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Introduction

Behind strategic information systems development lies the intent to respond to the corporate world and their different actions in the context of business in an effective way. Across the globe business organizations are increasingly embracing SIS for securing more competition advantage against their competitors. It may also leave a significant contribution in low priced delivery of products and/or services, differentiating and concentrating primarily on a demanding or innovative market. IT strategy inside the corporate and information technology world, is consider as a crucial element benefiting the organizations, no matter whatever their size, type and industry is, data allocation, storing and processing and keep the data and information that they develop and receive moving (Kasemsap, 2018). Moreover, for assisting the companies to get the metrics and analytical tools implemented into their information repositories function, SIS also enables and provides different tools and services thus, empowering them to recognize the innovative expansion opportunities besides simple ways of increasing their operational and supplies efficiencies. All this means better management of data together with how effectively it is presented and analysed. Strategic information system links the demands of an organization with the most recent information technology. In this way it helps them to uphold their markets by using information technology to meet the challenging requirements of the corporate business environment that varies consistently. Entrepreneurs can deal with the incorporation of data system and its function within organizations easily with the help of an information system strategy- a crucial aspect of the growth and expansion of business. Additionally, SIS also empowers companies to classify different opportunities to make use of information systems for different strategies thereby, getting ensured that only useful resources or are less allocated to the applications and sustainable use of scarce resources. Adequate support to the goals and objectives of organizations at different levels of the business is assured by strategic information system further helping them to create and sustain resources on multiple occasions in this competitive market for years. It also allocates various effective benefits and simply continues to provide organizational survival via its systems, which is described frequently as ‘the organizations strategic concepts’ (Ravichandran, 2018). In order to increase Rainbow Illusion’s financial performance within fluctuating market conditions, this association between strategic management and information system is fundamentally significant. The key purpose of this study revolves around preparing a report for the Chief Executive Officer of Rainbow Illusion to evaluate its processes, risks and internal controls for its expenditure cycle.

Body

Identify six strengths in Rainbow Illusion’s system for controlling sales transactions.

The very first strength within the cash register system of Rainbow Illusion for controlling sales transactions revolves around utilization of similar system to get the sales transactions calculated across all its 30 stores. Cash registers ensured fast and seamless checkout stage of the business for quick calculation of every transactions total sales price and providing the exact change that needs to be returned to the sales executive besides providing the customers with a sales receipt with all transaction details like date/time, sales clerk ID name/number and refund policy (Meszaros, et al., 2015). The second strength is the salary based compensation of the Manager and Assistant Manager while the third is parting of the sales personnel and cashiers. The fourth strength is the cash register making involuntary sequential numbering whereas the fifth is ordering of combined bills one after the other, and the last strength focuses on bringing together cash receipts, checks, bank cards, returns and carrying out of cash register tapes.

For each strength identified, explain what problem(s) Rainbow Illusion has avoided by incorporating the strength in the system for controlling sales transactions.

It has been observed that by incorporating the strength of the cash register system for controlling the sales transactions the problems that Rainbow Illusion has avoided revolves around keeping too much of cash in hand, which leads to disorganization owing to the business accepting cash in large volumes on any given day further attracting a possible theft or creates a mess eventually increases the risk of cash getting missed (Folk, et al., 2012). In addition to this by using cash register for calculating the sales transactions in all its 30 stores, the retailer has gained success in avoiding the problems of repeated transactional errors caused as a result of the point-of-sale terminal being a tumultuous area, with many cash transactions being processed by the staffs all through any business day, accepting cash and making change for customers. Also the problem of cash counting, which prior was done manually and was often inaccurate and inefficient further driving up the costs of labour owing to varied time consumption by the process has been avoided by Rainbow Illusion through incorporation of the strengths in its cash register system to control sales transactions. By making an investment into automated cash management technology such as currency counters have significantly contributed in gaining a systematic and error-free cash counting process (Berkowitz and Gupta, 2019). The business with the incorporation of this system has benefitted by easily keeping track of the customer transactions besides increasing the speed of checkout time, and maintaining accuracy in record keeping. Functions like record sales, calculate change, provide price look-ups and print customer receipts are done by the cash register system in fraction of second thus, helping the retailer to bring together cash receipts, checks, bank cards, returns and carry out of cash register tapes and reduce rush in payment counters. Furthermore, incorporation of this system has helped the retailer in avoiding the problem revolving around mismatching of the nightly counts with that of the totals of the POS system, which means something is amiss. This problem is derived from the lack of accountability amidst the sales personnel and cashiers. Cash register system has helped Rainbow Illusion in easily identifying where the problem occurred and the staff on shift at that time thus, easily getting the problem fixed and balancing the books besides preventing the reoccurrence of such incident again in nearby future. With the implementation of an automated cash management solution, it has become easier to keep track on money- going out and coming in, with every employee having his/her own float. The problem of no documented procedures has also been avoided by incorporating the strength within the system. A cash-handling guide and proper training has provided the staffs with ease while they process any transaction. It has reduced the number of discrepancies and errors that earlier occurred across all retail stores (Maurer, Nelms and Rea, 2013).

