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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2019

Bakil DhaifAllah, Sofiah Md-Auzair, Ruhanita Maelah and Md Daud Ismail

This paper aims to investigate the effect of product complexity and communication quality on inter-organizational cost management (IOCM) and open book accounting (OBA…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the effect of product complexity and communication quality on inter-organizational cost management (IOCM) and open book accounting (OBA) practices in buyer–supplier relationships in Malaysian manufacturing firms.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was administrated to CFOs or accounting managers of Malaysian suppliers. Exploratory factor analysis and Structural Equation Modeling procedures were applied to test convergent and discriminant validity of the measurement model and examine the relationships among the latent constructs in the structural model.

Findings

The results suggest that IOCM and OBA scales show acceptable reliability and validity. The findings also report that both product complexity and communication quality have a positive effect on IOCM and OBA in buyer–supplier relationships. However, the results suggest that IOCM does not influence OBA practice.

Research limitations/implications

Although IOCM and OBA constructs exhibited satisfactory reliability and validity, future research is required to refine and further validate these constructs. The data were only collected from the supplier’s perspective. Thus, future research is invited to benefit from matched data from both suppliers and buyers to generate additional insights on IOCM and OBA.

Practical implications

This study may assist suppliers and buyers in relationships by suggesting that complex products require the adoption of IOCM and OBA practices to reduce information asymmetries and manage costs. Furthermore, emphasizing quality of communication may enhance the implementation of these practices.

Originality/value

Theoretically, this study contributes to the academic stream of management accounting and cost management as it enhances an understanding of contributions introduced in prior literature on IOCM and OBA. It uses a complementary approach of transaction cost theory (TCT) and social exchange theory (SET) to explain the research model. Methodologically, the study validated scales for measuring IOCM and OBA in a new environment.

Details

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, vol. 16 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1832-5912

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Article
Publication date: 5 August 2014

Ruhanita Maelah, Zakiah Muhammaddun Mohamed, Rosiati Ramli and Aini Aman

This study utilises an internship framework to justify the need for feedback from all three groups of internship stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to determine…

Abstract

Purpose

This study utilises an internship framework to justify the need for feedback from all three groups of internship stakeholders. The purpose of this paper is to determine the benefits, skills, and outcomes students gained through internships from the perspective of students, university and employers.

Design/methodology/approach

A set of structured questionnaires was used to survey the perceptions of students, university and employers of an accounting internship. A total of 172 responses were analysed.

Findings

Findings show that all three groups of stakeholders perceived that students benefit from the internship programme. They also perceived that an internship provides the students with both the technical and soft skills required in the marketplace. However, the mean score and ranking differ among the students, university and employers.

Research limitations/implications

The study was conducted based on feedback on a single accounting programme. Therefore any characteristics inherent in this sample that differ from the overall population of accounting programmes could bias the results and limit its generalisability and any associated inferences. Questionnaire responses should be interpreted with caution as perceptions and self-insights are subjective and may or may not be reflective of reality. This study falls short of putting forward any reasons why results differ from previous studies or why the mean scores of the three stakeholders all differ. Further research may take into consideration a comparison of internship programmes across institutions and disciplines. Future studies can also use the reflection approach and interview to better explain the benefits and skills developed through accounting internship programmes.

Practical implications

Practically, findings from this study provide feedback to the students, university and employers to continuously improve accounting internship for undergraduate accounting programmes.

Social implications

Social implications lie within the research framework that emphasises the student learning experience, university support through theoretical understanding and employer contribution through the practical component.

Originality/value

Internships have become part of an accounting curriculum in many universities globally. To date, most studies on internship practices are limited in scope and focus on feedback from a single perspective. This study fills the gap in the literature by conducting a perception-based survey of internship stakeholders: students, university and employers, on benefits and skills acquired through internship.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 56 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 17 February 2012

Aini Aman, Noradiva Hamzah, Rozita Amiruddin and Ruhanita Maelah

Finance and accounting (FA) offshore outsourcing is a growing trend involving a relocation of business processes to Asia but only few studies focus on understanding the…

Abstract

Purpose

Finance and accounting (FA) offshore outsourcing is a growing trend involving a relocation of business processes to Asia but only few studies focus on understanding the issues that underlie the relocation of FA services. This paper aims to provide understanding of transaction costs economics (TCE) issues in FA offshore outsourcing using a case study of the Malaysia outsourcing industry which is growing and experiencing significant change.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a qualitative case study approach. Interviews cover several foreign firms, which are based in Malaysia and involved in FA offshore outsourcing services worldwide. Interviews also include related regulatory bodies in Malaysia.

