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ACC8000: Drafting & Research in Management Accounting - Research Proposal Assessment Answers

November 15, 2017
Author : Amy

Solution Code: 1FEF

Question: Research

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Research Assignment

You are a member of the health and safety committee at the Quick and Fast Courier Company. The company prides itself on its ability to deliver packages quickly throughout Australia. The company has offices in each state of Australia. Recently there has been a number of new staff employed, and changes have been made to the safety training for the new employees. At the same time there has been a significant increase in workplace accidents. The company wants to determine if the changes to training and the influx of new employees are related to the increases in workplace accidents. They ask you to carry out the research for them.

Requirements for task 1:

  1. a) Explain, providing reasons, whether you believe, a qualitative or a quantitative approach is appropriate for this research. (While a mixed method might be a suitable option please choose only between a qualitative or a quantitative approach.)

(b) Write a research proposal outlining how you will go about this task. In your proposaladdress the following:

  • the objective of the research
  • the type of data that will be collected
  • how the data will be collected
  • how data will be analysed.

Task two – analyzing data obtained from semi-structured interviews.

Twelve months ago your firm initiated a new procedure for booking business-related travel. There have been a number of complaints about the process. You have been given the task of interviewing 20 people who have recently used the travel system.

Requirements for task 2:

  1. a) Provide three examples of questions you might ask in your interviews.
  2. b) Once you have undertaken your interviews and transcribed them, explain the steps youwill take to analyse the interviews to come to some conclusions.

Task three – mixed methods

Requirements for task 3:

  1. a) Distinguish between explanatory sequential mixed methods and exploratory sequentialmixed methods explaining when each type of research design might be appropriate.

  1. b) Read the article by Freudenberg et al. (2014). What type of mixed method design hasbeen used?
  2. c) What justification do Freudenberg et al. (2014) give for the mixed method design theyhave chosen?

It has been stated that “top level management accountants are now emerging as members of the most important business decision-making groups guiding major organisational, operational and strategic choices” (Sorensen 2009, p. 1271). Furthermore, in such a context management accountants need a range of skills and knowledge (Paulsson 2012). However, other research on the role of management accountants does not support the view that most management accountants are taking on a business partner role (Cooper & Dart 2013; Lambert & Sponem 2012).

Requirements for task 4:

Using the articles mentioned above and at least four other articles that you find, write an essay that answers the following questions:

  1. If the role of management accountants has changed, how has it changed? b. What factors have led to the changing role of management accountants? c. To what extent is there support among accounting researchers that the role ofmanagement accountants has changed?

The marking guide for these three questions for task 4 is provided below.

1 Appropriate introduction creating interest for thereader and outlining the purpose of the essay

2 Answering of the three questions in task 4 andusing appropriate references

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Task 1

Section A

I believe in Qualitative approach since the opinions and thought of the employees are needed to focus deeper on the problem, this would give us better insight of the real cause. By using unstructured and semi-structured techniques, there will be a broader scope to eventually narrow down to the root cause (Johnson B. et al, 2008). This approach will also give us better opportunity to interact with the people itself and clarify further details if needed. A quantitative approach will only keep us focused on one point and won’t give us a chance to discuss about any clarifications. Therefore qualitative is the best approach for this problem as the focus point is not yet determined and needs a lot of opinions to come to a conclusion (Lichtman, 2006).

Section B

Quick and Fast Courier Company has employed few members recently who were given with the safety training that has been amended a little compared to the past, however it has increased the number of accidents at the workplace during this period. The objective of our research is to investigate the causes for this increase in accidents, so that corrective actions could be taken in order to prevent future incidents as such. The type of data to be collected in this research will be thoughts and opinions of each employee for the questions to be asked. This will enable us to dive deeper into the topic if the person seems to know better. Data will be collected as recordings to review again when analyzing and interpreting the conclusion. Data collection will be the basis of confidential individual interviews, physical observation at the work place and finally group discussion with members belonging to each team. All these data will be recorded and also the interviewer will jot down notes for later use. After the interview sessions and discussions are over, all the data recorded will be reviewed to analyze them. Memo notes of summaries in each of these interviews will be carefully noted down to interpret the data collected, this will reduce the data and will make it easier to analyze. After the reduction of data, a data software called CAQDAS will be used to input these recorded and analyzed data to create a brainstorm map for easier visual analysis (Braun et al., 2006).

Task 2

Section A

  1. a) How long have you been working with our firm?
  2. b) Are you satisfied with the new procedures? If not satisfied, then why?
  3. c) What are your suggestions in how we could improvise this process to make your life easy and convenient?

Section B

Reduce the overall data but taking short notes of important points, making memo's, highlighting words that can be used to interpret. Compare the conclusion of each participant with one another and analyze the pros and cons. Input the data into a data software for a better visual interpretation so that it would create a map which will help us to better compare with each other more clearly (Braun et al., 2006). After discussing this with the team of researchers, it will help us to come to a conclusion.

