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MP121 Accounting Information Systems - Free Samples to Students

Part 1:

The CEO of Luxurious firm, Mr. Alex, believes that the current accounting information systems is inadequate for the developing needs of the business. He asked you to do a number of things for him in your ‘new role’ as the Accounting Information Systems Development Officer.

  1. He asked you to write a brief report identifying the role that would be expected of the management team in the development and design of a new accounting information system. The underlying issue is really the role you would expect Alex “your boss” to play. 
  2. Would you expect that the people who will use the new system should have a role in any analysis leading up to, in the selection of and implementation of the new accounting information system should one be selected?
  3. Write a clear and comprehensive report on what would be involved in the adoption of a life cycle approach to adopting a new accounting information system. Specifically identify the stages that would need to be engaged in, and staff likely to be involved.

Part 2:

Luxurious firm performs its expenditure cycle activities using its integrated ERP system as follows:

  • Employees in any department can enter purchase requests for items they note as being either out of stock or in small quantity.
  • Occasionally, special items are ordered that are not regularly kept as part of inventory, from a specialty supplier who will not be used for any regular purchases. In these cases, an accounts payable clerk creates a one-time supplier record.
  • Each day, employees in the purchasing department process all purchase requests from the prior day. To the extent possible, requests for items available from the same supplier are combined into one larger purchase order in order to obtain volume discounts. Purchasing agents use the Internet to compare prices in order to select suppliers. If an Internet search discovers a potential new supplier, the purchasing agent enters the relevant information in the system, thereby adding the supplier to the approved supplier list. Purchase orders above $10,000 must be approved by the purchasing department manager. Electronic Data Interchange is used to transmit purchase orders to most suppliers, but paper purchase orders are printed and mailed to suppliers who are not Electronic Data Interchange capable.
  • Receiving department employees have read-only access to outstanding purchase orders. Usually, they check the system to verify existence of a purchase order prior to accepting delivery, but sometimes during rush periods they unload trucks and place the items in a corner of the warehouse where they sit until there is time to use the system to retrieve the relevant purchase order. In such cases, if no purchase order is found, the receiving employee contacts the supplier to arrange for the goods to be returned.
  • Receiving department employees compare the quantity delivered to the quantity indicated on the purchase order. Whenever a discrepancy is greater than 5%, the receiving employee sends an email to the purchasing department manager. The receiving employee uses an online terminal to enter the quantity received before moving the material to the inventory stores department.

Required:

Identify weaknesses in Luxurious firm existing expenditure cycle procedures, explain the resulting problems, and suggest as solution.

Part 3:

The following table presents the results of the Luxurious firm’s ERP system for revenue cycle activities. It shows the number of times each employee performed a specific task.

 

 

 

 

Take Order

 

Approve

Credit

 

Ship

Inventory

 

Maintain

A/R

Issue Credit Memo

 

Bill Customer

Deposit

Customer

Remittances

Reconcile

Bank

Account

Employee A

250

5

 

 

 

15

 

 

Employee B

305

 

 

 

 

100

 

 

Employee C

275

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

Employee D

 

85

 

 

10

 

5

 

Employee E

 

 

400

 

 

25

 

 

Employee F

 

 

430

 

 

 

 

 

Employee G

 

 

 

 

 

600

 

 

Employee H

 

 

 

400

 

 

20

 

Employee I

 

15

 

430

25

 

 

 

Employee J

 

 

 

 

 

 

650

1

Required: Identify five examples of improper segregation of duties and explain the nature of each problem you find.

Answer:

Part 1

Introduction

Unlike the case before where organization systems were fully developed in accordance to the developers wish, current systems must be deployed in consultation with different stakeholders who are expected to interact with such systems in one way or the other. Such stakeholders include but not limited to organization management team, organization information system department and the end users of the system who are also the organization staff. Each of these people has its role in the deployment process. For instance, the IT department is there to ensure that the system integrates with the organization IT infrastructure. In their capacity, they ensure that the system to be developed has specifications which can be met within the organization IT infrastructure without interruptions. Similar to the IT department, the management team and the staff also have their own roles in the development and design phase. This paper starts by outlining the role of the management team in the development and design of an accounting information system at the Luxurious firm before scrutinizing that of the staff and other users within the firm.

Question 1: He asked you to write a brief report identifying the role that would be expected of the management team in the development and design of a new accounting information system. The underlying issue is really the role you would expect Alex “your boss” to play. 

In reference to the initial description of Luxurious firm in the case study, it i


s an organization which has had an accounting information system before, but because of the expansion of the firm, the system has proved inadequate to meet the developing needs of the firm as Mr. Alex, the firm CEO explains (Bolden, 2016). For that matter, Mr. Alex who represents the firm management team will have several roles in the development and design of a new accounting system.

