Assessment of IT Tools Used for Operational Budgeting in Polish and Lithuanian Companies
Keywords:Management Accounting Information, Information Quality, Excel, ERP
The paper aims to determine the quality of information and the quality of IT tools used for operational budgeting in Polish and Lithuanian companies. The questionnaires were distributed by e-mail and traditionally among controllers/management accountants. Due to the fact that the sample was non-random, the findings of the research cannot be statistically referred to all the companies. The authors opted for this method of data collection because of the difficulty with survey returnability (extremely low return rate due to the use of sensitive data). However, the authors have taken a number of steps to increase the reliability of the study conducted. The research was preceded by extensive literature studies, the respondents had knowledge of the analyzed phenomenon and the results of the conducted research were compared to the results received by other authors. IT tools supporting operational budgeting with the highest quality assessment were Excel/Access and a ready and parameterized budgeting modules in the Integrated Systems. The analysis shows that low-quality IT systems result in low information quality. The system that is flexible can be modified easily, thus meeting changed user information needs quickly and efficiently, which leads to relevant and up-to-date information outputs to users, implying high information quality. The research shows that the maintenance of high quality of the operational budgeting system is a determinant of the quality of information generated by this system, in its absence - there is no way to ensure the quality of information in the decision-making process. This study allows to interpret the results of prior studies and create directions for future research that will refer to system quality and information quality, but also to a more extensive analysis. The results allow for prioritization in the context of dissemination, but most of all for the evaluation of individual tools supporting operational budgeting. Consequently, it extends the scope of information regarding the choice or change of the tool used, and provides the basis for a deeper analysis of the assessment of the distinguished features characterizing a given tool. The study offers the possibility of continuing it, which would allow comparison of the results, both in other countries, as well as repeating the study in the future and the possibility of observing changes in the tools used and assessing their quality. The survey could serve as a prelude to in-depth qualitative research, which would enable analysis of the factors determining the quality of the system used and the information generated.