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School of Business | Department of Accounting and Finance | Accounting | 2010
Thesis number: 12291
The factors impacting the diffusion of innovation in digitalising accounting
Author: Mäkinen, Henna
Title: The factors impacting the diffusion of innovation in digitalising accounting
Year: 2010  Language: eng
Department: Department of Accounting and Finance
Academic subject: Accounting
Index terms: laskentatoimi; accounting; taloushallinto; financial management; digitaalitekniikka; digital technology; innovaatiot; innovations; diffuusio; diffusion; muutos; change; kehitys; development
Pages: 64
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12291.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1586677)
Key terms: diffusion; diffuusio; accounting; laskentatoimi; invoicing; laskutus

Objectives of the study

The goal of the study was to find the factors impacting the diffusion of digital accounting and electronic invoicing. Previous studies have focused on the attributes of the innovation and studied innovations with the assumption that they are efficient. This study has taken into account also the impact of actions as well as internal and external factors and brought in the considerations of the diffusion of inefficient innovations and divided the factors into motivations and hindering and supporting factors.

Research method and data

The diffusion of digital accounting is viewed as a change process. The study method consisted of 12 semi-structured interviews with experts on digital accounting from six listed companies who already are starting to send and receive electronic invoices. This was supported by observations made in meetings of the FIA project, where several important external parties involved in the diffusion process like operators, solution providers and other facets promoting e-invoicing, were represented. The results from the interviews were connected to the observations and compared to existing research and viewed in the light of the existing theory.


The impacting factors are not limited to the attributes of an efficient innovation even though it has been the focus of existing research. The most important motivations are the perceived efficiency of the innovation and harmonisation. The efforts for standardisation, co-operation networks and the development of accounting systems and organisation were found to be the most important supporting factors whereas problems in standardisation and finding efficient SME solutions as well as change resistance and the lack of a responsible authority and competing non-digital solutions were seen as the worst hinders for the diffusion.
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