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Digitisation, ‘big data’ and the transformation of accounting information

Bhimani, Alnoor ORCID: 0000-0002-1884-5840 and Willcocks, Leslie P. ORCID: 0000-0003-2572-9554 (2014) Digitisation, ‘big data’ and the transformation of accounting information. Accounting and Business Research, 44 (4). 469 - 490. ISSN 0001-4788

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00014788.2014.910051


Developments in digitisation, software and processing power and the accompanying data explosion create significant alterations, dilemmas and possibilities for enterprises and their finance function. The article discusses a model for understanding data, information and knowledge relationships. We apply the model to examine developments in strategy, organisational and cost structures, digitisation, business analytics, outsourcing, offshoring and cloud computing. We argue that organisations need to be sensitised to different types of knowledge, the challenges in creating and applying that knowledge, and be more circumspect about what can be achieved through advances in information-based technologies and software. We point to both the potential of and the complexities presented by Big Data in relation to the finance function generally and to management accounting information provision specifically. We suggest that Big Data and data analysis techniques enable executives to act on structured and unstructured information but such action must recognise that the traditionally presumed sequential and linear links among corporate strategy, firm structure and information systems design are no longer in play. Additionally, cost structure changes are affected by developments in how data, information and knowledge can be utilised. We discuss the outsourcing and offshoring of work and their data, information and knowledge ramifications as well as those related to cloud computing. We conclude that the possibilities for the digitally enabled business create a range of information literacy challenges as well as new possibilities for accounting information providers.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Divisions: Accounting
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
H Social Sciences > HJ Public Finance
JEL classification: G - Financial Economics > G1 - General Financial Markets > G14 - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies
G - Financial Economics > G2 - Financial Institutions and Services > G28 - Government Policy and Regulation
Date Deposited: 12 Jun 2014 16:19
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2024 22:06

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