Accounting Information Systems: Case Study
You are required to use the following case study and complete the tasks that are listed at the end of it and submit your answers as a report.
‘Pepper Mint Food’
‘Pepper Mint Food’ (PMF) is a small business owned and run by Catherine Siddothi, single mother of three, in the coastal town of Maree 200 kilometres away from the state capital city. PMF prepares and supplies pre packed healthy meals.
Catherine realised a need for healthy pre packed meals in her town for locals and also for tourists and started the business in her own kitchen in 2000 with one kitchen hand who was also the delivery person. The meals’ variety was put together by a qualified nutrition specialist. The meals were packed and delivered on a daily basis to participating local businesses such as service stations, gyms, and corner shops. Sometimes, there were also lunch orders from local offices in CBD area. In the beginning, the business was slow but soon progressed further and started making a nice profit.
PMF operates seven days a week and the kitchen staff work from 6am to 2pm and the delivery staff from 9am to 5pm. The business does not operate on public holidays. Over the years, Catherine thought many times about opening the business on public holidays as well due to more visitors in the town on these days, but could not decide as she wanted to spend public holidays with her family. Also, being the main person in the managing role, it would have been difficult to open the business and not being contactable.
Catherine had done a business management certificate course which helped her in setting up the business. Later, she bought a personal computer (PC) with essential business and productivity software and managed the business quite nicely by keeping a grip on customers’ details, meals variety and pricing information, wages, details of fruits and vegetables and other raw material, packaging material, other overheads, invoices and calculating the financial figures.
Last year, the demand for the pre packed meals had grown to a level that Catherine had to hire three more staff in the kitchen and also one full time delivery person, making it six staff altogether including Catherine. It was getting difficult for Catherine to run operations smoothly with the existing PC and the software. She was also having difficulty in managing the pricing information and raw material (as the varieties had increased) and communicating with the customers. It was not just the PC and the software, but also she did not have enough time to do things she used to when the business was quite small.
Lately, a competitor has come in the market; another small business owned by a regional company and started to challenge PMF’s products. With Catherine’s problems in managing the business, the competitor has started to take some business away from PMF. Catherine realised she had to do something to keep a grip on things as she used to. Catherine knew that computers could help her in managing the business well, but did not know much about them and how computers may be helpful. So, she contacted a local IT consulting company which is owned and run by you.
Complete the following tasks and submit your answers as report. Make sure to follow the requirements and report structure mentioned below under a separate heading.
As the business/IT consultant, you need to advise Catherine Siddothi on possibilities that would best suit the requirements. She will need advice on what types of information systems can help the business and how the introduction of information systems will impact the business. You need to write a report which should cover the following tasks:
1. Define information systems; explain how they work; and describe their benefits for business. What types of information systems could be used to support PMF
2. Explain how these information systems could help PMF in managing the business. How will the introduction of information systems affect management decision making
3. Use Porter’s Competitive Forces Model to explain how these information systems could be used to gain competitive advantages.
4. What are the information requirements of PMF What business processes should PMF consider making computerised Why
5. Explain how collaboration and communication among key stakeholders could be supported using information systems. Explain the use of computer networks (intranets and extranets) and the Internet to serve their needs.
6. What management challenges will affect organisational change during the implementation of the computerised information system
7. State and explain the security and ethical issues may arise from the introduction of information systems in the business
Requirements & report structure
Reference sources from general websites are not acceptable.
At least six (6) credible references must be used,
At least three (3) of these must be from academic (scholarly) journals,
The remaining three (3) may be from industry magazines or books.
The references can be from printed or online sources and must be current (i.e. within the last seven (7) years). You can use material from organisational web sites as an example to support your arguments but it is not counted towards the references’ quota (i.e., 6 references).
For report, include the following:
Executive summary (briefly describe the purpose of the report and the date on which it was requested, a brief summary of your major findings, conclusions, and recommendations.)
Table of contents
Introduction (identify the purpose of the report and what you will be discussing within the report.)
Discussion (This is the main body of the report, after ‘Introduction’ and before ‘Conclusion’ headings. This is where you will present the arguments for your recommendations. You will need to consider headings and sub headings, as many as your discussion requires, between ‘Introduction’ and ‘Conclusion’, using WORD heading styles to guide your discussion to answer the tasks listed for the case study. You will need to determine in which order you present your material. You should not include the tasks, but a discussion about those issues that have been highlighted in the tasks.)
Conclusion (a very brief summary of your judgement)
Recommendations (after discussion and analysis, state explicitly what your recommendations are)
References, a complete reference list at the end of the report using Harvard referencing style
Text formatting (use a sans serif font in regular style and point size equivalent to 11 in Calibri font type, also use emphasis, such as, bold, italics, underline, and colours sparingly)
Paragraph formatting (should be left aligned, single spaced and 6 pt space after each paragraph.)
In report, marks will be awarded based on content that constitutes your work in terms of argument development.
Avoid discussing specific hardware and software requirements.
Make any assumptions that you find necessary; however, be sure to state your assumptions within the report.
What is crucial is that the argument presented is logical and consistent, and clearly demonstrates that the organisation’s needs are met, and that the tasks, in the case, have been addressed.
Note particularly: The work submitted must be in your own words. Lengthy quotes, even if referenced correctly, are not considered to be your own work