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BUS FPX3007 Assessment 1:  Developing a Business Perspective

By January 9, 2023 No Comments

Introduction

Amazon.com Inc. is a global multi-technological company that started as an eCommerce firm selling books. The company is now a leader in digital technologies, cloud computing services, and artificial intelligence. Amazon.com is also one of the largest operators in the data processing & hosting services market in the United States (Khaustovich, 2022). The company is a leader not only in technological innovation but most importantly in business operations which is one of the key competitive advantages of the firm. As the company mentioned in its Amazon Business Reshape 2022 report, the tech firm highlighted that some of its primary corporate goals are (1) responsible and cost-efficient procurement strategies, and (2) purchase agility (Amazon.com, Inc., 2022). The financial success of the business, as the company reported, is also dependent on the success of the small and medium-sized businesses who are the central entities that keep Amazon’s eCommerce platform functional and operational (Amazon, 2021). 

The company’s competitive global position allows the firm to be a leader in the innovation of business activities, mainly in logistics and operations management (Warrier, et al., 2021). The company’s successes in the business, via its investments in different industries, also shape the learning environment of the organization for the human resources. Opportunities for professional development can be explored through an internship in the accounting and finance department of the company. Additional leverage for expansion of knowledge and professional competencies can be acquired through an internship opportunity in the operations management function 

Accounting and Finance

Accounting and finance are interrelated functional areas of a business that performs the most important decisions, tasks, and responsibilities related to the financial considerations of the business (Razack, 2021). Accounting and finance go hand-in-hand because these functional areas evaluate the value that the organization will achieve from its activities, including the investments required to finance a project, expand a facility, train the human resources, and update business systems, among others (Renehan, 2020). Accounting, interdependent with finance, is essential in maintaining financial accuracy by ensuring that the company is adhering to proper financial reporting (Yin, Cheng, Yang, and Palmon, 2021). Amazon.com works with an extensive network of outsourced entities that provide backend support for billing and collection activities. These entities, meanwhile, generate critical information for the finance and accounting processes on the corporate level of the business. Data generated from this functional area of the accounting and finance unit is integral in the performance analysis of the whole organization, mainly as cash flows, collection of receivables, and management of receivables, among others, are key accounting activities for financial evaluation (Gitman, et al., 2018). With costs to consider in the business, Amazon’s accounting and finance function can contribute to the maximization of the firm’s revenue capacity and profitability. The accounting and finance departments of the company also work together to focus on the value-generating activities for the enterprise (Agrawal, Eklund, Waite, and Woodcock, 2020). 

Operations management

Operations management is a functional area of the business that spans supply chain activities, logistics, and manufacturing or service provision. Operations management is considered the foreground of the business because it ties together all the critical operational components of a business (Busellato, et al., 2021). Operations management, therefore, can be considered the key to the ability of the organization to adapt to the changing trends emerging in the global market, as well as to manage the problems emerging from market disruptions due to unseen forces. As a competitive advantage, operations management at Amazon.com supports the company’s eCommerce business by linking retailers with consumers. Operations management is the core of the retail activities conducted by the eCommerce entity because it encompasses the range of strategies that the firm uses to support its corporate goals and targets.  

Amazon’s innovation of its operations management approaches, embedded within the strategic outlook of the organization, also creates long-term value for the business, while strengthening the company’s relationships with its business partners on the upstream side of the supply chain, as well as with the clients and customers on the downstream operations (Prilepok, Stewart, Yearwood, and, Zegeye, 2022). 

Internship in Billing and Collection

Billing and collection are functional units within the accounting and finance departments. This unit of the business is concerned with the management of financial transactions. Since organizations are required to carefully and strategically report financial activities according to the standards of the governing accounting principle, the billing and collection activities contribute to the accurate financial reporting of the organization (Hermanson, Edwards, and Maher, 2011). The demands of the activities in the accounting area of the business, mainly the billing and collection, are aligned with my knowledge in basic accounting functions including invoice generation, client management, collections of dues and outstanding balances, data organization, and maintaining and updating the general ledger. My knowledge in the areas of billing and collection as a critical component of the accounting and finance function of an organization can contribute to the efficient collection of payments from customers. Timely collection of receivables is integral in financial reporting as this can affect the profitability performance of the organization within a specific reporting period. When the collection of dues is not efficiently done, there will be significant discrepancies in the revenue and income values reported by the company. As such, the overall financial performance of the business can appear skewed. 

