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Accounting Information System
a) Do you agree that all aspects of business processes are impacted on by technological change? Discuss.
All aspects of business processes are definitely impacted by any technological change. This is because technology has revolutionized the way companies are conducting business. The playing field for most companies has been leveled by technology regardless of company size (Marston, Li, Bandyopadhyay, Zhang, & Ghalsasi, 2011). Automation of back office functions like accounting, record keeping, and payroll has allowed businesses to reduce business costs. Having implemented technological changes in all business processes, any change in technology will surely impact the business, and they is need to adopt the new change. Making use of technology, a business can communicate effectively and cheaply to its customers, suppliers, and employees. There are many applications available to enable a company keep in touch with its customers at all times. The internet has enabled businesses to stay in touch with their customers at all times. Using the internet, a business can keep its records up-to-date easily. This is made possible by database systems that link all the business processes. This means that a change in one department would result in updating of all the records associated with this change. This would make it easy for the organization to keep track of its records and all employees can access the same copy at the same time.
A business can leverage the power of mobile technology to develop mobile apps. The mobile app will allow the business to communicate with its customers all the time. Any communication initiated by a customer would be stored in the business database and can be accessed by the relevant employees. This demonstrates that technological changes are affecting how businesses conduct their business currently. The changes taking place are impacting all departments within a business. Payments have become automated and can be processed online. Customers can make online purchases and have their goods delivered to their doorsteps. This has only been possible due to the advancements in technology. The internet has contributed greatly towards this because it has enabled customers from across the world to make and pay for purchases from the comfort of their homes. The business selling online can receive notifications of payment instantly, and this increases efficiency. Manual processing of orders was time consuming due to the number of paperwork required before a single order could be effected. With technology, order processing has increased, and employees are able to deliver more orders than before. The processing of the order is now done online, and approvals are made via the system, which ensures that they can be done from any location. Business processes are interlinked activities that produce a specific outcome. Any technological change would impact all business processes because they are somehow interlinked (Erickson, Magee, Roussel, & Saad, 2012). A change could come in the way that the task is performed, or the approval process of the task. Using the internet, a business can receive orders from anywhere in the world. Once an order is received the process will follow the authorized channel and the approvals can be made from any location provided the employee has an internet connection. This makes it easy for orders to be processed and dispatched quickly to eliminate delays.
b) List and discuss the benefits and constraints of large organizations adopting Cloud Computing. Provide real world examples for each benefit and constraint you have listed
Cloud computing offers the following benefits flexibility, easy to setup, and cost efficient (Carroll, Van Der Merwe, & Kotze, 2011). Large organizations have staff working in different parts of the globe, and the organization should ensure that they all have a central location for storing files and data. Using cloud computing the organization can provide all its employees with access to the same files and data easily. There won't be a need for the employee to be present physically in the office for them to access the records stored in the organization's cloud. Provided they have an internet connection, they can access the files. The flexibility offered by cloud computing is only appreciated when an employee visits a client, and they find they have forgotten an important file. They could use the client's internet connection to access the cloud server and download the necessary file. Having a server located in the office would require that the employee provide another employee with their credentials in order for them to access and email them the document.
In order for an organization to setup a cloud server all they need is make payment and provide the necessary information. In comparison to setting up the organization's physical server in the office, this is much easier as the organization is not concerned with purchase and installation of the hardware. The software required to run the cloud server is provided by the company offering cloud services, and this eliminates the headache of sourcing and installing. The organization is not also concerned with updating the software and hardware. The company providing the solution is charged with ensuring that the software and hardware is up-to-date. The physical space required to house the servers is no longer the concern of the organization.
Cloud computing is cost efficient because the organization does not need to purchase the hardware and software for the server (Marston et al., 2011). Maintaining and upgrading the server is also eliminated, and the organization can focus on its core business. The purchase of desktop software is costly for many organizations, but using cloud computing the organization can use single software for all its employees. This reduces the licensing fees required and software purchase costs. A majority of the applications that the organization will need with cloud computing are offered free of charge provided one has signed up with the company. In many instances, an organization will purchase a server and implement huge storage capacities, which it does not need. To eliminate this fact cloud computing offers the organization the opportunity to pay only for what they use. The organization will not need to worry in case there is an upsurge in storage demand as this will be provided simultaneously.
Some of the constraints of cloud computing are security of the data, privacy, and downtime (Kuyoro, 2011). Many organizations fear using cloud computing because of the security of their information. It no secret that many hackers are targeting large organizations and trying to hack into their systems. Cloud computing would offer the hacker an easier way to access the information if they hacked into the hosting company servers. Privacy of the information stored online is another constraint of cloud computing. Organizations are worried that the amount of data collected regarding the organization would lead to lose of trade secrets. Server downtime is another constraint. This would refer to the total time that the cloud server is not working. The reasons might be beyond the control of the organization, and this would leave the organization vulnerable. The downtime would result in lost productivity as the company depends on the cloud system to perform its daily operations. For example, when the Amazon cloud was unavailable for a few hours as a result technical difficulties, companies were unable to access their data. This resulted in many losses for organizations that were using the company's cloud service.
c) Explain how mobile technologies provide organizations with a competitive edge over their competitors. Provide real world examples of mobile technologies (via the cloud) being used by organizations
Mobile technologies will offer the organization some competitive advantage over their competitors by enabling the organization to have mobile applications that can run on their customers mobile devices. Mobile technology allows an organization to extend their computing and business processes to the wireless medium. This promotes collaboration between employees, offers greater communication flexibility, and information sharing. Mobile technology allows employees and consumers to keep in touch regardless of their location. A business can leverage from mobile technologies like access to company intranet, mobile payment, banking services, brokerage services, and electronic procurement upon many opportunities (Park, 2011). The technology would be offered through mobile devices, and this would encourage innovative services. Consumers have a desire to be connected all the time, and they use their mobile devices for almost anything online. A company that has applications that run on the mobile platform is better placed than the competitors who are not.
The mobile banking services offered by banks are an example of mobile technology. The banks offer their clients' access to their accounts from anywhere provided they are using their mobile device. This convenience has allowed customers to carry out transactions from their mobile devices. Providing employees with access to the company's intranet ensures that all employees are able to keep abreast with communication even on their commute to and from work. This…