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CGA-CANADA MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS 2 EXAMINATION March 2007 Marks

20

Time: 4 Hours
Question 1 Select the best answer for each of the following unrelated items. Answer each of these items in your examination booklet by giving the number of your choice. For example, if the best answer for item (a) is (1), write (a)(1) in your examination booklet. If more than one answer is given for an item, that item will not be marked. Incorrect answers will be marked as zero. Marks will not be awarded for explanations. Note:
2 marks each

a.

Non-IT managers should be familiar with the factors affecting the performance of the bandwidth in a telecommunications network. Which of the following is a correct statement about the bandwidth of wireless telecommunications channels and fibre-optic channels? 1) 2) 3) 4) Wireless networks do not have to be concerned with the bandwidth of communication channels. Fibre-optic systems are cheapest and easiest to expand. Fibre-optic systems are the most secure channels among all physical channels. Durability is not a concern for wireless media because there is no physical existence of a transmission channel.

b. Systems maintenance is an important phase in the systems development process. Which of the following is a correct statement about systems maintenance? 1) Systems maintenance involves upgrading and enhancing an existing system that works well. Therefore, systems maintenance projects rarely deal with problems of an existing system. 2) Benchmarking an existing system applies only to batch processing, not online systems. 3) During the systems maintenance process, it is advisable to refer back to the data flow diagrams and the actual software programs to understand the already-developed applications. 4) Systems testing after maintenance does not need to be as comprehensive as testing a new system; only the modules being updated need to be tested. c. Logical modeling is the final component of the requirements-structuring process in systems design. Which of the following is true in describing logical modeling? 1) Decision tables are used to describe the logic behind how certain processing decisions are made. 2) Decision tables are most effective when decision rules are simple and easy to describe. 3) Structured English is a tool used in logical modeling to describe how information is transformed into data. 4) Structured English is based on 3 basic constructs: sequence, narration, and repetition. d. Information systems (IS) planning involves making decisions about the technologies that will be used to support the information requirements of the company. Which of the following statements is correct in describing IS planning? 1) The availability of the best and most current hardware technologies should always dominate the IS planning decision. 2) Given the constantly changing nature of business, it is common practice to assume that the current software support will not address the needs of long-range business plans. 3) When planning for hardware upgrading, it is recommended that all systems be replaced at once to avoid ending up with multiple hardware configurations that must be supported. 4) It is advisable to include technology scanning as part of the formal IS planning process. Continued...
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e.

The growth of inexpensive telecommunications technologies in the past decade has aided the globalization of IS. Which of the following statements is true in describing this phenomenon? 1) Change management could be introduced as part of the implementation of a global system. 2) The most effective way to globalize the information systems of a company is to adopt a common global system for all locations. 3) A well-designed best-practices global system should always override systems developed based on local practices. 4) Companies with mixed lines of business in many locations should avoid internationalization of their information systems due to the complexity involved.

f.

User authentication is a crucial process to ensure controlled access to confidential information and to protect privacy. Biometric data has become increasingly popular for user authentication. Which of the following statements about using biometric data for security is correct? 1) By definition, it is not possible to duplicate biometric data. 2) Sometimes biometric data are collected using intrusive techniques. 3) It is less expensive to use biometric measures than other forms of authentication because they only need to be collected once. 4) Data privacy is less of an issue compared to other user-authentication measures.

g. Several contemporary tools have been developed for software development to facilitate e-business functions. Which of the following is true when describing these tools? 1) EDI refers to external data integration that allows sharing of data between 2 e-business partners. 2) XML refers to extended markup language. XML is a less powerful version of HTML used for describing the content of a web page. 3) XBRL was developed mainly for the purpose of publishing financial information on the web. 4) The communication between 2 companies web applications could be facilitated by SOA (service-oriented architecture). h. Which of the following statements is correct when describing the activities involved in the acquisition of information technology? 1) A request for quotation is issued when the hardware and software requirements are specified, and the vendors are requested to propose appropriate system components. 2) When evaluating vendors, it is not appropriate to request that vendors supply information on their financial resources. 3) A weighted evaluation matrix can be used to compare proposals from different vendors. 4) The vendor proposal should not be included in the final legal sales contract. i. Change management is an important component of systems implementation. There are several models explaining the phenomenon of change. Which of the following statements is true with regards to these models? 1) The Lewin-Schein model describes organizational change as a process with 2 stages: unfreezing and refreezing. 2) The Lewin-Schein model assumes that people remain unchanged as technology changes periodically. 3) The Leonard-Barton model shows a continuing set of cycles of adaptation of technology and users. 4) The Leonard-Barton model assumes that changes in technology and in users are always aligned.

