, 2015). This challenge can be encountered through proper awareness about the technologies which are used in the organisation. The employees should be properly trained about the ways to use the technology and they should also be informed about the ways in which they might be facing a security breach(Verfuerth and Potts, 2014). They should also be made aware of the standard measures which they can take if there is a system failure or a security breach to prevent major loses of the organisation.

4. Aims and objectives of the research

The research aim of the study is to identify the impact of the implementation of the technologies in the accounts and finance. Based on the key concepts of the study, the objectives of the research are as follows:

  • To recognize the impact of the implementation of technology in accounts and finance
  • To assess the advantages of the execution of technology in accounts and finance
  • To recognize the issues and challenges faced at the time of implementing technology in aaccounts and finance
  • To identify the measures to overcome the issues and challenges faced in the execution of technology in accounts and finance

5. Research methodology

Research philosophy

In a research, three kinds of research philosophy can be applied. These are positivism, interpretivism and realism. Application of the research philosophy helps in explaining the process of assumption that will be undertaken in making the research. In the present research, positivism research philosophy will be applied. With the application of the positivism research philosophy, the research will be conducted in a scientific manner. This will be providing logic to the research that will be undertaken (Creswell and Clark, 2017). The application of positivism research philosophy will help in finding as well as understanding the hidden facts and information that are related to the implementation of the technology in accounts and finance. This will help in finding the various new and advanced technologies that can be applied in the accounts and finance department of an organization (Graneheim, Lindgren and Lundman, 2017). The application of the research philosophy will help in the manipulation of the data in such a manner that will reduce the chances of errors in the process of the data interpretation.

Research approach

The application of research approach will help in designing the format that will be required to be adopted for conducting the research. There are two kinds of research approach that can be adopted which are deductive and inductive research approach. At the present study, deductive approach will be adopted for undertaking the research(Creswell and Clark, 2017). The application of deductive research approach will help in studying the various concepts and theories that are related to the many technologies that can be used in the accounts and finance. The concepts and theories that are related to the research topic can be understood in a detailed manner. The role as well as importance of the use of technologies in the accounts and finance department of an organization can be understood in a precise as well as clear manner(Singh, 2015). With the application of deductive research approach, the concepts and theories that are related to the research topic will be understood in a detailed as well as clear manner(Graneheim, Lindgren and Lundman, 2017). This will help in conducting the research in an effective manner with proper amount of details.

Research design

With the application of research design, the framework that will be adopted for the study will be explained in a proper manner. In a study, three kinds of research design can be adopted which are exploratory, descriptive and explanatory research design. At the present study, descriptive research design will be adopted for conducting the research in an effective manner. With the application of descriptive research design, information and data will be collected regarding the various ideas and thoughts that are required for conducting the research(Wohlin and Aurum, 2015). This will help completing the research within the time specified and in one of the most appropriate manner. The application of the exploratory research design will help in the identification of the various incidents that can be occurred while conducting the research along with its impact on the process of the collection of the data(Yin, 2017). With the application of descriptive research design, the state of occurrence of the different events in the research will be described in a detailed as well as proper manner. This will help in conducting the study in an effective manner sue to which the objective of the study will be accomplished in the best way possible.

Data collection procedure

Data sources: primary and secondary

Through different sources of data, the data that is required in the study will be collected in adequate amount. At the present research, the data will be collected from two different sources. The sources for the collection of the data are primary sources and secondary sources. For the collection of data from the primary sources, interview and survey will be conducted. The interview will be conducted among the five accounts and finance manager of different organizations(Baker et al., 2015). This will help in collecting the data related to the different types of technologies that are being used in the finance and accounts department of the organizations. Survey will be conducted among 20 employees of the different organization. Through conducting survey of the employees will help in collecting the data and information regarding the impact of the implementation of the different kinds of technologies in the finance and accounts (Graneheim, Lindgren and Lundman, 2017). For the collection of data from the secondary sources, various articles and journals that are available related to the research topic are required to be studied in a detailed as well as proper manner(Johnston, 2017). Through studying the various articles and journals, the information will be collected regarding the implementation of the technologies in the finance and accounts along with its impact on the organization as well as the department of finance and accounts.

