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HI5019 Strategic Information Systems: Case Study on ERP System of Bell Studio Assessment Answer

Assessment Details and Submission Guidelines
Trimester
T1 2019
Unit Code
HI5019
Unit Title
Strategic Information Systems for Business and Enterprise
Assessment Type
Individual assignment
Assessment Title
Case Study – Bell Studio
Purpose of the assessment (with ULO Mapping)
Students are required to:
  • Describe the various transaction cycles, financial reporting, management reporting systems and e-commerce. (ULO 2)
  • Understand the risks inherent in computer-based systems/ERP, including e- commerce, the role of ethics and the various internal control processes that need to be in place. (ULO 4)
  • Appreciate the opportunities for computer fraud and the security measures in electronic commerce that need to be taken to overcome this. (ULO 5)
Weight
20% of the total assessments
Total Marks
20
Word limit
Not more than 2,500 words
Submission Guidelines
  • All work must be submitted on Blackboard by the due date along with a completed Assignment Cover Page.
  • The assignment must be in MS Word format, no spacing, 12-pt Arial font and 2 cm margins on all four sides of your page with appropriate section headings and page numbers.
  • Reference sources must be cited in the text of the report, and listed appropriately at the end in a reference list using Harvard referencing style


Background

Assignment Specifications

You are recently employed as a business analyst at Bell Studio, an Adelaide-based wholesaler of art supplies. Bell Studio sources its inventories from manufacturers in Australia, China, Japan and New Zealand. The company has a centralised accounting system with networked terminals at different locations. Bell Studio’s expenditure cycle procedures are described as follow:

Purchases System

The process begins when the purchasing clerk checks the inventory subsidiary ledger at his/her computer terminal each morning. When the quantity of an item is deemed to be too low, the clerk selects a vendor from the valid vendor file and prepares a digital purchase order. The clerk prints two hard copies: one copy is sent to the vendor, and the other is filed in the purchasing department. Digital purchase order record is added to the purchase order file.

When the goods arrive in the receiving department, the receiving clerk inspects them and reconciles the items against the information in the digital purchase order and the packing slip. The clerk then manually prepares two hard copies of the receiving reports. One of these accompanies the goods to the inventory warehouse, where the clerks shelves the goods and updates the inventory subsidiary ledger from his/her computer terminal. The clerk then files the receiving report in the department. The other copy of the receiving report is sent to the accounts payable department, where the accounts payable clerk files it until the supplier’s invoice arrives. When the accounts payable clerk receives the invoice he pull the receiving report from the temporary file, prints a hard copy of the digital purchase order, and reconciles the three documents. At this time, the clerk updates the digital accounts payable subsidiary ledger, the accounts payable control account and the inventory control account in the general ledger from his terminal. The clerk then sends the invoice, receiving report, and the purchase order copy to the cash disbursement department.

Cash Disbursements System

Upon the receipt of the documents from the accounts payable department, the cash disbursements clerk files the documents until their payment due date. On the due date, the clerk prepares a cheque for the invoiced account, when is sent to the treasurer who sign it and mail the cheque to the vendor.

The cash disbursements clerk then updates the cheque register, accounts payable subsidiary ledger, and the accounts payable control account from his/her computer terminal. Finally, the receiving clerk files the invoice, purchase order copy, receiving report, and cheque copy in the department.

Payroll System

Bell Studio’s employees record their hours worked on time cards every day. Their supervisors review the time cards for correctness and submit them to the payroll department at the end of each week. Using a computer terminal connected to the central payroll system, which is located in the data processing department, the payroll clerk inputs the time card data, prints hard copies of the pay cheques, print two copies of the payroll register, and posts to digital employee records. The payroll clerk files the time cards in the payroll department and sends the employee pay cheques to the various supervisors for review and distribution to their respective department employees. The payroll clerk then sends one copy of the payroll register to the accounts payable department, and files the other with the time cards in the payroll department.

The accounts payable clerk reviews the payroll register and manually prepares a disbursement voucher. The clerk sends the voucher and the payroll register to the general ledger department. The accounts payable clerk then writes a cheque for the entire payroll and deposits it in the imprest account at the bank. Finally the clerk files a copy of the cheque in the accounts payable department.

