1. Discuss some of the challenges facing business today. Does information technology play a role in these challenges? Explain.
The business world and society in general are undergoing phenomenal and sometimes turbulent change. The “new economy” driven by the Internet has seen the rise of entirely new businesses like Amazon.com, Yahoo, eBay, and of course Google. While the “dot com bust” of 2000 saw the demise of thousands of Internet-oriented businesses, the fact remains that most traditional “bricks and mortar” businesses have been forced to transform themselves into some form of an “e-business” simply to survive in this new era. The old cliché, that the only constant in business is change, is still true except that changes occur at “Internet speed.” Information technology is at the core of these radical Internet-driven changes. What implications does the “new economy” have for accounting? Whether in an “old economy” business or a “new economy” business, accounting information is intrinsic in most business processes. All businesses must still capture, process, store, and report accounting and other information about business processes to assess performance.
2. Giving examples, discuss how information technology is revolutionizing the accounting function and what accountants do. Contrast accounting tasks before and after the “information technology revolution.”
Organizational leaders and managers need information about its value adding activities as a basis for determining whether the organization is achieving its goals. Given that even non-profit organizations incur costs, an essential aspect of running an organization and ensuring its long term survival involves recording, tracking, and reporting information about both value adding activities and cost incurring activities. As you undoubtedly have guessed, this information about organizational value adding and cost incurring activities is the domain of the accounting function in the...