Task 3

Section A

Explanatory sequential mixed method is when qualitative data is used to explain a quantitative result. The focus mainly goes to the qualitative data. The quantitative data is initially collected and analyzed after which it’s used to follow up with the qualitative data collection and analysis. This is used when there is a need for a very in-depth research on a qualitative method, as this research focuses mostly on the quantity, it will give more opinions, thoughts and feedbacks to dive deeper into a problem (Cameron et al, 2009). Exploratory sequential mixed method is when quantitative data is used to explain a qualitative result. This method is mostly focused on a larger group or sample. The qualitative data is initially collected and analyzed which is used to build the quantitative data collection and analysis. Exploratory sequential analysis methods are used when there are no existing guides related to the research being conducted (Creswell et al, 2011).

Section B

Exploratory sequential mixed method.

Section C

They wanted to understand the taxpayer’s behaviors and the factors effecting them. There has been several research done which focuses only on single element like peer influences and individual personalities, however these approaches never seemed to give enough of information to come to a proper conclusion. So they decided to combine two approaches together so they would get a better picture but focusing on the tax payer, their behaviors, peer influences and also the effect of government action on the tax payer, they decided to focus on several elements like ethics, civic duty, moral obligation, willingness and religiosity (Freudenberg et al, 2014).

Task 4

Accountants are employees of the organization who are responsible to gather data, make financial reports, analyze data, support in making decisions and also give advice on certain business decisions made which involved finance, however from the past 200 years they have started to evolve as business partners by involving themselves more into business process. Accountants were only asked for support in making decisions in the traditional work role, however since they are involved in the business’s key area, they eventually became the key role to make the decision itself since the top level managers get very busy with their day to day schedule giving the responsibility to the accountants as they will anyway have to take care of the financial area. Any decision made in an organization will always involve the finance department because every decision is something to do with either a profit or a cost to the company. Therefore these make the finance department a very important one in the whole picture.

One of the most important decision makers today of an organization are accountants, hence they are newly termed as management accountants who are responsible in making important decisions in an organization, it's operations and it strategies. Though they do not fulfill the educational requirements need to be in the management sector, they are evolving due to the past experience in different organizations, however educational curriculums are beginning to include management areas for accountants which will ultimately make them fulfill the educational requirements too. To train accounts in a managerial field still involves a practice based curriculum and academia which has risking factors. With time management accountants in the future will require a new role to be the key role in the financial function of the organization (Sorensen, 2008). Accountants should be able to cope with factory that can be uncontrollable in certain organizations, this is a risk on every top-managers in an organization (Fischer, 2011). When purposeful actions are implemented, the management accountants become the role model on an organization (Goretzki, 2013). Therefore when the educational systems starts to support the modern role of the accountant, they will keep evolving even the future since practice and theory both involves management as one of the criteria of an accountant.

As there is always a start for any initiation, when going back in the history, the Anglo-Americans and the World Health Organization are thought to be responsible in developing management accounting roles after the Second World War, therefore today it's been already widely practices in health care systems (Paulsson, 2012). Modern practices encourage accountants to be part of the management in making important business decisions. They do not encourage accountants to simply have the traditional role of only gathering data and giving information. Many surveys has been conducted with regards to this subject on an international level where the importance of an accountant being a partner in business was reported. This enables and allows accounts to have a deeper involvement with the business by giving advice on strategies, operations and organizational matters. However having said that accountants play a major role in making business decisions, it also means the accountant need to have a knowledge about the business itself to make wise decisions. This means that an accountants needs to be able to adopt to different situations and circumstances in an organization, therefore not many accountants are able to fulfill this role but only the capable ones. The key reason of an accountant becoming involved in the management is due to the business support service being concurred by financial activities. Every transaction on an organization will involve finance in some way. An accountant must be able to multi task and think in a broader perspective to be successful in an organization. When an accountant works in multiple functional roles, it enable them to start understanding the business process, which enables them better to make good decisions. Therefore when an accountant is hired in an organization, it's best to place the account in a multiple function role to be able to adopt. Seniority in a role always plays a major role, when the accountant’s years of experience increases in this way, their perspective towards the business and their productivity together can increase. Cooper stated "It has been argued that the business-oriented role places less emphasis on technical knowledge and traditional skills, although these are still recognized as important and more on supplementary knowledge and business skills, notably in the consideration of non-financial information in the accountant’s work. Therefore, those in more senior positions are likely to be more productive and more highly value the business support service than those in less senior positions" (Cooper, 2013). Accountants are becoming the main role in decision making in the organization, and they are highly being supported and trusted by the stake holders involved. Educational curriculum in paving a better path for them by giving them an exposure from the beginning of their career. Being and accountant is crucial and deals with the trust of an organization, the growth also solely depends on them, they are not the typical accountants who only do the gathering and provision of data, they have better responsibilities now and the financial department of every organization only seems to be growing more day by day no matter how may systems are releases, they always need more man power to support the company.

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