Management accountants must adopt enterprise web 2.0 collaborative technologies (the streamlining of business processes via the use of social media tools) if they are to enhance their customer accounting practices in the future, according to CIMA’s latest report.
"Adopting Enterprise Web 2.0 Collaborative Technologies in Business: The Implications for Management Accountants" concludes that even in companies that were early adopters of enterprise web 2.0 technologies, few accountants were systemically using social networking, but those that did reported improvements in their effectiveness.
The study found quantification of the "soft" or intangible benefits of enterprise web 2.0 (such as improving coordination, knowledge accessibility, and relation building amongst people and teams) remains a challenge for management accountants. There are difficulties using accounting frameworks to identify the business ‘value’ of these tools, and although some of the cost and benefits can be measured and quantified, there are other intangible non quantifiable benefits that cannot be calculated through accounting models.
However, for those who embrace this technology, one important and tangible benefit found was a reduction in travel expenditure impacting on financial costs and the environment.
"The profession is experiencing a generational effect emerging as both trainee accountants and newly qualified professionals are using technologies more extensively than others. Accountants need to take advantage of the opportunities that social networking tools present as they offer new ways of improving communication with others in the business, particularly with those at a distance," says Naomi Smith, research and development manager, CIMA. "By utilising these tools we are giving more power to employees to create their own way of organising knowledge, workplaces, and business processes."
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