Managing the move to the cloud – analyzing the risks and opportunities of cloud-based accounting information systems
The accounting industry is being disrupted by the introduction of cloud-based accounting information systems (AIS) that allow for a more efficient allocation of work between the accountant and the client company. In cloud-based AIS, the accountant and the client company as well as third parties such as auditors can simultaneously work on the data in real time. This, in turn, enables a much more granular division of work between the parties. This teaching case considers Kluuvin Apteekki, a small pharmacy business whose owner faces critical management decisions on how to embrace this new opportunity to move to the cloud. Students are guided to evaluate the advantages and drawbacks of cloud computing in the specific context of accounting services. Also, the owner must make a set of critical decisions concerning which tasks to outsource. The accounting process comprises of several tasks and sub-tasks, adding to the complexity of the decision making problem. The main learning outcome of the case is related to the development of the skills and competencies needed in creating a strong business case for implementing IT-enabled business processes.