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Development and Implementation of Accounting Software

Question:

Discuss about the Development and Implementation of Accounting Software.

Answer:

Overview

ERP is the industrial acronym for Enterprise Resource Planning. The ERP system being installed in the leading organizations has a prime aim of integrating myriads of functions of the organization into a single complete system so that the processes and information are effectively streamlined among all the participants of the firm. All the ERP systems have a centrally placed database that serves multiple purposes at a single time and could be effectively used by different units of the firm to evaluate the company’s success rates and other related issues. This could be better explained with an example that the employees of different departments, like Accounting and Sales, could easily rely on the centrally stored information for their Annual Reports (NetSuite Inc., 2016).

The other similar concept is of the AIS or Accounting Information System. The Accounts work when amalgamates with Information technology, then it gives rise to a system that collects, stores and process accounting data from different sources in the company and make them available for the decision makers to evaluate thoroughly and take wise and lucrative decisions for the firm. Previously, this work was done manually, which made it a bit tiresome and erroneous. But the automation era has made these kinds of work more interesting and quick these days. The AIS is a computer- based method in which a track is kept of all the accounting activities in the company while using the available Information Technology resources (Team, 2016).

The report given below is an attempt to suggest the best Accounting software for the two companies, i.e. Disk4U and Sungate Foods. The selected software should be efficient enough to replace the manual accounts management process in the firms with the automated one. Disk4U is a Sydney based company which sells CDs and Vinyl Records and on the other side, Sungate Foods is a Victoria based rice and wild rice producer. Both the companies are looking forward to switch over to automate Accounting Systems to have a precise processing of their Sales and Revenues generated per annum (Ackoff, 2012).

Business Processes

To implement something new in the company’s operation, a business process is to be planned for effective utilization of the proposed ideas and the available resources of the firm. Business Process is nothing but a set of steps that are undertaken to deliver the end product to the client with a simultaneous achievement of the goals of the company.

The task undertaken here is to automate the accounting systems of the suggested firms by introducing an efficient accounting software to the. But before the actual development of the software begins, it is necessary for the firm to analyze the actual needs and perceptions of the clients (PNMsoft Ltd., 2016). This is necessary because we are living in the era of customization and people are reluctant to pay for something they don’t need. So by analyzing the actual requirements of the customers, the vendors could include only those features that would be readily accepted by the clients and they will not even need extra skills to get well versed with the software and its associated technical elements. Just after that, different vendors could promote their product tailored to the needs of the clients. Promotion is quite crucial in the marketing strategies as it helps the firm to know what people thinks about their brand and what perceptions do they have about the particular product or service. Promotion activities also allow the clients to give their precious feedbacks over the current services of the brands so that pivotal reformations could be made accordingly in the coming future (Sage Software, Inc., 2016).

After the promotion, the vendors could simply focus on the research and development of the software. This would require a strong assistance from the leading IT experts so that, a software with a user-friendly ambience is developed. The developed Accounting software should also be efficient in processing huge amount of data volumes at a single time, so that the suggested companies are able to save much of its resources and time. The work of the software developers and the vendor firm does not end here as another crucial element of this business process still exists. This element is the management of the developed software. As this is technological output, then in the coming future due to certain advancements there are possibilities of a number of bugs and errors in the software. So, it becomes the prime duty of the vendor to assist the clients in such situations too, and provide them with the best possible services that could fix their issues in the given time frame (Joll, 2016). 

Business Requirements

Business requirements basically outline the critical elements that are to follow in order to achieve the set goals of the firm. These requirements are usually developed when the firm’s executives are looking for those solutions that directly address issues acting as an obstacle in the company’s success. As the set of rules for any leading company keeps on changing with the advancements in technology and changing perceptions of the customers, hence these requirements should be reframed to maintain a close compliance with the changing rules. These requirements along with the company’s rule provide parameters, criteria, conditions and expectations over the operations of the company.

The business requirements are a bit complex and are understood only by the leaders and executives of the firm. These people analyze such requirements closely and apply them in other operations of the firm. There is a need to develop an enhanced form of requirements for the Accounting Software because the concept is entirely new for the considered companies and the unreachable requirements could fail the effective way of software implementation.

The requirements for the Accounting software development for both the firms are nearly same, but due to differences in the nature of Businesses there could be slight variations in these requirements. The Business requirements are enlisted below.