Findings

Using TCE and management control theoretical framework, findings indicate issues and challenges faced by the firms and the need for contract management skills to mitigate the issues.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to a broad discussion of FA offshore outsourcing, TCE and contract management but it could be a basis for future studies on specific issues of managing attrition in FA offshore outsourcing. This study contributes to prior works in TCE and FA offshore outsourcing by establishing controls to minimise costs at contact, contract and control stage. Specifically, this study emphasises contract management such as negotiating contract and using long‐term contractual arrangement.

Practical implications

This study not only identifies TCE issues in offshore FA outsourcing, but also provides suggestions for minimising transaction costs. For example, firms should consider the type of transaction costs involved and plan for appropriate contract management to mitigate the costs.

Originality/value

There is no study yet that discusses in‐depth the issues of TCE in FA offshore outsourcing especially in Malaysia and the need for contract management in mitigating such issues.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2010

Ruhanita Maelah, Aini Aman, Noradiva Hamzah, Rozita Amiruddin, Sofiah and Auzair

The purpose of this paper is to provide understanding on the process of accounting outsourcing turnback from the client's perspective. The aim is to understand the issues…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide understanding on the process of accounting outsourcing turnback from the client's perspective. The aim is to understand the issues faced by clients during turnback process, and provide recommendations to resolve them.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a qualitative interpretive case study approach. Data were collected based on documentation, archival records, direct observation, and interviews to allow for triangulation.

Findings

This study provides empirical evidence of accounting outsourcing turnback process. Some of the issues faced by clients include lack of management support, limited financial and human resources, and uncooperative vendors.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretically, this study extends Elliot's model by providing empirical evidence on process, identifying issues, and discussing recommendations on accounting outsourcing turnback. The limitation is the use of a single case study of a small company in Malaysia.

Practical implications

Practically, this study enhances understanding on accounting outsourcing turnback process and issues. The recommendations provided can serve as guidelines for clients who are considering outsourcing turnback as a strategic move.

Originality/value

There has been limited research in the area of accounting outsourcing focusing on turnback process. This study contributes to the field of accounting outsourcing by describing an accounting turnback process and issues faced by clients. The study recommends communication, financial support, top management support, back‐up exit plan, and vendor management throughout the turnback period. Finally, gradual reduction of accounting outsourced works rather than immediate termination is favored to reduce the risk in accounting outsourcing turnback.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Amizawati Mohd Amir, Sofiah Md Auzair, RUHANITA MAELAH and Azlina Ahmad

The purpose of this paper is to propose the concept of higher education institutions (HEIs) offering educational services based on value for money. The value is determined…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose the concept of higher education institutions (HEIs) offering educational services based on value for money. The value is determined based on customers’ (i.e. students) expectations of the service and the costs in comparison to the competitors. Understanding the value and creating customer value are a means to attain competitive advantage and constitute the basis of price setting. Drawing upon this belief, as an initial step towards value-based pricing method, the possible value factors are suggested for calculating educational programme prices across HEIs.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper introducing the value-based pricing approach in setting HEI tuition fees. Extending prior discussion on the demand for quality education and current financial challenges faced by HEIs, it introduces the concept pricing based upon customer perceived value (student/industry). Value-based pricing is deemed appropriate in view of the value of short tangible and intangible investment by both parties (students and HEIs) to differentiate in terms of setting the right price for the right university for the right student.

Findings

The primary aim is to suggest the applicability of value-based pricing for HEIs, which is likely to be both relevant and fruitful for the sustainability of the sector. It represents a personal point of view; building upon a review of the literature, the paper extends the established knowledge one step further in terms of setting the right price for the right university, which is deemed worthy of further study and development.

Originality/value

The paper will be of use to the management and policymakers in the education sector in searching for a contemporary pricing mechanism for higher education.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2013

Sofiah, Auzair, Aini Aman, Ruhanita Maelah, Rozita Amiruddin and Noradiva Hamzah

The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence of accounting outsourcing practices in Malaysia and the management control strategies undertaken by these practising firms…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide evidence of accounting outsourcing practices in Malaysia and the management control strategies undertaken by these practising firms to mitigate inherent risks.

Design /methodology/approach

This study employs survey methodology using structured questionnaires and case studies using interviews. A total of 51 companies responded to the questionnaires and two companies participated in the interview.