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j.

The Internet has become an important tool for business operations. Which of the following statements is correct in describing the use of the Internet for business? 1) Regardless of the type of business model, the Internet is always a cost-effective solution for all businesses. 2) One of the challenges of using the Internet for business is the lack of customer trust. 3) When an Internet business offers its goods and services to multiple countries, the laws of the country where the business is located apply. 4) The term digital divide applies to Internet users with different types of equipment.

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Question 2 To actively participate in a companys IS planning and implementation, one should have a good understanding of the roles of IS in supporting the companys business model and its effects on the employees. Each part of this question concerns a different aspect of IS planning and implementation. Answer each part independently. 4 a. List Porters 5 forces and explain why they are relevant in the development of IT systems. Provide an example to illustrate.

b. List 3 methods for keeping an IS project on track and briefly explain their adverse effects on employees. c. Discuss 3 outsourcing models and their possible effects on an organization.

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Question 3 You are a senior accountant for a multinational company. In the past few years, you have been involved in many IT decisions and have taken a leadership role in implementing the companys ERP system. The company has recently established a new staff position called information resources management officer. Reporting to the chief information officer (CIO), this staff person will be responsible for managing the internal and external IT resources. You have applied for the position and are invited to make a presentation to the selection committee. Prepare a 15-minute presentation to outline your vision of the position, the challenges pertaining to managing the hardware, software, data, and telecommunications network, as well as your skills and qualifications for the position. Required Using the format below, prepare the presentation slides and related speakers notes for the presentation. The first slide should be a title page. Use the last slide to summarize your presentation. Limit your presentation to 7 slides, including the title and summary slides. Speakers notes related to each slide

Slide content

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Question 4 You work for a CGA accounting firm and you, a CGA, have been assigned to work with a large client to improve its sales tracking system. During the review process, you notice several irregular practices leading to the over-calculation of commissions for certain sales staff. After further investigation, you found that this was made possible by allowing a few sales staff access to the sales system to modify the sales figures. You suspect that a small group of staff from the sales department, the IT department, and the accounting department were together behind this irregular accounting practice. Required Write a memo to your manager at the accounting firm. Briefly explain the irregular practice. Discuss the legal and ethical concerns and outline your recommendation for dealing with this practice. Use proper memo format. Maximum 300 words.

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Question 5 As a CGA, you are expected to provide advice on e-commerce and network configurations to support ecommerce. Answer the 2 parts of this question independently. Required 5 5 a. List and explain 3 underlying drivers of e-business. b. Explain the concept of client-server computing using the World Wide Web as an example. Question 6 New Horizon Company (NHC) is a consulting firm specializing in the process of large-scale downsizing or restructuring. There are 3 major areas of services provided by NHC: 1. Consulting services to companies to help them plan and execute the restructuring 2. Assisting middle-level management who are losing their jobs to assess their knowledge, skills, and experience for re-entering the job market 3. Delivering workshops for remaining employees to cope with the effects of downsizing The Organization of NHC Jillian, the founder and president of the company, is a well-known scholar in corporate downsizing. Although she is not involved in the daily operations of NHC, she develops business opportunities for the company. Internally, the office operations are under the supervision of an office manager and 3 department managers. The 3 departments at NHC correspond to its 3 major areas of services: the consulting department, the assessment department, and the program department. Each department has a manager and 2 program assistants. To keep a lean and flat organizational structure, NHC adopts a unique model to deliver its services. Each department works with a group of independent freelance consultants. Some consultants have a long-term relationship with NHC, while some are hired for a particular project due to their expertise. Each consultant provides contract services to NHC and bills NHC directly. Ron, the manager of the consulting department, leads a group of project teams and appoints a project manager for each consulting project. The 2 program assistants provide administrative support for the consulting project teams. Each team prepares a report outlining recommendations to the corporate clients with respect to how to plan and implement the restructuring. The project teams visit the corporate sites and conduct meetings at NHC. Most parts of each report are prepared by individual consultants and assembled by the project manager with the assistance of the program assistants.

