ICT Usage by Greek Accountants

ICT Usage by Greek Accountants

Efstratios C. Emmanouilidis (University of Macedonia, Greece) and Anastasios A. Economides (University of Macedonia, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/jisss.2010093004
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This study investigates Greek accounting offices use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). Initially, a comprehensive questionnaire was developed. It contains 35 questions with multiple answers and 2 open questions tailored to the accountants. One hundred accountants’ offices in a Greek county answered the questionnaire. The findings present their current ICT infrastructure and their use of ICT and accounting e-services. Greek accounting offices have made improvements in adopting new technology in their everyday work. All use email, antivirus software, and the Web. Most submit VAT (Value Aided Tax), Taxation Statements, and APS (Analytical Periodic Statement) via Internet. However, most are not cautious about backing up their data daily; they do not create electronic files for all their documents; they do not update their software via Internet; and they do not use advanced software applications. Finally, they expect the government and the Accountants’ Chamber to finance their ICT infrastructure.
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Previous Research

Not many previous studies exist on the use of ICT by accounting offices. Some detailed studies were conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Gallun, Heagy, and Lindsey (1993) distinguished between small and large public CPAs (Certified Public Accountants) and accountants in large enterprises (industry accountants) in the United States. They found that large accounting offices used more LANs (Local Area Networks) than small ones. Also, most accountants did not appear to worry very much about viruses and other security issues. Most used laser printers along with the essential dot matrix, and the most popular brand was Hewlett-Packard. Finally, a small percentage used portable printers.

Khani and Zarowin (1994) showed that 23% of enterprises in the United States supplemented all forms electronically (e.g., liquidation of income tax statements), and 15% planned to do it in the future. Regarding security, 31% faced virus problems. Also, 37% used an antivirus program, 68% of which used Norton. Regarding backup, 83% backed up their data, 80% of which did this daily and 16% weekly. E-mail was used by 39% of the offices.

Prawitt, Romney, and Zarowin (1997) classified U.S. accountants in the following categories: 1) in big accounting offices (Big 6—national), 2) in intermediate (regional) offices, 3) in small offices (local and individual offices), 4) in organisations (business and nonprofit), 5) in schools (academic), and 6) in governmental organisations. The most popular operating system was Microsoft Windows. All accountants in the first two categories used networks. The most popular application office suite was Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Access, and PowerPoint). All accountants used applications for managing their contacts and timetables, and the most popular application was ACT! by Sage. (The small use of Microsoft Outlook was interesting.)

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