Applied Business Research: Impact of innovation in accounting

Executive Summary

As of the 1990s, the dissemination of computer use and software growth brought about severe changes in the processes of accounting companies. The effect of these developments has not been correctly evaluated from the accounting practitioners ‘ view. The overall goal of this research is therefore to evaluate the effects that technological development has created in Sydney’s accounting companies since 1990. The research is exploratory from the methodological point of view and the data was gathered via a questionnaire using a structured survey with a scale from zero to ten. The non-probabilistic survey included 408 participants and analyzes were carried out using “R” factor assessment based on these questionnaires. Among the outcomes is demonstrated the view of the participants that technological development enabled more flexible service delivery, as well as improved quality of data and providing executives with more helpful data. The aspect that affected the companies most was the Internet’s advent. These developments, however, reinforced the complexity of the duties of the companies and the need to attract the staff.


Society has undergone various technological developments in less than two centuries. Companies that required a broad variety of staff to perform administrative functions began to rely on embedded leadership structures that enable virtually real-time control of the primary business operations by using fewer staff for this purpose. This phenomenon has also occurred in accounting, leading to modifications in the inner procedures of the companies. It can be asserted that human beings were substituted in some operations by computers and software technologies. However, these modifications are accountable for increasing efficiency in the workplace and dislocating individuals to more vibrant operations that require the use of imagination and decision-making force, without worrying about repetitive assignments on a regular basis. 

Nowadays, an organisation is unlikely to remain competitive without the use of technological assets, as investments in technological facilities will promote the functioning of the present or future company of an organisation (Byrd & Turner, 2000). In this sense, Lunardi, Dolce and Maçada (2010) also affirm that IT-IT is viewed as an organization’s strategic need, capable of providing numerous competitive benefits to those who use it in their company, and generating competitive disadvantages for those who do not.

According to Scott (2009), innovation has involved in the accounting industry the need to expand schooling and the rise of accounting consultancy. However, there may be other impacts on accounting experts as a consequence of IT developments. However, these were not obviously assessed. The following issue is therefore posed: what were the effects of technological development in Sydney accounting companies since the 1990s?

In this research, the overall goal is to evaluate the effects that technological development has created in Sydney accounting companies since 1990. It gains significance by offering further knowledge of the effects of technological development in accounting companies to accounting learners and practitioners.

Research Objective

The general objective of this study is to assess the impacts of technological growth in Sydney accounting firms since 1990. It gains importance by providing accounting students and professionals further understanding of the impacts of technological growth in accounting firms. 

Literature Review

Hsu (2010) summarizes technological innovation as a single creative tool system, the use of available knowledge for an initial design and the creation of the instruments or returns that can be obtained. For this paper, technological innovation occurs when the organisation recognizes a idea, technique, service or object and confronts the contest effectively. Technological Innovation’s impact on implementation (both efficiency and growth) is primarily oblique and reinvigorated by information technology (Dibrell et al., 2008). Throughout the century of the 90’s, information technology has proven to be a predominantly important technological innovation means as it has supported the advancement of creative products and helped progressive trade techniques; however, awareness of innovative ingenious practices is a steady practice within a company and will result in a process, products and method improvement. This raises the following question: How to innovate in an enterprise with IT and Accounting Information System? How can the Accounting Information Systems attain a feasible reward? Thus, the desire for innovation of these companies should inculcate information technology competencies (Gordon and Tarafdar, 2007). 

The same investigator warns that information technology and the information system could shake off originality and technological innovation by homogenizing, computerizing, and institutionalizing available processes and job surges. Similarly, according to Fink (2011), in order for a company to retain its feasible lead, it is vital not to open its funds to reproduction or substitution. Similarly, the ability of an organization to innovate and attain feasible profit relies on many factors, i.e. business laws, human capital, R&D inventory, engagement (of products and residents) in worldwide business, and so on (Apergis et al., 2008). Technological innovation affects organizations ‘ ability to attempt to compete efficiently in an increasingly worldwide industry (Madrid-Guijarro et al., 2009), as technological innovation is essential to the conversion and make-up of companies (Feller et al., 2011). In this context, companies not only need to pay attention to expertise and output, but they also need to encourage technological innovation and its techniques of expanding it, which holds up manufacturing knowledge, handing out and integration (Albers and Brewer, 2003). These two scientists describe technological innovation as the use of data offering a new product desired by clients for usage or service. However, the concept of technological innovation is multifaceted; it needs money, time and dedication from the science and managerial point of perspective (Toledo and Zilber, 2012). In the course of the technological function or non-technological knowledge, Sala-I-Martin et al. (2013), Technological Innovation can come.