Findings

The survey data revealed that the primary reason for engaging in accounting outsourcing was to gain quality accounting service from the experts. With regard to management control strategies, it was shown that respondents place high emphasis of behavior, output and social controls. Further investigation using case studies involving a vendor and client companies reveal that the control mechanisms involved were stated in the outsourcing contract, namely the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and penalties. Informal controls were also used in both cases to assist in solving conflicts and dissatisfaction among vendors and clients.

Research limitations/implications

The identification the control strategies in the accounting outsourcing process is useful for companies to manage the inherent risks in outsourcing relationships. The knowledge on the control practices by firms involved in accounting outsourcing provides additional assurance to potentials interested in seeking accounting services in this country.

Originality/value

This paper is driven by the lack of empirical evidence of accounting outsourcing practices in Malaysia and paucity of research into the role of management control in an outsourcing relationship. Despite the growth of the outsourcing industry in Malaysia, little has been done to understand the contribution of a professional service sector such as the accounting services to this industry.

Details

Business Strategy Series, vol. 14 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-5637

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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2012

Ruhanita Maelah, Aini Aman, Rozita Amirruddin, Sofiah, Auzair and Noradiva Hamzah

Firms in Malaysia are in an enviable position in view of Malaysia's standing as a leading outsourcing hub in the region. Despite that, little is known about the accounting…

Abstract

Purpose

Firms in Malaysia are in an enviable position in view of Malaysia's standing as a leading outsourcing hub in the region. Despite that, little is known about the accounting outsourcing practices, risks and control in Malaysia. This paper aims to explore the practices, decisions, processes and perception of risks and control in accounting outsourcing.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is written based on survey data which were collected using a questionnaire. The questionnaires were directed to the head of the accounts and finance department of each company. A total of 51 companies participated in this study and approximately 47.1 percent of the respondents are involved in accounting outsourcing.

Findings

Findings show that the most common outsourcing activities are financial reporting and auditing while the main reasons to outsource are quality service, core competencies and scale economies. The decision to outsource accounting services is related to the type of industry and expertise in the firms. Most of the firms outsource their preparation of account and audit work as well as tax for better quality services. Firms rely more on formal contracts and concerns about confidentiality and security of accounting data.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the limited number of responses, the findings may not be generalized to the overall population. Nevertheless, they can be used as background information for subsequent research in accounting outsourcing activities. Future research may consider the use of in‐depth case studies for understanding challenges in accounting outsourcing particularly in making decisions, managing processes and mitigating risks.

Originality/value

While it can be regarded as exploratory, this study makes an attempt to uncover the risks and control issues in accounting outsourcing. The findings will contribute to the body of knowledge in accounting outsourcing and enhance the understanding of the current accounting outsourcing practices in Malaysia.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2013

Rozita Amiruddin, Aini Aman, Sofiah, Auzair, Noradiva Hamzah and Ruhanita Maelah

A shared service (SS) arrangement involves an intra‐firm interrelationship, since the SS centre (SSC), operated as an independent business unit, provides services to…

Abstract

Purpose

A shared service (SS) arrangement involves an intra‐firm interrelationship, since the SS centre (SSC), operated as an independent business unit, provides services to clients who are other independent business units in the same company group. The purpose of this study is to provide an understanding of risks and controls used in mitigating SS risks.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a qualitative approach using a case study of a SSC in a bank group in Malaysia. The risks and control framework developed by Das and Teng was used to analyse the appropriate control mechanisms for mitigating internal outsourcing risks, namely relational risk and performance risk.

Findings

The main relational risk identified is the possibility of opportunistic behaviour. However, this risk could be mitigated through social control especially when both parties share norms and values. Performance risks in SSC are mainly related to unsatisfactory services in terms of incomplete information, system errors and human mistakes. These risks could be mitigated using either behaviour control or output control. Behaviour control can be exercised through performance reporting, while output control can be achieved through key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreements (SLA).

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to a single case study of a SSC with a certain type of arrangement and discusses business process outsourcing (BPO) in general. Future research may examine cases with other SS arrangements, detailed examination of each BPO and incorporate multi‐perspective views from both SSC and their clients. Issues concerning changes in control in the evolving situation of SSC and bargaining power and trust in mitigating SSC risks are also worth exploring.

Practical implications

The study's findings enable practitioners to draw insights to develop effective control strategies to mitigate risks in intra‐organizational relationships such as SSC.

Originality/value

The paper adds to our knowledge of control mechanisms for mitigating risks in the SS relationship, which is a relatively new concept in the literature.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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