Among the roles which Mr. Alex will play is the identification of the faults in the current system which must be avoided in the new accounting system under development. As the CEO of the firm Alex must be in deep understanding of the faults or rather the parts of the current accounting system which are making it inadequate to meet the needs of the business (Kerzner & Kerzner, 2017). Explaining and advising the new system development team will help it avoid repeating the same faults in the new system. Also, considering the fact that the management team is among the few departments within any firm which is greatly exposed to the organization systems after the IT department team, it is expected that the CEO has a proper understanding of the current accounting system and can easily advise the development team on the areas which have had issues in the system so that they can be given more attention.

The CEO and the management team are also the strategic planners of the organization and can easily perceive where the organization accounting system should be developed with flexibility to curb the problem of inadequacy in meeting the developing needs of the firm as being faced by the current system. Advising the development team in that direction will enable it to strategize on how to take care of that and come up with a flexible accounting system which will be able to stand the test of time even when the business expands further in future (Oinas-Kukkonen & Harjumaa, 2018).

Question 2: Would you expect that the people who will use the new system should have a role in any analysis leading up to, in the selection of an implementation of the new accounting information system should one be selected?

In regard to the users of the new system, I expect them to play a major role in the design and the analysis of the new system before implementation. This is because their involvement in the development will be a vital mechanism in enhancing the system quality and ensuring its successful implementation. In the current competed and fluctuating market situations, innovations from user needs have proved to be an effective way of supporting market success. So, involving the users in the system development cycle will allow the gathering of more information details which could be helpful to the developers (Bano & Zowghi, 2015).).

In the initial stages of system development, system developers have to observe the prevailing problems in the system and identify all the requirements which will make the new system overwhelming. With that in mind, it is also common knowledge that except for the developers who might have an experience with the organization system currently in place, other developers may not be familiar with the system; they, therefore, lack a thorough understanding of the system environment, and for them to understand the system, the best way will be communication with end-users of the system (Brhel, Meth, Maedche & Werder, 2015). Research has indicated that system users are the top experts of the system and so for a thorough understanding of the system requirements, effective communication with them should be given the first priority during the definition process. It is therefore incredible to involve them during the process. System developers must select them carefully in order to obtain the most valuable information.

User involvement will also offer more reliable approaches to organizing features like dialog boxes and menus based on user data. Comparing the system development methodology which seldom considers user working habits with the current systems which are developed in a user-oriented approach, the developer-oriented ones always pose challenges to the end-users trying to manipulate them. Their involvement further eliminates the clash between them and the developers which makes the development phase easy and fast (Salah, Paige & Cairns, 2014).

Question 3: Write a clear and comprehensive report on what would be involved in the adoption of a life-cycle approach to adopting a new accounting information system. Specifically, identify the stages that would need to be engaged in, and staff likely to be involved.

In the adoption of a new system in an organization, a systematic procedure is necessary considering the fact that the employees may not be conversant with the functionality of the new system. Mainly, the adoption of new systems into an organization setting follow five stages, which are creating system awareness, system interest, carrying system evaluation, system testing and then system adoption. Although many organizations tend to relax after the development phase of a system, it is equally important to create a procedure that walks the users of the system through the adoption process (Lin, 2014).

Creating System Awareness

This is the first stage in the adoption process and which entails creating awareness to the organization staff about the new system.  It is very important that the company comes up with a favorable avenue to gather all the staff members together to brief them of the system (Rajan & Baral, 2015). This can be achieved through an audio-visual presentation by one of the development team members with a deep understanding of the system and also excellent presentation skills. The presenter is supposed to utilize creativity and wit in a greater way in order to engage the users fully in this stage.

Creating System Interest

In this stage, the system developers will guide the users through the interest stage which will entail providing them with easily accessible usage information about the system. Among the main methods utilized in the current business environment involves demonstrating to the users the advantages which will be realized through the adoption of the system so that the users can have a positive attitude towards it.

Carrying Out System Evaluation

After the guidance by the system developers, the staff members are allowed to interact with the system and examine it. At this stage, each staff member is first allowed to navigate through the system in order to identify any challenges while performing his or her duties (Rosenkilde et al., 2015). This process makes the users clarify all their doubts with the system developers hence intensifying the need to having the system within the organization. It is also in this platform that the users get a chance to be explained some of the new features which may be available in the new system but lacking in the former.

Carrying Out System Testing

This is the stage the staff members will be allowed to interact with the new accounting information system on their own while performing their distinct duties although being monitored centrally by the IT team. Apart from being gauged on whether they are able to use the system effectively, it is also the stage where the system is monitored as to whether it outputs the right results or whether it is operating as expected.