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Ted, the manager of the assessment department, coordinates up to 12 consultants to assess the qualifications of their clients and to assist them in planning a new career. The consultants work with their clients individually. They only come to the office when meeting with their clients. Individual client information is stored on the consultants own laptops. Files are e-mailed to NHC when a case is completed. Linda is the manager of the program department. She has extensive experience working with employees who remain with the company after a major downsizing and is familiar with programs addressing people issues relating to downsizing. She has several standard workshops designed for before and after the restructuring. Based on the needs of each case, she sometimes modifies the standard workshop to accommodate unique requirements. Most of her departments engagements are referrals from the consulting department, although there are some from other sources. Linda has a group of qualified workshop facilitators that she often uses. These facilitators deliver their services on a contractual basis. Ashima, the office manager, supervises 5 staff handling the operations of the office, including reception and general inquiry, accounting and payroll, secretarial and administrative tasks, and so on. Ashima calls a formal executive meeting once a week with the managers, and a general staff meeting once a month. Information Systems at NHC NHC does not have a cohesive information system. All aspects of its operations, from payroll to scheduling, are supported by different types of computer systems. Ashima and all of her office staff have desktop computers connected by a local area network. These computers are all using different version of Windows operating systems. All managers and departmental assistants have laptop computers of different makes and models. The office uses an off-the-shelf accounting software for accounting and payroll purposes. This accounting system is adequate to handle accounts receivable and accounts payable, as well as keeping track of expenses and normal payroll for salaried employees. However, it has limited capability to handle contractual services that are normally calculated based on hours and a bonus per project. Each consultant submits a timesheet at the completion of a project. Departmental assistants compile the information into one spreadsheet and send it to the general office. Another spreadsheet is used by the central office staff to calculate the payment for each consultant at the end of the month, based on information submitted by each department. Given that the consultants only submit their billings at the end of a project, it is very difficult for NHC at any point in time to know how much NHC owes the consultants. When various consulting projects are in progress for several months, no one at NHC has an overall picture of NHCs financial status. Each department manages its consultants on separate spreadsheets with different formats. There are duplicated data because several consultants work for all 3 departments. Each department also tracks its own referrals and contacts although the central office keeps a master file of all clients and consultants for accounting purposes. For the consulting department, although there is a standard project template, many consultants still submit reports in different formats. The project assistants compile the submissions and input them in a template. This is duplication of effort and is very time consuming. In addition, most activities are organized according to projects, and there is very little information sharing across projects. For the assessment department, client data are stored on the assessors laptop. NHC has no control over the security, integrity, backup, and format of the highly sensitive and private information until it is submitted to the NHC office. Similarly, the program department does not have a centralized storage for all workshop materials. If a facilitator modifies a workshop, NHC sometimes doesnt even have an electronic copy of the revised workshop. Continued...
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One of the biggest concerns facing NHC is data security. Currently all files and information are submitted as attached files via e-mail. NHC treats all information as private and confidential; however, it does not have established procedures to ensure full compliance with the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Required You are a consultant hired by Jillian to examine the information systems at NHC. Prepare a report to outline the current challenges faced by NHC and your suggested solutions. This report will be reviewed by Jillian, Ashima, and the 3 departmental managers. Follow the standard case format as follows: 5 2 5 15 7 3 a. b. c. d. e. f. Executive Summary Introduction Problem Identification Alternatives and Analysis Recommendations Conclusion

In the analysis of alternatives, you should discuss the impact of the alternatives on management, technology, and the organization. 3 Note:
You should provide clear and compelling evidence for any arguments presented in the analyses and the recommendation. 3 marks are allotted for proper presentation and layout, correct grammar and spelling, and professionalism in the writing.

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MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS 2 [MS2] EXAMINATION


Before starting to write the examination, make sure that it is complete and that there are no printing defects. This examination consists of 6 pages. There are 6 questions for a total of 100 marks.

READ THE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY AND ANSWER WHAT IS ASKED.