Data techniques

In the present study, the data will be collected through two types of data techniques which are qualitative and quantitative techniques. With the collection of the qualitative data, the data will be collected in the form of narrative (Graneheim, Lindgren and Lundman, 2017). This will be adding better and effective description to the data collected for the topic of the research. The qualitative data will be helpful in adding some theoretical concepts and theories to the research which will help in understanding the topic in a better way (McCusker and Gunaydin, 2015). On the other hand, with the collection of data through quantitative techniques, some of the statistical tools will be applied for recording the data collected. This will be helpful in collecting and recording the data that are large in size. The accounts & finance manager will be considered for the collection of the data through qualitative techniques while the employees will be considered for the collection of data through quantitative techniques. The collection of data through qualitative and quantitative techniques will help in collecting the data and information through various means. The data collected will be interpreted in a proper manner which will help in understanding the results in an effective manner (Creswell and Creswell, 2017).

Time table

Research related Tasks
Timeframe

Proposal

Detailsdiscussion of objectives and research problem along with the suggested methodology for the research study

Week 1- 2

Literature Review:

Research Journals

Articles

HCT Database

Implementation of the new and advanced technologies in the accounts and finance in different kinds of organization

Week 2 - 4

Data Collection

Secondary data

Week 4 - 5

Data Analysis

Secondary data from various articles and journals

Week 5 - 6

Presentation & Oral presentation

Presentation of the findings

Week 6- 8

Final Report submission

Recommendations and Conclusion

Week 8

6. Ethical considerations

The research has been conducted following certain ethical considerations to preserve the integrity and the quality of the research. Before beginning the research, the participants were asked to sign a consent form. The researcher pledges to not to reveal the identity of any participants. The researcher assures that the reactions of the participants were not the result of any mental or physical pressure. The participants were allowed to exercise their intellectuality and answer the questions during the research. The literature review and other supporting data presented in the research are authentic and are verified. The data presented in the research is according to the rules and regulations of the Data Protection Act, 1998. The researcher pledges that the information derived from the research will not be used for any illegal purposes or terrorist acts.

7. Literature Review

Keeping up with the pace of the new digital world would be very difficult for the companies without the proper implementation and integration of technology in the organisation. Traditionally the accountants used to maintain records of accounts in various paper ledgers and various books of accounting. There was a different book for recording every penny going in and out of the organisation. The manual process was time consuming and the results were prone to mistakes. Eventually the IT sectors came in and they started making operating systems and special accounting software for performing the accounting operations. The accounting software enables the accountant to create multiple reports at the same time within much less time span and without any error. The impact of technology in the accounting systemshas enabled extensive usage of the accounting information and thus a real-time accurate report is published. Traditionally the accountants have to perform several steps for creating a proper report such as the posting ledger accounts, recording the transactions, preparing the trial balance, making adjustments and so on. However, while using the accounting information system, the accountants only have to record the transactions and ensure that the inputting of the data is correct.

Technology has a huge impact on the accounting profession like the modern accountants will have to analyse and find out ways to utilize the data unlike the traditional accountants who will have to do every step to make a report first. According to Kauffman, Liu, and Ma, (2015) the reason is the increasing e-commerce has made the financial data processing completely automatic and it is open for the insiders and the outsiders of the organisation under certain control. So the routine work is skipped and the accountants are able to focus on analysing. Another impact is that a person having good knowledge of accounting theories and the economic laws is not enough for the job. A perfect employee has been aware of the various accounting software and how they are used. He has to be able to integrate accounting theories, economics and experience with the technology in his work. The job of an accountant has been sophisticated as lot and that has an impact on the job description and the quality of work required. Technology has been changing the lives of people and there are hardly any sectors left which are not yet influenced by technology. The implementation cost of technology in a company can be very high and it requires cyclic maintenance. Although the high charges of implementation, the usage of technology helps to reduce other costs such as the stationary costs, the storage costs and so on. Going paperless is a huge decision and not all companies are able to afford it in initial stages. The research has provided some optimistic data implying that there is much scope for improvement in the technological field and the companies can be benefitted quite easily from it. Involvement of technology is beneficial for not just the company but for the management, employees, stakeholders and even the customers of the company.