Once the general ledger clerk receives the voucher and payroll register, the clerk posts to the general ledger from the department computer terminal and files the voucher and payroll register in the department.

Required

Prepare a report to Chief Operating Officer to evaluate the processes, risks and internal controls for its expenditure cycle. In your report, you need to include the following items:

  • Data flow diagram of purchases and cash disbursements systems
  • Data flow diagram of payroll system
  • System flowchart of purchases system
  • System flowchart of cash disbursements system
  • System flowchart of payroll system
  • Description of internal control weakness in each system and risks associated with the identified weakness

Assignment Structure

The report should include the following components:

  • Assignment cover page clearly stating your name and student number
  • A table of contents, executive summary
  • A brief introduction or overview of what the report is about.
  • Body of the report with sections to answer the above issues and with appropriate section headings
  • Conclusion
  • List of references

The report should be grounded on relevant literature and all references must be properly cited and included in the reference list.

Answer

Course code date

Assessment title: case study Bell studio 
Executive summary 

This study focuses on the case study on bell studio. The ERP system of the company is analysed in detail. With proper research internal weakness of the system has been found out .system flowchart and data diagrams have been given to make the reader understand the functionality of the System

Introduction 

Information system that are used by organisation to gain competitive advantage in the business market is known as strategic information system (Pearlson et al, 2016). With the help of these system business owners decrease the rate of services or rate of the product (Alamri et al, 2016).  Many IT experts says that statrtergic information system or sim is a salient feature of the information system. With these kind of system business are able to process, manage and transfer the information that they receive or create. The strategic information helps the organisation in proper planning. Meaning with the help of planning from the system, the organisation can determine its success and failure (Alamri et al, 2016). In addition with the help of this system, all the projects of the can have a favourable return. Showing good reports of successful projects can get investors for the organisation (Pearlson et al, 2016). With the help of such system proper communication can be found in different departments of the organisation and all the pre-existence system will have the ability to interface properly and avoid the problem of automation. 

In this assignment the case study of bell Studio is considered. With the help of the case study, this assignment will reveal various financial, transaction, management reporting system. In addition this assignment will help the reader understand risk of using the information system and the role of ethics that are related to it. Furthermore this assignment will also focus on the computer fraud that are related to strategic information and the assignment will also recommend some of the ways to avoid it.

System flowchart of the purchase system 

 system flowchart shows the creation of purchase order file s

Fig1: system flowchart shows the creation of purchase order file system by the clerk from his computer terminal.



shows the system flowchart from the receiving clerk to the cash reimbursement system

Figure 2: shows the system flowchart from the receiving clerk to the cash reimbursement system

The purchase system of bell studio is done in two sections. One is known as the creation of purchase order file from the clerk to the vendor and other is from the receiving clerk to the cash reimbursement system. The system has a prime pillar known as the purchasing clerk and the receiving clerk. The purchasing clerk awakes up every morning and checks the inventory with the helpful of a computer terminal.  If the inventory is low, then the clerks selects a vendor from valid vendor file and then maintain a digital purchase order.  Once the digital purchase order is created, the clerk makes two copies, one is made for the vendor and other is made purchasing department. When all this process is completed, the record of the digital order is screened in purchase order file

Once the purchase order file is created it gets arrived in the purchasing department. The main job of the receiving clerk is to inspect the terms against the purchase order slip. Once the inspection is done the receiving clerk prepares two reports. Once is sent to the inventor where the clerk updates the inventory file and the one copy is sent to accounts department.  At this point of time, the receiving clerk updates three account one is known as the account and the other is known as digital account and the inventory account. Once completed the receiving clerk sends the receiving report and the invoice to the cash disbursement system.

System flowchart of cash reimbursement system 

System flowchart of cash reimbursement system

Fig1: system flowchart shows the cash reimbursement system of bell studio

Accounts payable departments sends the receipt to the employees who handle the cash reimbursement system. The employees checks the payment due date.  On the time of the due date, the cash reimbursement clerk prepares the invoice of the check that to the treasurer which needs to be send to the vendor. Once signed by the treasurer, the payment is initiated to the vendor.

