Assessing Computer Based Information Systems: a Case Study of Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank Limited (AKRBL) and Atwima Nwabiagya Rural Bank Limited (ANRBL)

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The rural banks provide simple, quick, easily accessible and flexible banking systems tailored to meet the specific needs of the predominantly small depositors and borrowers in the rural areas, especially the agricultural communities. They were expected to play specialised roles of providing institutionalized banking for the rural communities who are mostly farmers, in an environment of high illiteracy rate and lack of financial sophistication to enhance the economy of Ghana since farmers form the majority of the working groups in the country. Having to depend on mobilized deposits was also seen as essential for avoiding excessive transaction and default costs associated with government-funded credit-delivery systems. Until recently, the management process was considered a face-to-face, personal act and not a far-flung, global co-ordinated process. It is required in recent times that knowledge about Information Systems is essential for managers and people within the organisation in order for the business to survive and prosper. Computer Based Information System (CBIS) is an Information system that relies on computer hardware and software for processing and disseminating information. Simon, (2001) has defined Information Systems as components that work together to provide the desired information in the proper format at the appropriate time. O'Leary and O'leary, (2004) was more concern with keeping computer systems safe from criminals, natural hazards and other threats in a bid to keep information private. In the view of the author, Information Systems Security has to do with protecting information, hardware and software from unauthorised use as well as from damage from intrusion, sabotage and natural disasters. Thus, a careful analysis of this concept using open ended questionnaire and interview to assess Computer Base Information System: a case study of Atwima Kwanwoma Rural Bank Limited (AKRBL) and Atwima Nwabiagya Rural Bank Limited (ANRBL), using Percentage skew frequency, graph in SPSS and Microsoft Excel software was in the right direction. It revealed that, the Board and Management of AKRBL are more involved and committed to the computerization of their Information Systems than ANRBL than ANRBL. The reason is that, AKRBL has received a grant for the computerisation of their Information System (IS) and the Board and management has the obligation to ensure compliance. In the case of staff involvement in the computerisation effort, staffs of AKRBL were more involved than ANRBL. The grant provided for seminars, workshops, expert advice and training programmes. These prepared staff to be part of the system and be willing to use it. If the staff does not feel part of the system, there is the likelihood of sabotage. From the analysis given, it was clear that staff or people's (Board, Management and Staff) involvement in the computerisation effort at AKRBL was higher than ANRBL. As regards IS Security and Control, both Banks had provided some measures to mitigate risk associated with their Computer Based Information Systems. The measures provided and functioning, though good, needed some improvement, even though, provisions made by AKRBL were found to be better than ANRBL. This was a result of expect advice associated with the grant funding of the CBIS. There is the need for comprehensive Information Technology Policy and Information Systems Policy Manuals to provide guidelines for the banks in carrying out their Information Technology and Information Systems activities. Further studies can be conducted into the auditing aspect of CBIS.
A Thesis Submitted to the School of Business, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in partial fulfilment of the * requirements for the degree of Master Of Business Administration, 2008