Perceptions of accounting information effectiveness : preliminary findings from the Malaysian Federal Government

Puasa, Sharinah and Smith, Julia and Amirul, Sharifah Milda (2019) Perceptions of accounting information effectiveness : preliminary findings from the Malaysian Federal Government. Labuan e-Journal of Muamalat and Society, S1. pp. 48-59.

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This paper presents preliminary work towards understanding the use of the Accounting Information System (AIS) in the Malaysian Federal Government setting, by investigating AIS users’ perceptions of the system’s effectiveness. Recently, the Government upgraded its AIS to cater for the function of accruals accounting treatment, as well as to improve financial reporting practice. The advancement of the system entailed a huge investment in both money and human capital preparation. As such, the installed system is expected to be effective in order to make the investment worthwhile. However, past literature has shown the measurement of system effectiveness to be rather ambiguous and inconsistent due to variations in the definition of system effectiveness. This has caused difficulties for both researchers and practitioners, in terms of making comparisons between studies to objectively assess AIS effectiveness. Therefore, this study is significant, in that it presents qualitative evidence from unstructured preliminary fieldwork, combining both group discussion and observational approaches. This preliminary study: (i) provides insight into the history of AIS enhancement and AIS current practice in the Malaysian Federal Government; (ii) provides an understanding of AIS users’ perceptions of AIS effectiveness; and (iii) uncovers nine criteria for an effective system.