Title

The impact of computerised accounting information systems on small and medium enterprises’ information quality, firm strategic decision making and firm performance

Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Business and Law

First Advisor

Dr Zubaidah Ismail

Second Advisor

Associate Professor Hadrian Djajadikerta

Abstract

Today, many Malaysian SMEs are facing problems that hinder the full implementation of computerised accounting information systems (CAIS). These problems are related to human resources incapable of using the systems and organisation’s inability to adopt the technology and align it with the companies’ strategic policy.

The purpose of this study is to empirically test the impact of CAIS on information quality, focusing on the transparency aspects of corporate governance and strategic decision making (SDM). Accounting information systems (AIS) with a ‘good fit’ and ‘highly praised’ corporate governance (CG) practices have been shown to lead to good firm performance. While the literature has examined the effects of AIS fit on firm performance, few studies have looked at the link between CAIS, information quality and firm performance. Further, while the impact of strategic decision making and CG on firm performance has been widely studied, the role of AIS in this relationship is less clear. Since AIS forms the backbone of a firm’s business information infrastructure, both strategic decision-making process and corporate governance, particularly the transparency dimension, rely on information derived from the system.

Using a resource-based view (RBV) framework, hypothesised relationships among variables of interest were examined based on data collected from 336 small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) in Malaysia. Results from partial least square (PLS) analysis suggest that effects of AIS on firm performance were partially mediated by information quality, while a full moderation effect was found for other variables on firm performance.

The results thus demonstrate the importance of information quality, SDM and AIS to a greater height, prompting SMEs to revisit their policies on AIS, staff training and largely transparency to better improve firm performance. Outcomes of this study contribute to the body of knowledge on AIS, information quality and SMEs, while helping to trigger interest among SMEs on the importance of having reliable accounting software to produce quality reports.

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