Information Technology roles in Accounting Tasks – A Multiple-case Study Maria do Céu Gaspar Alves
accounting, the relationship between IT and accounting has been studied relatively little” (Granlund, 2007:3). Based on a literature review of earlier research and empirical studies we conclude that there is a very limited knowledge about the impact of the most recent IT developments in the accounting field (Granlund, 2007). Although IT clearly plays an important role in accounting (Efendi et al., 2006) and management control (Dechow et al., 2007), this relationship has not been studied enough. Existing research has focused mostly on the relation between IT investment and company performance (Melville et al., 2004; Huang et al., 2006), notably in studies that attempt to measure the level of IT investment and company productivity (Dedrick et al., 2003) or even the financial return on IT investments (Dehning & Richardson, 2002). But, empirical studies examining the relationship between IT and performance have reported mixed findings (Dedrick et al., 2003; Melville et al., 2004). As well as conflicting results suggest that there is no direct relationship between IT investments and firm performance (Yongmei et al., 2008). So, the relationship between IT and firm performance seems to be more complex than previously theorized (Stoel & Muhanna, 2009). The purpose of this paper is to focus specifically on the effects of IT related organizational changes on the management accounting function. We will seek to prepare the management accounting profession for the challenges which IT will pose, and to contribute to the body of knowledge about to what extent IT affects the ability to solve different accounting tasks. Hence, we will try to measure the impact of IT usage on accountant tasks.
Abstract—Nowadays the business world is changing at a faster and faster pace. The reasons given for this is globalization, highs information technology (IT) investments and the rapid pace of technological change. Organizations are responding in different ways and at different rates to the wide range of IT based opportunities and pressures. The purpose of this paper is to focus on the effects of IT related organizational changes on the management accounting function and to contribute to the body of knowledge about to what extent IT affects the ability to solve accounting tasks. The relationship between IT and accounting practices was investigated qualitatively using six case studies and we will measure the impact of IT on accountants’ tasks. The findings suggest a tendency for change and the decentralization of accounting tasks. Index Terms—Accounting, Accounting Information Systems, Financial Documents, Information Technology, Management Information System.
I. INTRODUCTION Nowadays the business world is changing at a faster and faster pace. The reasons given for this is globalization, highs IT investments and the rapid pace of technological change in combination with escalating costs of research and development (Frishamar, 2002). The role of information technology (IT) has shifted over the last decades (Teng & Calhoun, 1996) to become an important part of how companies manage and control their resources. Organizations are responding in different ways and at different rates to the wide range of IT based opportunities and pressures (Johnson et al., 1986). Decisions regarding the building of technical IT architecture should be closely linked to decisions made in designing the IT organisation that should be linked to the organisational design of the company itself. As a result, “Information technology plays a critical role in modern business, especially regarding the accounting function” (Efendi et al, 2006:117). IT have radically transformed the nature of business and accounting practice (Hunton, 2002). “The initial interest in the relationships between...