Blending Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with an Accounting System: The Case of the Egyptian International Motors Company (EIM)

Blending Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with an Accounting System: The Case of the Egyptian International Motors Company (EIM)

Khaled Dahawy (American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt) and Khaled Samaha (American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-583-4.ch001

Abstract

Improving our understanding of the accounting information system development in a specific Egyptian context, this case aims to investigate the development of a redesigned automated accounting system in a privately owned Egyptian company that was planning material changes in its accounting systems and organizational structure through integrating ICT systems. In other words, this case attempts to explore the company’s strategic decisions regarding computerized accounting information system implementation choices, problems met during the implementation process, and the actions taken to takeover these problems to gain the potential accounting system redesign benefits. Tracking the automated accounting system redesign highlights some implementation success key factors and emphasizes that obtaining top management commitment to the process of an automated accounting system implementation is a prerequisite for success.
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1- Organization Background

Egyptian International Motors Company (EIM) was established in 1979 as a main business unit within Alkan group. Its remarkable growth over the years has positioned it as a market leader in various business fields. The company activities include multinational enterprise representation, lease finance services and free zone storage and clearance. The company is categorized as a commercial company that is involved in various areas/disciplines through the acquisition of licenses. This makes the company a unique company in the sense that each acquired license is treated as a separate line of business.

The company’s description of line of businesses in its articles of incorporation states that it is a retail company that operates in: manufacturing, importation, export, distribution and acts as an agent of passenger cars, heavy equipment and agriculture equipment; importation of textile machinery and equipment for flour mills and crushing plants. Today the company is one of Egypt's most mature private sectors operations, exclusively distributing and servicing more than 25 world renowned brands in more than 7 business sectors, both in Egypt and in the Region (see Figure 1).

Figure 1.

EIM renowned brands

Each of the brands represented by EIM is a leader in its segment. These brands are served by a distribution network including EIM branches as well as extensive dealer networks and after-market services delivered through highly qualified and well trained technical staff in EIM workshops across the country or on-site wherever the customer is. EIM strives to make a distinct and profound positive difference in the trade industry in Egypt and the region by supplying the highest quality service, products and solutions to its customers.

EIM has represented diverse multinational names over the years. EIM has created a very special position for itself in the market, serving a large number of clients of various sizes, ranging from major local and international contractors to individuals. What makes EIM unique are its strategic capabilities that allows it to pursue market opportunities in the best, most speedy manner. The company's deep local roots give it greater insight into what clients want and where opportunities for growth reside. The diversified range of businesses permits exposure to several fields of expertise, creating a knowledge base in the respective market sectors.

EIM Company has nationwide presence, ensuring full local market coverage that allows for unmatched distribution. The company's broad reach of experienced and qualified employees offers an ongoing renewal of ideas, strategies and new business acquisitions. Local presence and regional reach is made more powerful by the company’s third competitive advantage; managing a portfolio of some of the most powerful brands worldwide.

EIM has a high dynamic operational structure (see Figure 2). Seven semi-independent business divisions organized mainly around the business sectors they serve, manage the company’s different brands. EIM is able to offer its customers the superior levels of support they deserve as a result of a strong managerial and operational structure, powered by nearly 1500 employees.

Figure 2.

EIM operational structure

The Information Systems (IS) department consists of 5 employees including the IS manager. During implementation of an IS project the IS manager usually undertakes any checks to ensure the organizational goals are being met, this includes regular assessment after project completion to ensure the IS is being used to maximum effectiveness. The IS manager still believes that there is room for improvement with regard to the knowledge of IT of employees within the organization, and believe this can be improved with regular up-to-date training, giving an opportunity for employees to gain the relevant knowledge.

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