To assist you in answering the examination questions, CGA-Canada includes the following glossary of terms.

Glossary
From David Palmer, Study Guide: Developing Effective Study Methods (Vancouver: CGA-Canada, 1996). Copyright David Palmer. Compare Examine qualities or characteristics that resemble each other. Emphasize similarities, although differences may be mentioned. Compare by observing differences. Stress the dissimilarities of qualities or characteristics. (Also Distinguish between) Express your own judgment concerning the topic or viewpoint in question. Discuss both pros and cons. Clearly state the meaning of the word or term. Relate the meaning specifically to the way it is used in the subject area under discussion. Perhaps also show how the item defined differs from items in other classes. Tell the whole story in narrative form. Give a drawing, chart, plan or graphic answer. Usually you should label a diagram. In some cases, add a brief explanation or description. This calls for the most complete and detailed answer. Examine and analyze carefully and present both pros and cons. To discuss briefly requires you to state in a few sentences the critical factors. This requires making an informed judgment. Your judgment must be shown to be based on knowledge and information about the subject. (Just stating your own ideas is not sufficient.) Cite authorities. Cite advantages and limitations. In explanatory answers you must clarify the cause(s), or reasons(s). State the how and why of the subject. Give reasons for differences of opinions or of results. Illustrate Indicate Interpret Make clear by giving an example, e.g., a figure, diagram or concrete example. Provide a short explanation. Translate, give examples of, solve, or comment on a subject, usually making a judgment on it. Prove or give reasons for decisions or conclusions. Present an itemized series or tabulation. Be concise. Point form is often acceptable. (Also Enumerate or Identify) This is an organized description. Give a general overview, stating main and supporting ideas. Use headings and sub-headings, usually in point form. Omit minor details. Establish that something is true by citing evidence or giving clear logical reasons. Show how things are connected with each other or how one causes another, correlates with another, or is like another. Examine a subject critically, analyzing and commenting on the important statements to be made about it. Present the main points in brief, clear sequence, usually omitting details, illustrations, or examples. Give the main points or facts in condensed form, like the summary of a chapter, omitting details and illustrations. In narrative form, describe progress, development, or historical events from some point of origin.

Contrast

Criticize

Justify List

Define

Outline

Describe Diagram

Prove Relate

Discuss

Review

Evaluate

State

Summarize

Explain

Trace

CGA-CANADA MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS 2 EXAMINATION March 2007 SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS Marks
20 Question 1 Note:
2 marks each

Time: 4 Hours

Sources: a. 3) Topic 8.1 (Level 1)

b. 3) Topic 5.4 (Level 2) c. 1) Topic 4.5 (Level 2)

d. 4) Topic 2.2 (Level 1) e. f. 1) Topic 1.4 (Level 1) 2) Topic 9.3 (Level 1)

g. 4) Topic 7.6 (Level 2) h. 3) Topic 3.4 (Level 1) i. j. 3) Topic 10.2 (Level 1) 2) Topic 6.1 (Level 1)

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Question 2 a. Source: Topic 1.2 (Level 1) Porters 5 competitive forces are: threat of new entrants, bargaining power of customers, bargaining power of suppliers, threat of substitute products or services, and rivalry among existing competitors. By using IT strategically and intelligently, an organization can reduce the power of each of these forces, thus becoming more competitive in the market. For example, building a network with supply chain partners will strengthen the relationship between the company and the supplier, thus reducing the bargaining power of the supplier. Every organization should take into consideration the 5 competitive forces when planning for its IT strategy. Note:
2 marks for listing the 5 forces of Porters model and 2 marks for the discussion.

b. Source: Topic 3.6 (Level 1) Methods to keep an IS project on track and minimize their adverse effects on employees are: 1. Impose timetables and budgets In theory, this is the easiest way to keep a project on track. Carefully planned timetables and budgets also lead to high employee satisfaction. However, imposed timetables and budgets might lead to employees taking shortcuts to complete the project. 2. Negotiate deadlines and budgets It is often difficult for managers to negotiate deadlines and budgets with the project leader due to lack of knowledge of the process and the costs related to the project. 3. Creeping commitment The scope of the project is assessed at different stages. Therefore, the projection of the project is more aligned with reality. The problem with this method is that it is difficult to project future expenses and allocate the proper budget for the project. 4. Appoint key users as project managers Although users are much closer to the systems, they tend not to have the knowledge to deal with the technical issues. Note:
1 mark for each point to a maximum of 3 marks.

c.