The developments in interaction and the data age have transformed into monuments for the accounting industry, as accounting stagnated for many years owing to its deficit situation or even due to the absence of exchange of data with its customers. The emergence of Internet use stands out among these developments, which allows surveillance of data and virtual transmission. Integrated use between network and Internet pcs has defined a fresh data era (Araújo, Cavalcante e Duarte, 2003).

Technological innovation is a mistake for the demands to be promoted within the institution, given the revenues already increased in the course of such technological innovation, the building of facilities, the reduction of macroeconomic volatility or the upgrading of the population’s natural assets, especially since all these causes seem to be diminishing. In this scenario, owing to the retardation of many worldwide markets, this has to be transformed into difficult to carry on. In addition, there is also a lack of understanding of the fantasy capacity to increase the company’s creative capacity; as a consequence, it is essential for companies to incorporate the strategy that technological innovation is essential to the organisation into their hierarchical culture (Toledo and Zilber, 2012). Technological innovation is undoubtedly a justification to think any kind of activity demands if they are to remain alive in these variable epochs. There is no exemption for Small and Medium Enterprises. This is particularly true when large amounts of information generated by the Accounting Information System are available that have not been used in the Small and Medium Enterprises for general products. Usually more merely or explicitly, it is also mandatory for Small and Medium Enterprises to produce the information in them, not just to struggle, but also to keep alive. The personality of the transformation into inventive of information technology and accounting information system in serving companies is not evident. However, due to the importance of technological innovation, many academics have examined their pedigree with the aim of influencing what an organisation should do to become more productive. There is a need for more exploration and enhancement without hesitation in order to understand and evaluate new types of technological innovation.

Another technology that brought several changes to the accounting companies is the Public Fiscal Bookkeeping System–SPED, founded on January 22, 2007 by Decree 6.022. The SPED’s goal is to standardize fiscal commitments. This fresh scenario has streamlined the extra commitments of taxpayers, making their data easier and more rational (Azevedo e Mariano, 2011). However, the SPED has not yet accomplished adequate outcomes in terms of agility and efficiency, according to research such as Faria, Finatelli, Geron and Romero (2010), as it requires elevated cost of implementation and execution.

Because of these technological modifications, accounting companies need to be heeded and ready for this enhancement, particularly with regard to SPED accounting. Digital bookkeeping (DBK) is “the SPED billing cornerstone,” according to Duarte (2009, p. 107). DBK can be recognized in a streamlined way as the manufacturing of billing ledgers in electronic format, using a uniform design file, and marked with a digital certificate.’

The emergence of social networks has brought fresh personal lifestyles and customs and effects on accounting companies. Duarte, Quant and Souza (2008) described social networks as organizations, using “particular technology that allows profile capturing, with overall and particular data and information, in a broad variety of sizes and kinds,” which can be accessed from many different environments by other individuals.

The social networks promote interaction between organisations, providing advantages to consumers, according to Lemos, Pastor and Oliveira (2012). On the other side, Mondini, Domingues, Correia and Mondini (2012) emphasize the difficulties of businesses in controlling their use by employees, decreasing the efficiency of their employees. The implementation of fresh techniques leads to structural modifications in organisations that affect the expenses of institutions and the restructuring of their productive procedures, always in order to make them more competitive (Mat, 2010).

However, not all scientists see the effects of technology as beneficial. Some think the effects are neutral. For example, technology has definitely changed the face of accounting over the years, according to Scott (2009), however it is not easy to determine whether its effects were negative or positive. Moreover, according to that writer, some of the technology’s effects are neither negative nor beneficial, but simple changes that increase professional requirements.

Alsharayri (2011) and Choe (2004) noted only favorable relationships between the stage of innovation and the quantity of data the data system manager generated in their research on the effects of innovation on data structures in certain kinds of financial organisation. Technology has created excellent effects, according to Alsarayreh, Jaradat and Alamro (2011), primarily in the agility and accuracy of the data technologies used in billing companies. According to Allahyarl and Ramazani (2011), the fundamental goal of accounting information is to help its users make decisions, taking into account that accounting is capable of producing relevant information for the formulation of strategic businesses and processes, for activity control and for an organization’s efficient use of resources.