  • Both the companies need a team of IT experts to handle the installation and maintenance of the new Accounting Software. As the companies are operating on a smaller scale, hence, this requirement becomes a prime one as the employees are not so well versed with the computers and its associated elements (ITS Education, 2016).
  • The software being developed should be fast, efficient and time saving. This is because both the firms are switching from manual to automated accounting systems and both of them needs an entirely new experience. If there are delays in the automated system too, then the companies won’t rely for crucial events on the company.
  • The Information Technology should only be deployed in a business if it adds an extra value to it. If the installed software is not a cost efficient one, then the clients have to bear extra costs that sometimes exceed their budget and result in extreme losses for the firm. When the Accounting Software is efficient and is even deployed and implemented in a correct manner, then it promises to reduce the running costs of the company.
  • Both the companies are of similar size, but the nature of products differs a lot. Disk4U is involved in manufacturing of CDs and Vinyl disks and the Sungate Foods is a rice and wild rice producer. Due to this difference the former one may need an Accounting System that efficiently keeps a record of the Daily purchase, both through offline as well as online purchases and even record the daily performance of the employees, their leaves and extra working Hours. On the other hand, the Accounting System for the Sungate Foods will keep a record of their daily stock of the rice and wild rice. This record will also show the daily purchase and exports of the rice varieties (Elikai, et al., 2007).
  • Both the companies could use the Accounting Software to calculate payroll and associated entries, Automatic adjustments of Stock Records, Integration of a company’s database with Accounting Records and even making payments to suppliers and for other related expenses. 

System Requirements

Switching over to an automated Accounting System from the obsolete manual account management system is a reformative step in the company’s history. This step includes a number of challenges which are to be met prior to the beginning of the actual software installation. One of the crucial challenges, among them is the evaluation of the system requirements which are compatible with this new approach.

The system requirements of the newly introduce Accounting Systems highly depends on the type and level of the software. If the company is huge and has a huge volume of raw data to be processed, then it definitely requires high levels of hardwares, Operating systems and other elements. This then also requires a team of Experts that could handle the system along with the software in times of technical issues and complications.

The system requirements for both the companies are nearly same because the needs and size of the companies are quite similar. The prime system requirements are:

  • Hardwares
  • Associated Softwares
  • Printer with a high printing speed
  • A huge Network with smooth networking speed
  • An advance Operating System with a user-friendly working ambience (Infotivity Technologies, Inc., 2016).

The Accounting Software being used should be installed on a Business Class computer and the home-based computer models should be strictly avoided. This is crucial because while running any business application, there is a need of a system that delivers high speed performance. In the absence of this there are more chances of processing duplicate and erroneous data. As the concept is quite new then there is a requirement of replacing both the computer hardwares and Operating system once in a three year, so that the advancements in the software are easily compatible with the new systems.

If the software operates on a less powerful hardware and Operating systems, then it will not deliver the required quality of services. So the version of the operating system is also another crucial requirement here. The OS needs to be latest with all advanced features that could support any sort of reformations in the installed software in the coming future. The RAM should be large enough to handle the installation process at the initial levels and provide a fair enough processing space for the software. The networking system in the companies should also be efficient enough to support the new software. In the Accounting Software the collected financial data of the firm will be kept in a centralized position and all the business units will have an access to it. This will need a good network as some of the business units will rely on the processed data of other business units to produce an effective financial report. 

Software Selection

The software selection is also important while automation of the Accounting System. The selected software should be compatible with all the other operations in the firm so that the clients do not have to consider different softwares for each of their business units. As the companies adopting this automation system are quite new to the firms, hence they have to keep in mind their budgets and even their actual requirements with the software.

A proper selection of the software is necessary because Accounting softwares were considered as the most annoying objects in the IT sector as the company has to hire Accountants and even Bookkeepers at the end of the year to properly create financial reports for the firm. But as the scenario changed in the business world a huge number of players began to offer cloud-based services to the clients in which there was no real need of installing an actual Accounting Software.

The old players in this field are QuickBook, Reckon, Sage and MYOB while the newer ones include Xero, Saasu and Netsuite. Reckon is known to offer the Accounting Services for many years and recently it has released its online services, “Reckon One”, to attract a huge customer base through the online platform. The company is at present following a competitive pricing strategy and is even offering a free conversion from the competitive Accounting Software Providers. The Reckon One initiative allows the clients to directly connect their bank accounts with the firm and receive live feeds (Caruana, 2016).

Xero is the famous cloud-based Accounting Software. The reason behind the development of this was the loopholes in the desktop- based accounting systems which made the automation feature a tough one. Xero’s mobile app specially designed for the iOS is easy to use and even provides a user-friendly ambience to the ones who are new to this field of automation. The company offers a free migration from the leading software providers like MYOB and Reckon.