Source: Topic 9.1 (Level 1) Three outsourcing models are: 1. Traditional outsourcing model An outsourcing firm runs custom designed applications for an organization by providing hardware facilities and telecommunications lines. This model allows the organization to take advantage of the outsourcing firms expertise and economy of scale. However, the organization might lose control of its own system. 2. ASP Model Application service providers run certain applications online for organizations to subscribe to their services. There is limited adaptability of these applications. 3. Shared service facilities The provider and its customers work as a team to maintain and operate the system. Examples would be companies running their e-business off-site by a web-hosting company. Note:
1 mark for each point to a maximum of 3 marks.

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Question 3 Source: Topic 10.1 (Level 1) Slide #1 Thank you for inviting me to make this presentation. Today, I would like to share with you my vision of this position, my qualifications, and the reasons why I am the best candidate for this position. My presentation will be approximately 15 minutes.

An Opportunity to Serve as the Information Resources Management Officer Presented by Julia Daoust

Slide #2 Outline

My vision of the position Challenges of the position Skills required for the position My experiences Conclusion

First, I will describe my understanding of the job and how I would approach it. I have also identified a set of critical skills this individual should have in order to do the job successfully. I will then list my experience and the skills that I have, and demonstrate how they fit together. I will end my presentation with a quick conclusion.

Slide #3 My vision of the position Requirements:


Understanding of the information and systems requirements Capability of managing both internal and external data and systems resources Understanding of the importance of telecommunications Collaboration with supply chain partners Ability to work with consultants

The individual in this position will work closely with both internal personnel and external partners. Internally, he or she will ensure that the information and systems resources are used efficiently and effectively to support the operations of the company. Externally, this person needs to be familiar with the resources that are available and to establish good working relationship with business partners, vendors, consultants, and so on.

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Slide #4 Challenges of the position


Software Functionality and integration Hardware Identify proper technology and integration Telecommunications Connectivities and capacity Data Security

The trend of adopting pre-developed software packages and constantly advancing hardware technology becomes a tremendous challenge in managing IT resources. Issues such as functionality, compatibility, expandability, and integration need to be addressed carefully. Issues concerning the adoption of proper telecommunications networks involve connectivity, capacity, security, and so on. Data integration and security should be on top of the IT-resources management agenda.

Slide #5 Skills required for the position


Building and managing business relationships Managing change Communication Analyzing and problem solving Understanding technology and its applications

Given that this position requires extensive interaction with external partners. It is critical that the successful candidate has the ability to build and manage business relationships. This person will also lead internal systems development, upgrades, and enhancements. He or she must have strong communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills in order to make sound judgments on choosing the right systems and then conveying the reasons for changes to employees. This person should also have extensive knowledge of current technology and its applications.

Slide #6 My experiences

Certified General Accountant Project manger for implementing the ERP system Familiar with all aspects of business operations

I received well-rounded training in order to achieve my CGA designation. With my background, I understand issues concerning budgets, resources allocation, and other monetary issues. My involvement in several IT projects, including serving as the project leader for implementing the ERP system, demonstrated my ability and knowledge in adopting and implementing technology. The successful transition to the ERP system is the best evidence of my skills in communications and change management.

Slide #7 I strongly believe that I possess the experience, the skills, and the passion for this position. My background, training, and interests match perfectly with the job. I am positive that I am a well-qualified candidate for this position. I hope you will consider me favourably. Thank you.

Conclusion

Note:
1 mark for each slide; 11/2 marks for the clarity and logical flow of the presentation; 11/2 marks for the professionalism of the slides.