The obvious benefit of innovation, according to Scott (2009), is the use of various instruments that allow accountants to perform their tasks in an efficient way. This worldwide innovation element adds to accounting and its competitiveness, as technological developments for accounting facilities constitute more pace and effectiveness.

According to Acevedo (2012), if interaction in accounting firms is quick, they can assist boost efficiency, enable stronger business decision-making and promote the company’s development into fresh regions or nations as the implementation of IT funds allows firms to maintain a competitive edge over their river. Accounting companies can use IT to produce fresh facilities or enhance the services provided to their customers.

One of the major disadvantages of computing, according to Scott (2009), is its reliance on human capital. Technology is a result of human development and thus repeats human mistakes. Human mistakes can be very costly when interlinked with technology. This shows that another limitation is the reliance on innovation by the profession.

In turn, Aribaba, Asaolut and Olaopa (2011) show the significance of IT for community, especially in small-scale service firms, leading to stronger results and higher corporate growth. According to Mat (2010), in an accounting firm, the basic goal of IT is to help users make decisions, generate information that can improve the performance of the firm and formulate strategies for business planning and control.

In this regard, Sarakolaei, Bishak and Rahimipoor (2012) claim that IT can influence the outcome of the choices of the executives, as it can increase barriers that hamper the knowledge and use of the accounts produced by the accounting schemes. These potential problems are linked to the information placed in the scheme and the potential distortions in the production records. The use of IT should therefore be focused on suitable and credible theoretical ideas and techniques of billing.

As far as accounting research is concerned, IT can play a key part both in the company’s leadership system and in the billing operations. In this context, Lehmkuhl, Veiga and Rado (2008) emphasize that IT promotes the information leadership method of the participants of the organization, promotes inner and external interaction, and provides support for information enhancement, whether through best job methods or information dissemination conversations.

According to Handel (2003), the most highlighted aspect of IT in the accounting context derives from its increase in the speed at which the accountants ‘ routines are carried out. According to Sarokolaei et al. (2012), the greater velocity in routine achievement in conjunction with accurate information handling are considerations that warrant the use of IT in the modern globe.

Implementing new IT technologies in organizations has not only boosted the process, control and routines of management, but has also revolutionized business methods and continually changed the nature of accounting and the role of accountants. In this context, the significance of investing in IT is emphasized by Sanchez and Albertin (2009), since this strategic intervention can give competitive benefits.

According to Simons (1987), by formulating a well-defined company approach, the social climate needs billing organisations to be able to create significance for their customers and distinguish themselves from their rivals. Organizational variables such as: efficient techniques, organisational layout and billing structures that provide helpful and accurate data should continuously support this approach (Jermias & Gani, 2004).

According to Grande, Estébanez and Colomina (2011), a well-defined approach centered on IT and personnel qualifying investments will provide the accounting companies with profitable benefits and beneficial adjustments relative to customers and their rivals.


Due to the contrast with exercise and evaluation using statistical methods, a descriptive and comparative structure will be taken for this research (Richardson, 1999). 

The population used to carry out this study will be the 9,260 Sydney-based accounting companies. Since it will not be possible to obtain the list of messages from the experts enrolled at CPA Australia, contact data from 9,079 companies will be gathered through sources, which would be contacted and served as the study community. Answers will be obtained from 408 sample accounting companies. As the letters are inviting legal officials to respond to the questionnaire, the scientists think they were most of the information collection instrument’s participants. A structured survey will be implemented to obtain the information, split into two sections. The first portion of the questionnaire will contain appropriate information about the structural information of the company and the profile of the individual in charge of the company.

The participants could be eligible in terms of company size, years of operation, etc. based on that data. The second section consists of thirty issues linked to IT effects, depending on the theoretical structure, divided as follows: issues 5, 6, 16, 24, 27, 28 and 29 were developed on the basis of Cadez and Guilding (2008); Grande, Estébanez and Colomina (2011), Questions 11, 14 and 15; Grande, Estébanez and Colomina (2011) and Sarokolaei et al. (2012), Questions 18; Jermias and Gani (2004), Questions 1, 2, 4, 7 and 9; Langfield-Smith (1997), Question 22; Langfield-Smith (1997) and Sarokolaei et al. (2012), Questions 26; Mcafee (2006), Questions 3, 8, 17, 23 and 25; Mcafee (2006) and Sarokolaei et al. (2012), Questions 26; Questions 10, 12 and 13 were formulated on the basis of their expectations.

