The Clayton County Library System (CCLS) is a large firm that is dedicated to offering excellent services to its clients. It has six branches that have about 400,000 resource materials, which are in the forms of books, magazines and journal materials. In addition, the organization has about seven thousand five hundred audio tapes and over five thousand videos. The system of libraries offers cards to residents of the state at no charge (Clayton County Library System, 2014). This is aimed at encouraging citizens to use access library services. Three services are not charged by the system. First, Georgia’s virtual library is accessed for free by users. In fact, this is the largest library in the state of Georgia, which provides services to library users. It has a wide range of databases, which provide thousands of resources. Second, clients are not required to pay for electronic subscriptions in order to access online services such as online test preparation, research tools, and educational help with regard to tutoring. Third, the general public can use over 120 public computers that are connected to the internet. Finally, CCLS provides facilities for large meetings that are conducted by nonprofit organizations within its premises (Clayton County Library System, 2014).
How the current finance and budgeting practices would be impacted positively
Budgeting approaches involve stepwise strategies of allocating resources with a view to achieving strategic goals of an organization. The resources could be financial, physical and/or human resources that must be managed in an ethical approach (American Society for Public Administration, 2012; Eskridge, French & McThomas, 2012). Financial practices are important in ensuring that a firm maintains stable and strong performance. The last decade has been characterized by a rapid increase in the number of technological solutions in the areas of finance and budgeting (Browning, Chiappori & Lewbel, 2013). Several finance and budgeting practices in the organization could be impacted positively by the use of technological solutions. With regard to customer service, technology could be used to support a high level of efficiency. For example, the management should adopt IT solutions to support payments that are made by clients for various services. Such a technology would allow customers to make prompt payments and be issued with online receipts. Queries about finances from customers can also be impacted positively by the use of technology. For example, a customer might need to know why certain payments are not reflected in his or her service account yet he or she paid for the service. A technology application in the organization would help such a client to launch his or her claim, which would be identified by a unique identifier, for example, a number. After personnel resolve the issue, the client would be sent a short message to clarify the issue (Kavanagh et al., 2006).
Budgeting is also a very important process that could be impacted by IT applications. Effective budgeting ensures that resources are shared proportionally by different users based on their requirements (Altig, Christiano, Eichenbaum & Linde, 2011). The use of computer programs can be applied in allocating resources in an effective way to different areas. In fact, the resource allocation practice has not been very effective in the past because it was mainly done using manual procedures.
Evaluation of financial procedures and systems is another important practice in the firm (Rossmann & Shanahan, 2012). This could be influenced by the adoption of technology applications. For example, the practice could be impacted by using an IT solution that would compare the resources allocated to various projects to the outcomes (Laureate Education, 2008). It can also be applied to determine the inefficiencies in the use of financial resources (Altig et al., 2011). In fact, failure to use technology solutions has chances of introducing ethical issues in firms (New York State Office of the Attorney General, 2010). Thus, it is mandatory for organizations to adopt strategies that are aimed at promoting financial transparency among employees and the management (U.S. Office of Government Ethics, 2011).
The current technology
From a general point of view, it can be asserted that CCLS is not using technologies that would support high level financial and budgeting approaches. However, it is commendable that the organization has adopted automated IT systems in its operations. The current technology in the firm supports centralized payment for services by library users. In other words, clients can only pay for services at the premises of CCLS. The application does not act a stable platform on which budgeting could be conducted. Thus, it can be concluded that efficient allocation of resources to various departments is not achieved. In addition, the technology has not been able to shift to a pure paperless system, which would imply that users would not be issued with physical receipts for payments.
Two additional technology solutions
It would be recommended that the organization use additional technology solutions with regard to improving its financial and budgeting efficiencies (Laureate Education, 2008). First, because the organization operates on a platform of online applications, it should adopt an online payment solution that would support payments for various services that are payable by clients. The solution would require library users to register online and be offered unique numbers that would be essential in subsequent times of logging into the system. When a user would want to pay for a service, he or she would be required to log into the IT solution, using a username and password. While in the system, he or she would select the service to pay for and enter the amount, which would be deducted from his or her online accounts. After a payment goes through, a client would request for a payment receipt would be presented in the form of a PDF for saving and/or printing. The application would be convenient for library users and it would make them access payment services in a relatively short time (Perez, 2011; Shide & Xuan, 2011).
Second, an auditing technology solution should be adopted by the organization, which would be important in supporting the efficient use of financial resources that are included in annual budgets. Such an IT system would be important in identifying financial malpractices and help the management of CCLS to adopt better approaches with regard finance, budgeting and management of resources. For example, it would be applied to determine whether the funds allocated to certain areas within the system of libraries were used as intended. This might require checking the online entries with regard to payments, which would show the details about various transactions. If it would be identified that funds given to a certain department are not adequate, then the management would use the IT application to allocate the right amount of funds that be enough for the department (Perez, 2011). In fact, it would support the applications in budgeting because it would be based on the principle of financial simulation. However, it is important to note the proposed technology solution would be adopted in a transparent manner to avoid ethical issues arising in the organization.
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Clayton County Library System. (2014). About Us. Web.
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