System Adoption

This is the final stage in the adoption process where staff members are now fully equipped and are exposed to use the new accounting system to carry out their distinct duties. There is, however, an open platform where any problem faced in the process can be directed to the organization’s IT department for assistance. It is the stage which takes some time before it can be assumed that all the staff members are fully equipped to carry out their duties with minimal errors.

Part 2:

 Weaknesses in Luxurious Firm Existing Expenditure Cycle Procedures (Elías-Maxil,  van der Hoek, Hofman & Rietveld, 2014)

Weakness/Problem

Applicable Control

Purchasing requests are reviewed and approved after the submissions. The ordering of unnecessary items can easily be carried out.

Purchase requisitions must be reviewed and approved from original department manager before being processed.

Periodic physical counting of inventories has not been mentioned. Therefore, a perpetual record of inventories is likely to be inaccurate over time and will be hard to detect.

Physical counting of inventories should be conducted regularly.

Discrepancies having perpetual records of inventories records should be investigated promptly.

Receiving department employees is expected to unload deliveries even before verifying whether all the purchased orders have been approved. This turns into time wastage when unloading and contacting suppliers to return all unordered items.

Creation of policies which demand that receiving department employee to be verifying the validity of purchased orders before accommodating delivery.

Publishing and enforcing sanctions for policy violations.

Scheduling additional assistance during the busy periods.

Receiving department employees informing about discrepancies purchasing between the quantities received and ordered exceeding 5%. There is a likelihood of failure during the busy periods which also results in the failure of resolving problems in time.

Configuring the systems to compare all the received quantities to the ordered ones. The system is supposed to send all discrepancies above the tolerable deviation to the purchasing manager directly.

All the accounts which are under payable clerks are likely to create one-time records of supplier without reviewing and approving payments to the suppliers. This opens a chance of fraudulent disbursements.

Systems should be set to print the entire list of one-time suppliers.   The management should also review the list regularly.

All the payable accounts must not be allowed to create new records of suppliers – that should be done by the purchasing manager only.

Part 3:

Five Examples of Improper Segregation of Duties (Ballesteros,Batten, Pan & Li, 2015)

Employee A ordering the inventory and maintaining supplier master – altering the supplier master in order to order from the unapproved suppliers.

Employee C is maintaining supplier master files and approving invoices- can easily submit and approve the payments to fabricated vendors.

Employee D maintaining supplier master and approving invoices – could easily submit and approve some invoices from fictional suppliers.

Employee D is approving invoices and making EFT payments – can approve the disbursal of money to himself.

Employee G is approving invoices and mail checks – through the custody of the signed checks, he or she can easily alter them (Marshall & Steinbart, 2017). 

References

Ballesteros, S., Batten, L., Pan, L., & Li, G. (2015). Segregation-of-duties conflicts in the insider threat landscape.

Bolden, R. (2016). Leadership, management, and organizational development. In Gower handbook of leadership and management development (pp. 143-158). Routledge.

Bano, M., & Zowghi, D. (2015). A systematic review of the relationship between user involvement and system success. Information and Software Technology, 58, 148-169.

Brhel, M., Meth, H., Maedche, A., & Werder, K. (2015). Exploring principles of user-centered agile software development: A literature review. Information and Software Technology, 61, 163-181.

Elías-Maxil, J. A., van der Hoek, J. P., Hofman, J., & Rietveld, L. (2014). Energy in the urban water cycle: Actions to reduce the total expenditure of fossil fuels with emphasis on heat reclamation from the urban water. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 30, 808- 820.

Kerzner, H., & Kerzner, H. R. (2017). Project management: a systems approach to planning, scheduling, and controlling. John Wiley & Sons.

Lin, H. F. (2014). Understanding the determinants of electronic supply chain management system adoption: Using the technology–organization–environment framework. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 86, 80-92.

Marshall, B. R., & Steinbart, P. J. (2017). ACCOUNTING INFORMATION SYSTEMS. PEARSON EDUCATION LIMITED.

Oinas-Kukkonen, H., & Harjumaa, M. (2018). Persuasive systems design: key issues, process model and system features. In Routledge Handbook of Policy Design (pp. 105-123). Routledge.

Rajan, C. A., & Baral, R. (2015). Adoption of ERP system: An empirical study of factors influencing the usage of ERP and its impact on the end user. IIMB Management Review, 27(2), 105-117.

Rosenkilde, M., Morville, T., Andersen, P. R., Kjær, K., Rasmusen, H., Holst, J. J., ... & Helge, J. W. (2015). Inability to match energy intake with energy expenditure at sustained near- maximal rates of energy expenditure in older men during a 14-d cycling expedition. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 102(6), 1398-1405.

Salah, D., Paige, R. F., & Cairns, P. (2014, May). A systematic literature review for agile development processes and user-centered design integration. In Proceedings of the 18th international conference on evaluation and assessment in software engineering (p. 5). ACM.

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