Accounting practitioners were anticipated to rank the framed issues between zero and 10, depending on their point of satisfaction with the effects IT has created in their billing company (0 = full disagreement and 10 = full consent). The persons accountable for the companies will be sent an e-mail demanding their involvement in the studies. The email will include a connection in Google Docs to access the questionnaire. These questionnaires will allow areas to be labeled, whereas Part II surveys contained a field below each issue showing the rating and restricted to responses between zero and 10. Research issues should be pre-tested for assessment reasons, according to Van der Stede, Young and Chen (2007), to verify whether the participants can properly comprehend and reply the questions readily. Thus, a university teacher pursuing a Ph.D. in Accountancy and another holding an M.Sc. will pre-analyze the questionnaire to gather the information for this study. In accounting, followed by a pre-test involving four accountants and two accounting engineers, all accountable for accounting companies. Through this method, issues in the elaboration of the issues could be presented and any contributions or recommendations were integrated into the questionnaire, adding to the modifications required for the sake of right comprehension of the participants.

Part 1
Region of Sydney where the firm is active
Eastern Suburbs ( ) Sydney CBD ( ) Northern Beaches ( ) Canterbury – Bankstown ( ) Hills District ( ) Northern Suburbs ( ) South Western Sydney ( ) South- Eastern Sydney ( ) Western Sydney ( )
Number of Clients
Up to 25 ( ) Between 26 and 50 ( ) Between 51 and 75 ( ) Between 76 and 100 ( ) more than 100 ( )
Length of Activity of the Firm
Upto 5 anos ( ) 6 to 10 ( ) 11 to 15 years ( ) 16 to 20 years ( ) d21 to 25 years ( ) 26 to 30 years ( ) 31 to 35 years ( ) 36 to 40 years ( ) more than 40 years ( )
Number of Employees
Upto 5 ( ) 6 to 10 ( ) 11 to 15  ( ) 16 to 20 ( ) 21 to 25 ( ) 26 to 30  ( ) 31 to 35 ( ) 36 to 40 ( ) more than 40 ( )
Legal Status of the Firm
Civil Society ( ) Individual Firm ( ) Buisnessman ( ) Other ( )
Qualification of the Responsible
Accountant ( ) Accounting Technician ( )
Degree of the Responsible
B. Sc ( ) Specialization/MBA ( ) M.Sc ( ) Ph.D ( )
How do you classify your firm in comparison with the competitors
Small ( ) Medium ( ) Large ( )
Part 2
1The company makes its database accessible for customers to get the data or records they need by distant access.
2The various data, as well as the billing SPED, the fiscal SPED, among others, resulted in an enhanced amount of customers requesting data about them.
3Technological technology has improved data inclusion between the company and its customers.
4IT required constant changes in the performance of the facilities provided by the company.
5IT has decreased the amount of physical conferences between the office manager and the customers.
6Technological technology supported the company’s customer development.
7With fresh technology, the company can give its customers fresh goods
8The services are now being conducted in a more flexible way with IT assistance.
9The facilities are now more securely executed with IT assistance.
10Technological development in accounting facilities has encouraged the establishment of a fresh company
11Using data technologies improved the company’s primary wage paid.
12The company required to employ external IT support counsel.
13IT created higher economic hazards owing to data delay by paying penalties.
14IT has assisted to reach fresh economies.
15IT has assisted participate in fresh operations.
16IT supported the loyalty of the customers to the company.
17Public agency facilities became agile as a consequence of IT use
18IT integration improved the need for staff to be trained to conduct billing services.
19As a consequence of IT use, the quality of the facilities supplied enhanced
20IT has increased the complexity of the facilities offered.
21IT introduced to the company more duties.
22As a consequence of IT use, the company’s leadership enhanced.
23As a consequence of IT use, internal or external communication became flexible and effective.
24Using IT has improved the company’s profitability.
25IT improved the agility of the supplied data
26The company had to employ more skilled experts to meet the fresh technology requirements.
27During working hours, staff use social networks.
28IT’s advent led to a decrease in the company’s amount of staff.
29The charges risen according to the percentage of expenses associated with IT.
30The company’s main technological development was Internet entry.

