Information Technology And Accounting Essay

4134 words - 17 pages

International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, Vol. 1, No. 1, June, 2010
2010-023X

Information Technology roles in Accounting
Tasks – A Multiple-case Study
Maria do Céu Gaspar Alves

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 ...view middle of the document...

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 accounting and information technology was
gradually taken for granted; accounting was simply not
possible without information technology, and the assumption
appears to be that information technology is the platform for
accounting data and it allow certain sophisticated queries to
be performed” (Granlund & Mouritsen, 2003:78). Thus, IT
and accounting systems would be a major component of
accounting research. “While it is widely acknowledged that
IT plays an important role (and increasingly so) in the field of

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.

II. LITERATURE REVIEW
The impact of modern information technologies in
companies is broad and manifested in the most varied ways.
Integrated systems, such as ERP systems, Internet, Intranet,
and so on, walk hand in hand with the most recent
developments in company know-how. Some of these
technologies, with their widespread use, especially the
Internet, have altered the way companies work and their
accounting organization...

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