Accounting Software Case Study

Software Case Study

The objective of this assignment is to familiarize the student with the challenge and perspectives of a real-life accounting system implementation, to analyze the challenges of managing cross functional teams, and to evaluate internal control issues during an implementation. The case has three parts. Each Part consists of an initial post related to your case study and at least two reply posts applying what you have learned to other cases. All parts of this assignment MUST BE completed in order to pass this course.
You must identify a real-world company that has either recently implemented an electronic accounting system (or undergone a significant upgrade to its accounting system) or that needs assistance in establishing an accounting system. This may be your company, a local government or nonprofit organization, or any other company that you have contacts with. After identifying the company, the next step is to interview the company to determine the specific accounting needs and user requirements.
After you have identified the company, interview at least two staff members who have been involved in implementing an electronic accounting system in the past 3 years, or who will be involved in an upcoming system implementation. One staff person must be from the Information Technology department, and one must be from the finance/accounting/business function. If you are unable to interview two people, or cannot interview someone from IT and another person from accounting, you should choose another organization. This requirement must be met in order to successfully meet the basic requirements of the assignment.
The purpose of the interview is to determine specific accounting needs and user requirements. To make the most effective use of time, prepare in advance. Before the interview, review all three parts of this assignment to identify the types of information you need to collect. Your interview should address the following, but not be limited to these questions – they are a springboard for an in-depth discussion of a systems implementation project.

  • How was the system chosen? Who had the most input and influence on the decision? What needs were not met in the prior system? What new requirements did the new system bring to the company?
  • Was there a budget for the project? Was it met, beat, or exceeded? What contributed to those results?
  • Was there a timeline for the project? Was it met, beat, or exceeded? What contributed to those results?
  • Does the system meet expectations? Did expectations differ amongst the team members?
  • What internal controls were considered during the implementation? Were they built in? Who identified them? What changes in internal controls were made as a result of the new system?

This assignment will be submitted in three parts. The questions provided are a starting point to gather information; you will have to dig deeper to obtain information about approaches, perspectives, professional standards, etc. to fully understand how different departments might affect the outcome of a project, what internal controls were considered, changed, or missed; how successful the project plan and management was
 

  • Directions:

     Part I:
    1. Post on the Discussion Board a summary of the company and its objectives for the implementation. Do not just post a transcript of your interview, but synthesize the responses into a well written case study.
    2. Your post should describe the company (names are not required), discuss why the project was undertaken, the objectives the entity hopes to achieve, in addition to details about the project itself (timeliness, budget, etc.). Identify the various modules the company will (or did) implement and why.
    Label this post Part I – Initial Post – Your Last Name
    3. Reply to at least two other posts with lessons learned from your own interview and coursework thus far. Your post must include specific examples of steps that could have enhanced the project. Do not just agree or disagree, do not just offer observations. Your responses must further the discussion; cite all sources – your case, the text, any other outside sources you used. Your response MUST specifically refer to and cite your sources.
    Label this post Part I – Reply Post – Your Last Name.
    Part II:
    1. Post on the Discussion Board a discussion of the overall project management, to include details about roles and responsibilities of the departments involved (must include, but may not be limited to, accounting and IT).
    2. Your post must discuss whether the different departments offer different perspectives on the project; and how these similarities/differences affected the process and outcome of the project.
    3. Your analysis should include a discussion of how differing background, education, and professional standards may contribute to differing perspectives and might have impacted the project.
    Label this post Part II – Initial Post – Your Last Name
    4. Reply to at least two other posts with lessons learned from your own interview and coursework thus far, specifically focused on how to improve the management of a cross-functional team. Your post must include specifics from your case (which you should cite) and outside sources.  Do not just agree or disagree, do not just offer observations. Your responses must further the discussion; cite all sources – your case, the text, any other outside sources you used.
    Label this post Part II – Reply Post – Your Last Name
    Part III: 
    1. Post on the Discussion Board an analysis of internal control considerations in a computerized accounting system.
    2. You must specifically discuss the internal control environment of the company, and how it was helped or hindered by the implementation.
    3. Your submission should include the benefit and risks of computerization on internal controls, what changes were made, what changes were not made but should have been, how the implementation impacted the overall control environment.
    Label this post Part III – Initial Post – Your Last Name
    4. Reply to at least two other posts with lessons learned from your own interview and coursework thus far, specifically focused on how computerized accounting systems impact internal controls and vice versa. Your post must include specifics from your case (which you should cite) and outside sources.  Do not just agree or disagree, do not just offer observations. Your responses must further the discussion; cite all sources – your case, the text, any other outside sources you used.
    Label this post Part III – Reply Post – Your Last Name
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