Once the payment is made, the cash reimbursement clerk updates the cash register, subsidiary ledger, accounts department and from his own computer terminal. In the end the receiving clerk files the receiving report and the purchase copy to the department concerned 

System flow chart of the payroll system 



system flowchart shows phase 1 of the system of the payroll system


Fig1: system flowchart shows phase 1 of the system of the payroll system


system flowchart showing the phase 2 of the payroll system

Fig 2: system flowchart showing the phase 2 of the payroll system

Bell studio works on a unique payroll system.  The payroll system implemented by bell studio records the work time of the employees on the in the form time cards.  The senior management system, also known as the supervisors, see the time cards and then submit the report to the employees who handle the payroll system. This is the time when the payroll clerk comes into the action.  The majority of the work is done by the payroll clerk. The payroll clerk performs a thorough check on the time card and the he moves on to the next step. Now the clerk, prints two copies of the payroll register and then print hard copy of the pay checks. Finally he records all the process in the digital employee records from his computer terminal. Once done, the payroll clerk sends checks to the accounts department for verification and also to the supervisors of the various department. The job of the payroll clerk ends here. 

 The second phase comes with accounts payable clerk. The main job of the accounts payable clerk is to create a disbursement voucher. The disbursement voucher is created manually looking at the payroll register.  Once the voucher is created the, the main job of the accounts payable clerk is to send the voucher and the payroll register to the to the department of general ledger. Once the approval comes from the general ledger department, the accounts payable clerk writes a checks to the bank for the entire payroll and deposits. Then deposit is filed in the accounts department by the accounts payable clerk. 

Data flow diagram of purchase system 

shows the phase 1 of the purchase system

Figure 1: shows the phase 1 of the purchase system

 shows the phase 2 of the purchase system

Figure 1: shows the phase 2 of the purchase system

Data flow diagram of cash reimbursement system 

shows the cash reimbursement system of Bell studio

Figure 1: shows the cash reimbursement system of Bell studio  

Data flow diagram of payroll system 

shows the phase 1 payroll system of Bell studio

Figure 1: shows the phase 1 payroll system of Bell studio  

 shows the phase 2 of the purchase system

Figure 2: shows the phase 2 of the purchase system

Internal weakness in purchase order system 

Purchase order system is basically a system that is designed to document purchase documents agreements and documents related to it.  In layman’s terms a purchase system (Bacallao et al, 2018) is implemented in an organisation, to see what are the things that the organisation is paying for are. Since bell studio deals in artwork it needs to keep track of the artworks that is kept in their inventory, with the help of this system the bell studio is able to document various things like quantity, product, and delivery date, billing address, payment terms and price per unit (Baykasoğlu and Gölcük, 2017). Though it has number of benefits it is subjected to some internal weakness which can be stated as follows:

  • Prone to attacks from the cybercriminals 
  •  No other departments knows how to operate the system , other than the employees who handle the purchase department (Grossman et al, 2016) 
  • Absence of the purchase and the receiving clerk who would make  the system useless 
  • Data is not updated every day and software is upgraded weekly. 

Internal weakness of the cash reimbursement system 

Cash reimbursement system is a quick method for providing funds to the vendors. In addition the payments made by the cash imbursement system are hard to track and can be easily be forgotten and thus it becomes a challenge (Power et al, 2016).  In addition cash reimbursement system are not helpful when large vendors are dealt with. For instance, most of the vendors of bell studio are from Australia, New Zealand, china and japan. All these are large vendors when for bell studio, so cash reimbursement system becomes feasible for large expenses.  For bell studio the cash reimbursement system can be subjected to in internal threats which can summarised as follows:  

