Marketing/accounting synergy : A discussion of its potential and evidence in e-business
Advances in technology create opportunities for new forms of arranging work, such as collapsing the boundaries between marketing and accounting. This makes it possible for management to identify the key attributes and processes required for a more integrated marketing/accounting process. This paper sheds light on how e-business planning is taking place and identifies the key areas that are, together, acting as barriers to aligning organisation design, structures and people in the digitised world. The study presents empirical evidence of de facto leadership being taken by the IT function, to the detriment of what might otherwise have been developed: a synergistic relationship between the marketing/accounting planning interface and business performance. We set this in the context of converging demands on the marketing and accounting professions and of the literature suggesting that complex marketing/accounting metrics need to be developed to enable effective performance management. Results from our study in e-business planning and our discussion of the potential for increasing marketing/accounting synergy shed some initial light on how both marketing and accounting practices can perpetuate themselves by embracing and interacting with IT infrastructures and data on business performance. If accountants are to remain influential in the digital age, and marketers are to regain their seat at the top table, it is necessary to develop both a metrics dashboard and changes in organisational design. This will facilitate learning and flexibility to demonstrate credible planning processes and enable improved strategy implementation.