Individual Assignment: Dashboards (or enterprise dashboards) are an analytics tool used to visualise Big Data across all industries (Young, 2017). As explained in the lecture, dashboards provide critical reporting and metrics information and are important in business management. Business owners and managers benefit will benefit by using dashboard because they provide information on business performance that can be evaluated easily and will be useful to identify areas for improvement (Barned, 2011). Dashboard design varies considerably from one application to another, and even between businesses, but a common feature of a dashboard is that it uses graphs, coloured text, and symbols to show the viewer, at a glance, the current status. Many dashboards are interactive
because it can be difficult to show every important detail at once. One of the key challenges when developing dashboards is to choose what metrics to track (Lavinsky, 2013); however, the benefits outweigh the challenges. After all dashboards bring speed and versatility. They allow viewing the data the way that suits you best or the way that is best for sharing and storytelling to understand performance better in the organisation (Young, 2017).
Source: Forbes Learning how to create dashboards is a valuable skill for accountants. Nowadays, dashboard
skills are in great demand by employers.
Learning objectives assessed
The purpose of this assessment task is to give you practice in designing and developing a
reporting system using good spreadsheet design practice. You would need to conduct some
independent research to find out how to create different elements in your report, especially
if you are attempting the high distinction requirements.
Specific learning outcomes achieved with this assignment include:
Objective 4: Synthesise design principles to develop financial models that assist in
Objective 5: Apply critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills to
analyse, evaluate and interpret business processes and the accounting
data that is generated.
This assessment task is connected to Internal Controls and the COSO framework. Recall from
Week 4 that internal controls are methods and procedures designed to provide reasonable
assurance that an entity operates effectively and efficiently, has a reliable financial reporting
system and complies with applicable laws and regulations.
The COSO Framework was designed to help businesses establish, assess and enhance their
internal control. There are two types of COSO frameworks (the Internal Control framework
and the Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework). This assessment task focuses on
the monitoring component which is present in both COSO frameworks.
Monitoring activities comprise ongoing evaluations, separate evaluations, or some
combination of the two and are used to ascertain whether each of the internal control
components is present and functioning. Although they vary in scope and frequency, ‘the
findings are evaluated against criteria established by regulators, standard-setting bodies, or
management and the board of directors, and deficiencies are communicated to
management and the board of directors as appropriate’ (Deloitte, n.d.). As mentioned in
Week 5 Lecture, dashboard reporting is related to principle 16 which states that the
organisation selects, develops, and performs ongoing and or separate evaluations to
ascertain whether the components of internal control are present and functioning. When
evaluating the internal controls, management can use different mechanisms such as
designing and implementing dashboard reporting. They could use dashboards, for example,
for annually monitoring the key risk and performance indicators or communicating selected
monthly key risk and performance indicators.
In March 2018, you were hired to work as a junior accountant at Aussie Phones &
Accessories Pty Ltd which is an Australian retail business that sells mobile phones and
accessories. The company has 2 shops; one in Melbourne CBD (main) and one in St Kilda.
After one of the bi-weekly meetings, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Juan Palacios and Finance
Manager Anna Cummings asked you to design a dashboard that would be used by senior
management to assess performance. Juan and Anna are aware of your Excel skills so they
are confident that you will do well. When asking advice to Ying Yue (Sales Manager) and
Mark (Human Resources Manager), Mark suggested including 3 ratios and using 4 panels.
What is the definition of a ratio? It is the quantitative relation between two amounts
showing the number of times one value contains or is contained within the other. Ying Yue
and Mark provided an Excel file with some spreadsheets that you might want to use. The file
has 4 worksheets, namely, Employees, Products, Purchases, and Sales Quantity. You might
need to investigate which ratios you can use with the data provided. Ying Yue also told you
that, regardless of the cost, mark-up (profit) is always 30%. Juan and Anna’s request was
broad which gives room to creativity so your first task is to decide how to define
This is an individual assignment. There is no fixed answer, so be creative. Marks are awarded
according to how well the dashboard meets the requirements specified in the rubric. A data
set is supplied with this guide in Moodle (ACC ACF 2400 s2 2018_Aussie Phones &
Accessories Pty Ltd_data_Monash University.xlsx). You must use the data provided in your
calculations; however, be careful because you may need to restructure some data on the
Calculation sheet to ensure data is in the format you need.
Instructions on how to build dashboards have been published in different journals and/or
magazines and/or online resources. The Journal of Accountancy published an article that
discusses how to create complex dashboard reports using Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010.
You can search this article in the EBSCOhost research databases (which is one of the
databases available at the Monash Library website). If you are not sure about how to use
the library databases, contact one of the librarians. However, you do not have to build such
a complex system if your spreadsheet skills are not well developed. Details of the article are
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