HCBE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship


Howard Lawrence

Committee Member

Paul Dion

Committee Member

Alicia J Jackson


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between the use and sophistication of accounting information systems (AISs) and the success of small businesses in South Carolina. Additionally, this study explored the variables that influence South Carolinian small business owners/managers in the extent of adoption (sophistication) of AISs. This study applied the contingency theory of management accounting information systems as the theoretical foundation of the study. The study sought to fill the gap in the literature related to the use of accounting information systems in small businesses. Previous empirical studies of owner/manager behavior have resulted in conflicting findings with respect to accounting and business processes and systems utilized in small businesses. The research question central to this study was whether or not the sophistication of accounting information systems improved the success of South Carolina small businesses. The researcher expected to find that businesses owned by individuals with business-related education and previous business experience would be using more sophisticated AISs, and therefore be more successful. The results of the study did show a positive relationship between the sophistication of the AIS and higher levels of sales in small businesses. Also, the study found a significant positive relationship between the importance the owner/manager placed on AISs and the sophistication of the AIS. The findings indicated no positive significantly related differences in the sophistication of accounting information systems and owner/manager education, experience, ethnicity, or gender.

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