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Question 4 Source: Topic 4.8 (Level 2) MEMO (Confidential) Date: To: From: March 11, 2007 Abigail Winters, CGA, Manager Gordon Lee, CGA, Staff Accountant

Subject: Irregular accounting practice I would like to bring to your attention an irregular practice observed at Kwaku Company while I worked on the IT project for its sales department. It appeared that certain sales staff in the sales department were granted access to the sales accounts to modify the sales figures. It was discovered in my further observation that the revised sales figures tended to result in over-calculation of the commissions for these personnel. The IT department authorizes access to the sales accounts, and the accounting department processes the calculation of sales commissions. It is unclear whether the IT department is aware of the irregular practice. However, it is highly suspicious that a routine audit did not reveal these problems. If there is evidence to substantiate this suspicion, the practice of allowing normally unauthorized personnel access to alter sales information is clearly illegal. It is also unethical because the company and other employees of the company are being harmed by this act. I strongly believe that we should approach the client to raise this concern of possible irregular practice, and recommend a thorough system audit, including access authorization, applications software, and all related documentations. I look forward to discussing this matter with you and receiving further instructions on how to proceed. Note:
5 marks allocated for discussing the issues; 3 marks for recommendations; 2 marks for professional writing.

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Question 5 a. Source: Module 7.1 (Level 1) The 3 major drivers of e-business are: 1. Diminished information asymmetry Customers gaining power by being able to obtain product information from the web. It is important for most companies to be able to compete on the web by providing more information about the company and the products, and by lowering the price by taking advantage of the lower transaction cost of e-business. 2. Trade-offs between richness and reach The Internet enhances the reach of communications to an extremely large population and at the same time allows richness of content. 3. Reduced transaction costs The Internet provides a means for dramatic reductions in cost per transaction.

b. Source: Module 8.3 (Level 1) In a client-server computing environment, user interface aspects are controlled by the client machine while core data processing aspects are controlled by the server. Using the World Wide Web as an example, the web browser is a client in the network. By clicking on the links on the browser interface, the client is instructed to submit a request to the appropriate server to deliver the content of the page that was requested. Upon receiving the web page content from the server, the client computer formats the content for viewing.

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Question 6 a. Executive Summary The objective of the report, the key problems, and the recommendations should be outlined in the executive summary. It is important to note that the executive summary is written and submitted to the company, not the examiner.

b. Introduction A brief summary of how this report is structured and what approach is taken to address the issues should be included in the introduction.

c.

Problem Identification Challenges in this case include:


Lack of central storage and control of data and information Data integrity, privacy, and security issues Inefficient administrative and accounting processes Lack of systems standards and management (remote computing and end-user computing) Need for system integration Lack of project control and up-to-date information

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d. Alternatives and Analysis Possible alternatives in the following areas:


Design an IT infrastructure to support the flat organizational structure and business model Create centralized data storage for easy access and better control of data and information Establish protocols and processes for file transmissions Integrate administrative functions among consultants, departmental assistants, and administrative staff Immediately implement submission of standard timesheets weekly

e.

Recommendations Make recommendations with justifications.

f.

Conclusion Conclude the report by stating the limitations of the recommendation and possible future improvements.

Note:
3 marks for proper presentation (including short intro/purpose of report, headings/general layout, conclusions, and recommendations), supporting evidence, and communication skills.

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Sample Solution A sample solution is provided for studying purpose. Please note that this suggested solution is more of an outline than a complete solution, and that more could be said in each section to make it more complete and comprehensive. NEW HORIZON LIMITED (NHC) Executive Summary NHC, having a flat organizational structure, has been relying on its consultants to create and submit client files to the central office. There are concerns with respect to data storage, access integrity, and security. There are no standards in place with respect to technology and information systems. In addition, the current accounting system does not have the capability to handle the billing functions. Further, with no standards for submission of time and billing information from consultants, combined with submission at the end of a project, it is impossible to obtain project information or financial status in a timely manner. It is recommended that NHC take immediate actions to rectify some problems quickly and also enable NHC to invest in an IT infrastructure that complements its flat organizational structure and supports both the administrative functions and independent consultants. Introduction This report will identify the major problems NHC is currently facing and propose options to be considered in resolving these problems. It will then make recommendations and present a conclusion. Problem Identifications The major problems faced by NHC are:

There is a lack of IT strategy that aligns with the business model and its flat organizational structure. Confidential client data are stored on consultants computers. The company has no knowledge of whether the data is secure and the clients privacy is protected. All files are submitted by e-mail with no mention of security measures. The accounting system is inadequate for contract-based operations. There is no centralized data storage, retrieval, update, and backup. There is no system integration. There are no standards for information technology or information systems. Consultants submit time and billing information in a non-standard manner and only at the end of a project, so that project management and financial status is not readily available. Workshop materials are not submitted in a standard format, and sometimes they are not submitted at all.