  • Bell studio is located in London and its main vendors are from Australia, china, Japan and New Zealand. This means that the cost that reimbursed in London for artwork can more in other countries 
  • If the system becomes faulty due to the lack of security update then the , cash reimbursement clerk has to pay the  vendor from his own pocket 
  • The invoice may be given in a language that the cash reimbursement clerk understands. Meaning when payment has to be made in china and japan, the vendor can send the invoice in their own language like Japanese and mandarin. 
  •  If the contract terms have not been decided by bell studio. Then the property automatically becomes the property for the government of London
  • There may be language barriers , so it’s necessary to  arrange for a translator 

Internal weakness in the payroll system 

Implementing an ideal payroll system is critical for every organisation.  The payroll system is implemented to avoid poor performance from the employees and keeping their spirt and morale high every time (Chen et al, 2017).  The payroll system implemented by bell studio serves certain advantages like accurate payslips, yearend reporting, tax legislation and calculation bonuses, holiday and expenses for the employees. Though it has lots of advantages, it is subjected internal weakness. Some of the weakness can be can be listed as follows: 

  • Archiving:  Bell studio is a reputed organisation. Thus there are millions of information that is feed each day.  The payroll system implemented by bell studio is designed to keep but it would require constant achieving.  This process would require the touch of human hand, since bell studio is busy atmosphere. Thus such process can be a hassle.
  • Limited access: the payroll system present in bell studio is linked with an individual computer and data can be accessed from that machine only.  This can be serious problem, because if the machine fails for some reason, then the whole system gets down with it.
  • Overload:  payroll system is not a single man’s job. Though in bell studio the payroll system is handled by the payroll clerk, there are times when the task becomes stressful. On the contrary if the bell studio hires additional employees then there will be cost of training. These could fall into additional expenses
  • Under withholding: According to Lu et al (2019), payroll system of bell studio is unable to show difference from regular withholding from the voluntary upholding.  This kind of glitch should be mitigated at all possible cost to avoid business loss 

Risk involved in ERP system of bell studio 

1, selections of good software 

There are thousands of vendors who offer software’s related to ERP. Thus choosing a right software that would full dill the business requirements of bell studio is a challenging task. Thus the top management should select an ideal software that would provide a favourable outcome according to the convenience of bell studio 

2.  Transformation 

 There is no stability in business nowadays. Customers are changing demands from day to day (Haruna et al, 2015).  Thus the ERPO system that is implemented by studio should give them proper planning to address the change. Any ERP system that cannot tars form itself with the change of the customer is useless.

3. Updating delay 

The ERP keeps working fine in bell studio, because it gets updated weekly.  Experts recommend a daily update from the software to avoid any hassle. Every update contains some bug fix which makes the software efficient and lag free. Thus there is a high risk if daily update is not maintained. 

4. No use of bleeding edge technology or start-up 

Choices make great difference, for the proper functioning of ERP. From the case study, it is very evident the ERP used in bell studio can be subjected to attacks from the cybercriminals.  No use of bleeding edge technology or start-up have generated risk in the system 

5. Software stability 

ERP system available on bell studio show, no software stability. According Li et al (2017), ERP system were filled with bugs which did not provide a regular vendor update. The whole cash reimbursement system was faulty. 

How to avoid fraud in ERP 

Use of SoD

SoD stands for segregation of duties.   Most of ERP since all the users have access to end to end tasks (Haruna et al, 2015). The key to break this process and make sure that only trusted individuals are able to handle end to end tasks 

Access reviews 

Bell studio could avoid security creep with the access reviews.  This means that the managers of bell studio would have the ability to check which employee have access to what.  This will ensure that all the user rights are aligned and with no faults in the system. In addition when employees are terminated from the office, they should be denied ERP access.  In the option of $# period access reviews are important to keep the ERP system of bell studio and clean. 

Auditing 

Auditing is one thing the bell studio should implement as soon as possible. The department of bell studio have wide range of access, but should be kept in check. There must be a process to track the activities of the privileged users to make them feel that they checked (Baykasoğlu, and Gölcük, 2017) 

Conclusion 

From the above information, it is clear that the bell studio has been facing a number of problems with the ERP systems. These are some internal weakness that should be mitigated at all cost.  Steps to overcome this dicculties are given in the assignment, so that company can see how to tackle ERP problems. The use of ERP system have placed the company in a competitive advantage and have given high profits.

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