The influence of technology on accounting has been tremendous as it has majorly affected the profits of the organisation. The company can cut down the costs of operations and cost of stationary etc. due to the accounting software. Although, it is not a full proof plan to cut down on the expenditure. The impact on the finances depends on the type of software which the company is using. According to Loughran and McDonald, (2016) sometimes, the software used by the company is not fit for the company. In that case the company is exposed to a risk to bearing certain unnecessary costs which will disrupt the performance of the company.

The employees of the company require special training to operate the application software. They must be trained by IT specialiststo efficiently use the software for their own work. The employees besides training should also be informed about the various advantages of the computerised accounting. Recent accounting software is much user-friendly, so it shall be easier for the employees to accept and understand the system.

Advantages of computerising the accounting system are far more, than the manual form of accounting system. Technology has ramped up the speed of accounting as well as the business structures. Accounting software is able to record data much faster than any manual system could do. The main motto of any organisation is precision in their work and so to enforce that motto the computerised accounting system provides accurate data until there is no error while inputting the data. According to Hausman and Johnston, (2014) some advancedsystems are able to collect data automatically and create effective analyses and reports.The reliability of these reports is much greater because they never miss any part of the scenario or information while analysing. Another great advantage that the operating systems they are updated after a certain period of time so they are always running on the real-time information, such as any latest method of calculation or any latest tax law. The implementation of technology has also increased the efficiency of the employees and improved the quality of their work.

There are certain limitations of the computerised accounting system as well such as it increases the cost of training of the employees. Whenever, a new technology is introduced in the company the staffs are required to be trained to use the technology properly. Without proper training they will not be able to use the technology properly and so the effort of introducing new technology would be useless(Donate and de Pablo, 2015). Another limitation is that when a company decides to go paperless, they might receive some form of opposition from the staffs. The staff might be afraid that they would be rendered useless after the automation process; as a result they might lose their jobs. Sometimes, the company goes through certain changes in the accounting processes and leaves the accounts department in confusion. The company must hire some extra help to adjust the employees with the new system and some new staff to accommodate the requirements of the office. According to Gil-Garcia, Helbig and Ojo, (2014) the technology must have strengthened the company is some way but it has also weakened the company in terms of security. Sometimes when the systems fail, the company might lose its valuable data. According to Karadag, (2015) to avoid that condition the company has to invest in having a cloud storage which will be keeping the data safe. Although, the data might not be truly safe and it might face a data breach. The cloud storages can be hacked by good hackers and the company might lose its important passwords, usernames and so on.

9. Conclusion

Implementation of technology in the accounting and the financial systems has been already started and the companies and looking forward to many more changes in the near future. Some of the multinational companies have already decided to go paperless and have found it very useful in reducing the overhead costs of maintaining physical records. They have also found that the wastage of money and resources of the company has also reduced. The companies are willing to accept new changes in the regular business processes with the usage of technology. The companies have even started to encourage various new technological inventions and some companies have come forward to support those inventions. Accuracy is the most essential aspect of an accounting report and the companies are always looking for better and faster options to create accurate reports and investments. Application of Information technology is very important for catering the needs of the modern day business structures. The companies are measuring their performances with the help of various IT tools available to them and are making modifications in the management of the company to improve the performance. Nowadays, the companies are also able to run an analysis on any situation or investment immediately using various tools so that they can produce prompt results.

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