Identify two situational pressures in a company like Rainbow Illusion that would increase the likelihood of fraud.

The first situational pressure in a company like Rainbow Illusion that would increase the likelihood of fraud revolves around the failure in segregating duties in the finance department. It has been observed that often for covering the shortage of staff, an employee, say X whose responsibility is of processing the invoices is also provided the accessibility to the supplier creation system. Moreover, even after the regular employee gets back to work, this access is not withdrawn from X who further might see that the largest payment are first examined in details by the financial controller and then others sign them. There is an increased possibility of him/her in getting an opportunity for creating and making payments to a false supplier spotted. He/she then might be moving ahead in creating an imaginary packaging supplier followed by the submission of a fake invoice for payment. Beyond this the payment to his/her delight gets authorised and a few days later the amount is credited in the bank account. This further encourages that employee in submitting similar invoices on a regular basis in future thus, doing a fraud. From this situation it can be understood that the dishonest employee by obtaining the additional access to the system gets barred only by the size of regular payments the company makes. Low value of the false invoices is rare in attracting unwanted attention. Hence, is such situation, large sums can be easily and quickly stolen by a disciplined fraudster without being detected for years (Adjaoute, 2015). The second situational pressure in a company like Rainbow Illusion that would increase the likelihood of fraud focuses on theft of incoming cash by the cashier. It has been observed that inside a retailing store tens of thousands of dollars are handled by a cashier’s team every business day, having the responsibility of getting the payments made by customers accepted. Even a single cashier’s observation that a payment receipt is not requested by all customers accounting with frequent numbers of payments is enough in providing an opportunity for doing a fraud. The cashier takes note of such customers having lesser interest to request receipts for the payments made for their purchases. In such a situation a small percentage of the funds that should have been allocated to the accounts of a customer are pocketed by the cashier. In case they request a receipt, the cashier then just waits for another potential target. By making use of a concealment method better known as ‘teeming and lading’, this type of fraud is common where cash or invoices are manipulated by the fraudsters for hiding their theft (Hayashi, Moore and Sullivan, 2015).

Explain why some companies would choose to install a distributed computer system rather than a centralised one.

