Feasibility Report Assignment – HA2042 – Accounting Information Systems

HA2042 – Accounting Information Systems

You are to prepare a submission to satisfy your client’s requirements as outlined below. You are required to investigate the issues at SkiZone and provide a feasibility study into the improvement to their current business processes. You will need to conduct an investigation into the client’s problems and evaluate a solution to meet their business needs.

Overview – SkiZone

Andrew West started SurfZone in Bondi with the goal of providing good quality surfing equipment to his customers. To ensure year round business, Andrew sells both Surfing and Snow Ski products and he also has a lucrative snow ski hire department that is strongly patronised by school groups and families. Business has been brisk and he has established a sizeable client base over the last five years.

As the business has grown, two new stores have been opened in Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie. Each store has a manager and five staff members in the winter months to manage the sales, stock and hiring of snow ski equipment. In the winter months this is reduced by one staff member. Andrew now finds his time is taken up with monitoring the overall direction of the three stores, negotiating better deals with suppliers and networking with other local businesses and potential customers such as local high schools.

Each store has 2 point of sale cash machines. Andrew has an office next to the Bondi store which he shares with an assistant. There is a computer for the assistant and Andrew has a laptop computer that he uses to prepare details for the accountant to complete the Business Activity Statement. He also carries out some analysis on spreadsheets for sales forecasting.

The Existing System

Each of the three stores operate a similar system, sales are captured at the point of purchase by the cash register machine. There are two machines in each store operated by sales counter staff. The business supports the use of credit card and EFTPOS cards. Details of each sale are recorded on cash register dockets which are reconciled at the end of the day with any credit card and EFTPOS dockets and cash in the till. No details are captured about the customer only details about the goods purchased, the method of payment, staff member, product, quantity purchased, price and totals.

Stock levels, are recorded using Stock Cards. Details of new stock are entered onto the cards when the new stock is received and details of units sold are updated at the end of trading each day. Unfortunately when things become hectic (and this happens often), marking off stock sheets can be forgotten and therefore they are not very accurate. To know the level of any stock item, a physical check is required. Stock take is conducted at random times when Andrew thinks it would be good to know what is in each of his stores.

The hiring department operates by providing ski equipment hire for boots, ski’s and ski suits for usually a couple of days but can be for longer periods. When a customer hires equipment they are assisted in their selection by one of two staff members working in the hire department. If things become busy, then one of the two staff members on the sales counter will come and assist.
When a customer makes a selection, their details are written on a duplicate docket along with the details of the selection they have made. A copy of customers credit card details are taken from a standard manual credit card imprint machine. The details of the credit card along with the docket are placed in alphabetical order in a file. When the customer collects their hired items, the duplicate of the docket is placed on the plastic bag which contains the customers rented goods. This is the customers copy.

When the customer returns the hired items, the staff member retrieves the duplicate docket from the file containing both the docket details and the credit card information. This can be a time consuming process as sometimes dockets are misfiled and customers become annoyed with the delay. There have been complaints made on a number of occasions because of this problem. Once the docket has been retrieved, the goods are checked and a final cost for payment calculated on a calculator. The total is then entered into the cash register and the customer completes the payment. The credit card docket is then torn up and the hire docket is returned to the file.

The managers of each store control the opening and closing of the store, the arranging of stock, staff rosters, organise the banking and they inform Andrew what stock they need. Andrew then negotiates the best deals he can from his suppliers. The office assistant reconciles the banking from each store with the sales records and enters this in a spreadsheet that is then checked off against the banking details. If there are any issues, the office assistant informs Andrew who then resolves it with the relevant store manager. At the end of each week, the spreadsheet is sent to Andrew who uses it for sales forecasting and also provides the information to the accountant to complete the Business Activity Statement.

The assistant also prepares the wages for each staff member again using a spreadsheet and writes up cheques for each payment. The assistant then hands the cheques to Andrew who delivers them to the Boni store and arranges for a courier to take them to the Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie stores. Andrew likes to make sure he has a record of paying his staff and he believes that cheques provide this record. He has recently received some requests for payments to be made directly into bank accounts to make it easier for staff members.

Changes Required

Andrew believes it will be possible to streamline some of these business processes to reduce the amount of time it is taking to process the data. He would also like to have information about his business more readily available. He believes that it could be time to invest in computers to record details about the sales, process the payroll and provide details about the stock. He would like you to investigate what options would be available to:

  • Provide computers in each of the three stores to capture sales information and manage the hiring details.
  • Capturing the customer details would greatly assist in developing a targeted marketing campaign in the future.
  • Capturing details about the stock sold so that accurate stock levels could be known
  • Provide a way to calculate the wages and to electronically pay staff. Good records of this process are essential.
  • Provide useful data to Andrew for forecasting sales.

Andrew intends to open up to six further stores during the next three years and any systems implemented must be capable of supporting these developments. After an initial investigation, Andrew has asked your group to develop a feasibility report on providing a suitable solution for the accounting and payroll problems.

Your Task

You are required to submit a feasibility report. At a minimum level, your feasibility report should contain the following generic sections:

  • Executive Summary
  • Description of the problem
  • Solution objectives
  • Constraints
  • Development plans
  •  Potential solutions
  • Recommendations
  • Your appendix should also contain Any brochures (scans), websites, photographs and prices you have researched to complete your assignment.

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