Internship in Operations Management

At Amazon, supply chain activities support the operations management goals of the business, and this area of the enterprise is largely driven by modern technologies (Gu, Goez, Guajardo, and Wallace, 2021). As a leader in innovative business technologies embedded in eCommerce and data computing, an internship opportunity in the company can help develop critical knowledge about the modern strategies used by the company, especially in the area of linking all the individual supply chain activities with logistics (Bag, Gupta, and Luo, 2020). Although I am very interested in the operations management area of the business, there are specific supply chain knowledge I need to develop to be qualified as an intern in this unit. For instance, knowledge of inventory management is essential in the supply chain, and this is also directly linked with the accounting and finance functions. While I have basic knowledge of the different inventory management concepts used in accounting (LIFO and FIFO), I have no knowledge of procurement methods, systems, and technologies in the business. I also do not have knowledge or experience in warehouse and logistics management, vendor management, as well as in coordinating logistics activities which are equally critical facets of operations management.

Conclusion

A business entity depends on the interdependencies existing among the different functional areas of the organization. The accounting and finance area of the business supports the financial targets and value-generation goals of the organization. Through efficient and accurate billing and collection activities, Amazon.com can strategically track and evaluate its financial performance which will direct the firm’s continued financial growth and expansion. The operations management activities of the business, meanwhile, support the operational components and needs of the organization which sets the foundation for all strategic targets and plans of the company. Between the two functional areas presented in this report, an internship opportunity at the accounting and finance unit of the company best aligns with my current knowledge and skill set, mainly in billing and collection activities that are integral in the efficient financial resource management of Amazon’s retail activities. 

References

Agrawal, A., Eklund, S., Waite, J. & Woodcock, E. (2020, Nov 17). Finance 2030: Four imperatives for the next decade. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/finance-2030-four-imperatives-for-the-next-decade 

Amazon. (2021, Feb 2). AMAZON.COM ANNOUNCES FINANCIAL RESULTS AND CEO TRANSITION. https://ir.aboutamazon.com/news-release/news-release-details/2021/Amazon.com-Announces-Fourth-Quarter-Results/ 

Amazon.com Inc. (2022, Mar 10). Amazon Business Reshape 2022: Newly-expanded global procurement event now on-demand. Amazon Business. https://business.amazon.com/en/discover-more/blog/reshape-2022 

Bag, S., Gupta, S., & Luo, Z. (2020). Examining the role of logistics 4.0 enabled dynamic capabilities on firm performance. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 31(3), 607-628. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJLM-11-2019-0311 

Busellato, N., Drentin, R., Kishore, S., Nair, S., Schlichter, M. & Singh, A. (2021, Apr 12). Rethinking operations in the next normal. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/rethinking-operations-in-the-next-normal 

Gitman, L., McDaniel, C., Shah, A., Reece, M., Koffel, L., Talsma, B. & Hyatt, J. (2018). Chapter 10: Achieving World-Class Operations Management. Introduction to Business. Openstax. https://openstax.org/books/introduction-business/pages/5-5-managing-a-small-business 

Gu, Y., Goez, J. C., Guajardo, M., & Wallace, S. W. (2021). Autonomous vessels: State of the art and potential opportunities in logistics. International Transactions in Operational Research, 28(4), 1706-1739. https://doi.org/10.1111/itor.12785 

Hermanson, R., Edwards, J. & Maher, M. (2011). Accounting Principles: A Business Perspective. BCcampus. https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/accounting-principles-a-business-perspective 

Khaustovich, V. (2022, June). US Industry (NAICS) Report 51821: Data Processing & Hosting Services in the US. IBISWorld. https://my-ibisworld-com.library.capella.edu/us/en/industry/51821/major-companies 

Prilepok, M., Stewart, S., Yearwood, K. & Zegeye, A. (2022, May 17). Expand diversity among your suppliers—and add value to your organization. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/operations/our-insights/expand-diversity-among-your-suppliers-and-add-value-to-your-organization 

Razack, B. (2021, Jun 1). Cultivating Ethics in Business. Strategic Finance. https://sfmagazine.com/post-entry/june-2021-cultivating-ethics-in-business/ 

Renehan, J. (2020, Jul 1). Data analytics will give your clients decision-making insights, so help them implement it. ACCA. https://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/member/member/accounting-business/2020/07-08/practice/data-analytics.html 

Warrier, U., Singh, P., Jien, C. W., Kee, D. M. H., Yi, G. Z., Jiann, T. W., … & Ganatra, V. (2021). Factors that lead Amazon. com to a successful online shopping platform. International Journal of Tourism and Hospitality in Asia Pacific (IJTHAP), 4(1), 7-17.

Yin, C., Cheng, X., Yang, Y., & Palmon, D. (2021). Do corporate frauds distort suppliers’ investment decisions? Journal of Business Ethics, 172(1), 115-132. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04369-4 

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