A Study of Factors Influencing Digital Accounting Software Selection in Thailand

A Study of Factors Influencing Digital Accounting Software Selection in Thailand

Supawadee Moss (University of New England, Australia) and Kamaljeet Sandhu (University of New England, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-5175-2.ch007
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Accounting software selection, implementation, and use have received close interest for business efficiency purposes in a fast-changing global digital environment. This study reports the results of a survey for small-medium accounting firms in Thailand that have focused on the factors used to select the accounting software. The researchers have examined whether different firms have different factors in selecting the accounting software and which factor is most influential for accounting and auditing firms for their decision to select accounting software. A structured questionnaire survey instrument was used to collect data from 49 accounting firms. New findings from this study suggest that, firstly, there are no significant differences between accounting and auditing firms in the factors used to select accounting software. Secondly, it was found that the accuracy of data processing, calculation, and reports is the most influential factor that accounting and auditing firms will consider for using the accounting software.
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Accounting firms are businesses that provide professional services including accounting and auditing services such as production of financial statements, provision of consulting on business or tax planning, and the provision of auditing or assurance services to corporations on a digital platform. Presently, modern accounting practice is focused on automated data processing and companies around the world are increasingly using information technology (IT) to deal with large amounts of digital financial data (Sandhu & Terdpaopong 2019). This change has seen a move from paper-based transaction recording to electronic-based transaction recording on a digital platform (Sandhu & Corbitt 2007). Along with these changes, a number of accounting software are developed to simplify the digital accounting preparation process (Syafrudin, 2012). When technology allows corporations to record, analyze and report the large amount of digital financial data, suitable accounting software choice becomes an important factor for professional service firms such as accounting firms and hence to innovate. Identical to manual accounting systems, accounting software used by accounting firms and auditing firms still need to evaluate a company’s past performance, present condition and future prospects (Ghasemi, Shafeiepour, Aslani, & Barvayeh, 2011). Accounting and auditing software are crucial components of the professional service. For example, in auditing firms, apart from auditor’s judgment and auditor’s experience, the use of computer analyses to identify audit risk and for audit sampling has become a very important part of auditing work. Accounting software can also help accountants, auditors and business owners improve the accuracy of financial reports as it has internal and automated check and balance system built in to ensure that all transactions are properly balanced and correct. It also allows fast processing for large amounts of financial information.

Furthermore, the variety of accounting practices, accounting systems and accounting policy have changed the decision in selecting accounting software for both accounting and auditing firms. For example, if companies have to deal with multiple currencies and different accounting and tax rules, new and more sophisticated accounting software packages for handling these issues will be required (Adhikari, Lebow, & Zhang, 2004).

Similar to the other countries around the world, small and medium business enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand comprise the majority of corporations. The performance of the SMEs sector is very important for the overall economic growth of any nation. However, poor financial management and accounting knowledge are found to be one of the main problem among SMEs (Ismail & Mat Zin, 2009). Also, SMEs are reported to have poor internal control, lack of training and insufficient planning due to the lack of internal expertise and internal professional advice (Alasadi & Abdelrahim, 2008; Berry, Sweeting, & Goto, 2006). It is also reported that usage of computerized accounting information system (AIS) is minimal among SMEs in Malaysia (Ismail & Mat Zin, 2009) which has a similar business environment to Thailand.

Hence, due to the accounting and auditing standards and tax compliance, these businesses may seek for financial/accounting/auditing advice from accounting firms. According to Bressler and Bressler (2006), the small-medium entrepreneurs cannot afford to hire big accounting firms to give consulting advice, audit their financial statements, or for processing of their accounting books. Since small-medium accounting firms play an important professional role in Thailand, this study aims to explore the factors that small-medium accounting and auditing firms use in selecting accounting software for their professional work. The results of this study could help accounting software developers to improve their product offerings and enable them to offer products which match with the needs of their users.

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