Digital services in the agriculture business : costumer perspective on digital accounting services

University essay from SLU/Dept. of Economics

Abstract: The world is moving towards an increasingly digitalized society where computer capacity and storage capabilities are setting new records every day. Even in the agriculture business, there has been a great development of digital systems that control the machines, as well as measuring, weighing and collecting information about the production on the farm. The association of accounting and auditing (FAR) predicts that accounting services will be digitized and automated by the year 2025 and therefore there is a need to focus on developing functional digital systems for this and work more with other tasks like counselling. As the work with accountings are digitized and new companies are entering the market of accounting services, it becomes more and more competition for customers, which enables customers to have more choice and can demand that the accounting companies meet more personal values for the customer. Therefore, accounting firms need to think in a customer perspective when developing the future of accounting and advisory services. This study aims to identify different attributes that farmers value when implementing digital systems for accounting and business management in the agriculture business. The study is done with qualitative method implemented by semi-structural, personal interviews at the home of nine farmers in Götaland, Sweden. The theoretical model used as a base in this study is built on a conceptualization of value concepts and contains the six dimensions Quality, Efficiency, Social value, Play, Aesthetics and Altruism. The model was chosen because it captures both utilitarian and hedonistic values that customers see in digital systems for accounting and business management. Findings suggest that farmers value systems that are user-friendly, work properly and fulfill the purpose they are created for. The digital services are expected to have properties that streamline the process of invoice handling and management of the farms operations. The digital systems can help to motivate the farmers and make the daily work more pleasurable by showing the development of different key entities on the farm. During the interviews, some respondents expressed the importance that the information stored in the digital systems is kept protected from copying and theft because both economic and non-economic values can contain business secrets. Several attributes found in the study are associated with the service delivery and concerns the staff of accounting firms. The farmers saw values in competent, friendly and confident consultants, which build loyalty to the accounting firm. Other attributes that are highly valued by farmers was that the staff at the accounting firm was available when the farmer needs help, is understanding and have knowledge in practical agriculture management.

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