Data Analysis

Analysis of factor allows to analyze correlations between variables–in this situation the issues –to define a number of popular measurements called factors based on the matrix of correlation. The answered questionnaires will therefore be evaluated using R Factor Analysis, which generates factors grouping the answers, summarizing the amount of analytical variables (Hair, Black, Babin, Anderson & Tatham, 2009). Thus, the responses will be summarized in a few basic components–the variables–which explain a big portion of the variability in the responses to all the issues posed.

Cronbach’s alpha test, which according to Cronbach (1951) measures the relationship between the responses to a questionnaire by analyzing the response profile of the participants, will be used to assess the accuracy of the questionnaire implemented in the studies. This relates to an intermittent connection between issues. According to Freitas and Rodrigues (2005), the scores used for the dna reliability assessment of Cronbach are: α 0.30 (very small);0.30 < α α < 0.60 (deep); 0.60 < α 0.75 (mild); 0.75 <α 0.90 (high) and α > 0.90 (very high).

Applying the Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) test and Bartlett’s sphericity test will measure the legitimacy of the factor assessment. The KMO experiment shows the adequacy metric of the information in compliance with Pereira (2006) and examines the information adjustment by concurrently considering all factors. If the marginal correlations are low, the KMO’s score will be near to one, indicating the data’s ideal adequacy for factor assessment. The KMO experiment is viewed as follows, as proposed by Pereira (2006): if it is below 0.5, the sample is deemed unacceptable; between 0.5 and 0.6 bad; between 0.6 and 0.7 sensible; between 0.7 and 0.8 good; and between p.9 and 1 very good. Before the factor analysis, Bartlett’s sphericity test is stated to assess the connection between factors. Significance has been put at 0.05 for this research. Therefore, if the null theory is not verified at a trust rate of 95 %, the validity is dismissed.

The amount of parts used will be described by the latent base rule, i.e. based on the amount of difference represented by a certain variable. Values above one are important considerations for this criteria, that is, they constitute a big portion of the complete deviation (Cooper and Schindler, 2003). Therefore, scores greater than one for the latent root will be acquired for the variables adopted in this research. The statistical software used for the analysis was SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences) and the factor extraction process was carried out by rotating factors whose effect, according to Hair et al. (2009, p. 116), is “to redistribute the variance from the first to the last factors in order to achieve a simpler and theoretically more important factor pattern.” Varimax, which is the standard technique in SPSS, was the rotation technique established for this research. 

According to Hair et al. (2009, p. 118), “the criterion of varimax is focused on simplifying the factor matrix rows. The varimax technique maximizes the amount of the load variances needed from the matrix of the variable.”


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Application for Ethics Approval

Student Details
Student Number:
Subject (Code/Name):

Supervisor Details

Proposed Research Details :
Topic: Impact of innovation in accounting and its effect on business organization
Summary of the proposed research project, including brief description of methodology (bullet points where applicable)To study the impact of technology on the future of accounting and it’s effect on the growing buisnesses. A non-probabilistic survey will be carried out by 408 participants and analysis will be carried out using “R” factor assessment based on these questionnaires.
Ethics Checlist (Participants)
How do you propose to select your participants ?Pariticipants will be taken from the list on CPA Australia. 
Will your research involve adults who might be identified by you or anyone else reading the research ? (Yes/No). If yes, how will you obtain their consent ?Yes. The adults will be sent a questionnaire which will require them to sign a consent form at the beginning of doing the proposed activity. They may chose to ignore the questionnaire if they do not wish to participate. 
Does your research involve children under eighteen years old ? (Yes/No)No

Ethics Checlist (Participants)
Will your research take place in an institution ? (Yes/No)Yes
Are in a position of power over participants ? (Yes/No), if yes, describe any ethical implication and how you deal with themNo
Describe any risk or harm to participants which might be associated with your research and how would you propose to minimise these risks The survey does not consist of any question which should harm the participants in any form. This research is purely based on opinions of the company which would be treated with strict confidentiallity. 
Privacy and Confidentiality
How will you protect the confidentiality and privacy of your participants ?Participants will be e-mailed the questionnaires and would therefore be asked to not mention their names on the form. The email correspondence will help the researchers identify the individual. Contact details of the participants will only include their email as a necessary component for contact. 
Will it be possible to identify participants from published data ? (Yes/No), if yes, is there any ethical issue which may arise from such identification.
Data Collection and Storage
Who will have access to the data ?The data will be accessible to the primary data collector. 
How will you store the data in order to ensure its securityThe data will not be stored online but on an external device which will be password encoded.