Alternatives 1. Purchase an accounting system to handle the billing function. There is off-the-shelf accounting software that can be customized for project-oriented operations and billing. This will reduce the operational inefficiency in the current accounting processing. 2. Create a database system for centralized storage of client and project information. A centralized database will ensure better data security, integrity, and access control, which is currently lacking. The database would also standardize the data format and upload procedure for all consultants. Regular backup should also be built into the database system. 3. Consider an integrated software for project management and accounting with a centralized database. This will require a thorough analysis of the operations of each department and how data is processed. The system will have to be easy to use because training the many consultants will be very difficult.

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4. Standardize information technology and replace current equipment. This will facilitate training, integration, and support. 5. Standardize project information, including timesheets using templates. This will reduce inefficiencies and enable effective use of the information. 6. Collect billing and project information on a weekly basis. This will enable NHC to determine a projects status in relation to time and budget as well as project financial data. 7. Ensure that workshop materials and information are submitted and in electronic format. This will facilitate future workshops as well as supporting billings and audits. Recommendations It is recommended that NHC take the following actions: Immediate actions for quick results: 1. Create an electronic template for timesheets that includes data such as consultant identification, client identification, and time spent on specific activities. 2. Establish a policy and procedure for a regular submission schedule for timesheets, either daily or weekly. 3. Establish a policy and procedure for the submission of workshop information and materials, as well as other relevant data, electronically. 4. Create a central storage area for workshop materials. 5. Standardize laptops and desktop computers, including software versions. Actions for future results: 6. Establish a project team, including consultant representatives, to determine the functional requirements and acceptance criteria for an integrated system that will include the database approach, accounting software, and project management software. 7. Review the business and organizational strategy to design an IT infrastructure that aligns with these strategies. 8. Set standards for remote computing and end-user computing. 9. Consider a phased approach for implementing an integrated system. 10. Review client and project data collection and recording processes to evaluate their efficiency and effectiveness. Conclusion It appears that NHC has a working business model and an organizational structure that supports this model. However, its information technology infrastructure does not support its current operation efficiently. This report identifies challenges faced by NHC and proposes actions that could be taken immediately. Some actions, such as standardizing time and billing forms and submitting them regularly, will offer immediate relief for major problems, while others, such as the acquisition and implementation of an integrated system, require a longer implementation period but will yield continuing long-term benefits.

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CGA-CANADA MANAGEMENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS 2 EXAMINATION March 2007 EXAMINERS COMMENTS

General comments
The overall performance on the examination was satisfactory. Candidates demonstrated their understanding of the course material by writing a memo, conducting a case analysis, and preparing a presentation.

Specific comments
Question 1 Multiple choice (Levels 1 and 2) Overall, the performance on this question was satisfactory. All parts of the question were answered well except part (g). Question 2 IS planning and implementation (Level 1) Overall, the performance on this question was satisfactory. Most candidates answered part (a) very well. Many candidates lost marks for part (b) by providing answers on the positive impact of various methods while the question asked for adverse effects. Part (c) was generally well answered. Question 3 Responsibilities and qualifications of an information resources management officer (Level 1) Overall, the performance on this question was satisfactory. Most candidates addressed the technical aspects of the jobs in the context of a job interview. Marks were deducted for candidates who did not apply their answers in that context. Question 4 Ethical issues (Level 2) Overall, the performance on this question was satisfactory. The objective of this question was to test candidates ability to effectively communicate their understanding of irregular IT and accounting practices and to make recommendations in a memo format. Answers were judged based on both content and professionalism in writing. Question 5 E-commerce and network configuration (Level 1) The overall performance on this question was poor. Very few candidates received full marks for part (a). Most candidates had difficulty with part (b). Part marks were given for providing examples of using clients to download information from a remote server. Question 6 Comprehensive MIS case (Levels 1 and 2) The performance on this question was satisfactory. In general, all candidates followed the suggested format, demonstrated their analytical skills in identifying the problems, and made recommendations consistent with the analysis.

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