Saasu has been developed with features similar to that of Xero with a single disadvantage that its website does not offer one- click access to common activities and thus fails in appealing most of the customers who require quick services. This Australia-based company was founded in the year 2000 and its capabilities include Sales, Purchasing, Inventory, CRM, Global Search, Payroll and Tagging. This company is known to develop online accounting software rather than the desktop-based softwares that are to be installed and then they are workable (Ausea, 2014).

QuickBook is another accounting software developed by Intuit. The company offers both on premises accounting applications and cloud-based versions. The software is said to manage and pay bills for the clients and even maintain their payroll systems. MYOB on the other hand has a suite of subscription- based products and even browser-based accounting products that meet the specific needs of the clients (Ltd., 2016). This service is quite popular among the local businesses in Australia, but at present it is quite slow in offering cloud services. Sage is also a renowned name in this competition as it gives a tough competition to the others of the same genre. Recently, the company has introduced Sage One Online software which has been acknowledged by a number of users in Australia. 

Vendor Selection

Vendor Selection is important because and efficient vendor gives tailor made services to its clients and even maintains the software to meet the future needs of the firm. While selecting an appropriate vendor, the clients should keep the following points in mind:

  • The vendor should be an experienced one and should deliver consistent services to the clients.
  • It should also have a capability to analyze the actual needs of the clients and customize the softwares accordingly. For this the services should be flexible so that new reformations could easily be introduced (Kanka, 2013).
  • It should consider the quality of service above all the other elements of the business.
  • It should have a good supporting staff that could assist the clients in times of technical issues.

Conclusion

Switching over an automated accounting system is a crucial step for both of the selected firm as automation will allow the firms to deploy their human resource at other productive tasks at the firm. Also, the Accounting software will also process the financial data quickly so that the remaining time could be installed in other lucrative activities. The development of enhanced accounting software requires a close evaluation of the existing players in the market and selects the one who could properly cater the actual needs of the suggested companies. As both Disk4U and Sungate Foods are quite new in this race, then they require the software services from the ones that are quite experienced in this field and who could readily infer the precise needs of the clients with the software. On the basis of the above analysis, it has been made quite clear that among all the available options, Xero has the capability to develop customized Accounting software for both the companies. However, if the companies have slightly different requirements, other than the above mentioned ones, then it can go for the other options too. In that case, the clients could go for MYOB, Netsuite and Sage could be considered as a priority. These are considered over the other because they have the capability to deliver services to the inexperienced clients and convince them why automation is a must reformation for them. 

References

Ackoff, R., 2012. Ackoff’s Management Misinformation Systems, Available at: http://wps.pearsoned.co.uk/wps/media/objects/12417/12715132/cs1_2.pdf

Ausea, 2014. Top 10 accounting software report, Available at: http://www.ausae.org.au/Resources/Documents/1top_10_accounting.pdf

Caruana, A., 2016. Accounting software 2016 group test. Accounting software 2016 group test, 07 June.

Elikai, F., Inancevich, D. & Ivancevich, S., 2007. Accounting and Enterprise Software, Available at: http://ebooks.narotama.ac.id/files/Core%20Concepts%20of%20Accounting%20Information%20
Systems/CHAPTER%209%20Accounting%20and%20Enterprise%20Software.pdf

Infotivity Technologies, Inc., 2016. Select Accounting Software. [Online]
Available at: http://www.infotivity.com/accounting-rfp.html

ITS Education, 2016. The Advantages of Using Computerised Accounting Software. The Advantages of Using Computerised Accounting Software .

Joll, K., 2016. How To Choose The Right Accounting Software For Your Business. How To Choose The Right Accounting Software For Your Business, 05 September.

Kanka, J., 2013. What are the Qualities of a Good Vendor?. What are the Qualities of a Good Vendor?, 18 January.

Ltd., M. T. P., 2016. Online accounting that makes tax time a breeze. Online accounting that makes tax time a breeze.

NetSuite Inc., 2016. What is ERP. What is ERP, Available at: http://www.netsuite.com/portal/resource/articles/erp/what-is-erp.shtml

PNMsoft Ltd., 2016. Types of Business Processes. Types of Business Processes, Available at: http://www.pnmsoft.com/resources/bpm-tutorial/business-process/

Sage Software, Inc., 2016. What accounting software can do for you.. What accounting software can do for you..

Team, S., 2016. ERP software for manufacturing and distribution companies. ERP software for manufacturing and distribution companies.

 

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