Distributed systems, which is a huge and complicated field of study in computer science has become more and more omnipresent with continuously growing technological expansion of the world. In most simple definition one can describe a distributed system as a group of computers that work together further appearing as a single computer to the end-user. Having a shared state these machines function simultaneously however, experiences failures independently without leaving any affect on the uptime of the entire system (van Steen and Tanenbaum, 2016). It has been observed that some companies would choose to install a distributed computer system rather than a centralised one. This is because in distributed computer system computer-processing capability is shared by multiple computers spread across different locations, which is contrasting to a single, centralized server that manages and provides processing capability to all systems that are connected with it. Computers comprising within the distributed computer system despite of being located at different locations, with the help of wireless or satellite links remain interconnected. In addition to this companies are opting for distributed computer system over a centralised one owing the number of advantages and benefits it brings along in terms of scalability and modular growth. Since they are working across different machines besides scaling horizontally, distributed systems in a characteristic way are inherently scalable, which means that for handling the increased workload another machine can be added by the user rather than going for updating a single system time and again. How much a user can scale is not capped virtually.  A system under higher demand can be running every machine to its full capacity and when workload is low taking machines offline (Khan, 2016). Installation of a distributed system is more preferred by some companies because of its potential of being inherently tolerating more faults in comparison to single machines. Suppose a business that runs a batch of 8 machines across two data centres would mean that the applications are working in case even one data centre goes offline further translating into increased reliability compared to a single machine where everything goes down with it. It has been observed that even if one or more nodes/sites stop working, a distributed system stays put. In addition to this, installing a distributed computer system rather than a centralised one is chosen by some companies because of lower latency that derives as a result of distributed systems allowing the traffic hitting a node that is nearest since users might be having a node in more than one geographical location thus, gaining enhanced performance. Also some companies prefer to install a distributed computer system because its cost effectiveness in comparison to a very large centralized systems (Kramer, 2016). Although the initial cost of getting a distributed computer system installed in higher than that in case of a standalone system, but this remains only up to certain period of time after which it is more about economies of scale. Comparing to a mainframe machine a distributed system made up of multiple mini computers is likely in being more cost effective. Efficiency is also a key benefit attracting some companies in choosing to install a distributed computer system rather than a centralised one. It has been observed that breaking down of complicated problems and/or data into smaller pieces is allowed by a distributed system further enabling multiple computers working on them at the same time. This significantly contributes in cutting down on the time required for getting those problems resolved or computed (Jonas, et al., 2017).

Conclusion

Finally it can be conclude from the above report study business efficiencies of the given case study Rainbow Illusion has increased by incorporating a strategic information system structure in the form of cash registers for getting control over the sales transactions with intent to assure that the performances of all its retailing operations throughout every business day are literally improved for overcoming the ever-growing competition within the retail industry of its target markets. By incorporating strategic information systems that is well-structured the retailer has gained success in getting a flexible framework created for supporting the capabilities of the company apart from bringing desirable improvement within the business performance. Furth more, the opportunity of getting the prevailing operating environment renovated is what also offered by strategic information system besides cultivating a platform that is reliable, scalable and flexible in obtaining sustainable competitive advantages, brand differentiation, optimizing risk management and improving decision-making efficiency.    

References

Adjaoute, A., Brighterion Inc, 2015. Method of reducing financial fraud by user devices patronizing commercial websites. U.S. Patent 9,213,990.

Berkowitz, H. and Gupta, S., Receetme Ltd, 2019. Methods and systems for handling sales receipts. U.S. Patent Application 16/046,654.

Folk, A.B., Sanders, W.T., Bohen, D.C. and Johnson, S.A., Bank of America Corp, 2012. System and method of reconciling currency and coin in a cash handling device. U.S. Patent 8,141,772.

Hayashi, F., Moore, T. and Sullivan, R.J., 2015, June. The economics of retail payments security. In Fifth International Payments Policy Conference: The Puzzle of Payments Security, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City (pp. 1-60).

Jonas, E., Pu, Q., Venkataraman, S., Stoica, I. and Recht, B., 2017, September. Occupy the cloud: Distributed computing for the 99%. In Proceedings of the 2017 Symposium on Cloud Computing (pp. 445-451). ACM.

Kasemsap, K., 2018. The role of information system within enterprise architecture and their impact on business performance. In Global Business Expansion: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications (pp. 1078-1102). IGI Global.

Khan, S.U., 2016. The curious case of distributed systems and continuous computing. IT Professional18(2), pp.4-7.

Kramer, D.A., Apple Inc, 2016. Automatic configuration information generation for distributed computing environment. U.S. Patent 9,495,221.

Maurer, B., Nelms, T.C. and Rea, S.C., 2013. ‘Bridges to cash’: channelling agency in mobile money. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute19(1), pp.52-74.

Meszaros, R.T., Sander, E.J. and Zouiten, Y., MoneyGram International Inc, 2015. Retail sale money transfer system. U.S. Patent 9,092,763.

Ravichandran, T., 2018. Exploring the relationships between IT competence, innovation capacity and organizational agility. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems27(1), pp.22-42.

van Steen, M. and Tanenbaum, A.S., 2016. A brief introduction to distributed systems. Computing98(10), pp.967-1009.

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