The Small Business
You have been hired as a consultant to advice Joe Martinez, owner of Martinez Financial Services, as to what type of computer systems his small business should purchase and use. Martinez Financial Services is a six employee small business that provides tax/accounting services to individuals and small businesses. Martinez Financial Services currently employs the following employees:
Handles books, payroll, and provides small business financial services at the main office and at customer sites.
Provide personal and small business financial/tax services at the main office.
Provides personal and small business financial/tax services at the main office and at customer sites.
1 Office Manager
Oversees all office activities, including supervision of office assistant and three accountants.
Assists owner with books and payroll.
Prepares professional flyers and presentations to advertise the small business.
Performs the office assistant duties during his/her absence.
1 Office Assistant
Answers telephones, files/retrieves documents, and schedules accountant appointments.
Assists with preparation and processing of all office documents.
Martinez Financial Services has been operating on a manual accounting system for the last year. Accountants complete all work manually and all documents are filed in cabinets located in a storage room. Federal and state tax documents are completed manually and are sent to the appropriate agencies via the postal service. All clerical and record keeping activities (including books and payroll) are completed using a manual system. The office manager and office assistant maintain accountant schedules/appointments on a calendar board.
Mr. Martinez feels that computerizing and networking his small business will increase productivity and will provide his staff the ability to:
securely share files electronically.
print to any printer in the office.
access each other’s calendars and allow the office assistant/office manager to schedule accountant appointments electronically.
share an Internet connection.
provide each employee with an email account.
As a consultant, you are to prepare a written proposal (term paper) identifying and justifying all the requirements to computerize and network the small business. Your proposal should identify the necessary computers and devices, software (system software and application software), network/communication components, and protection/security components, as well as provide examples of how each of the above five requested functions will be met. At a minimum, your proposal (paper) should include the following:
Computers and Devices (30 points). Your proposal should identify the necessary devices (computers, notebooks, monitors, printers, etc.) that will need to be purchased for all the employees. Your proposal must identify the main system components along with a justification explaining why you selected such components. All necessary input and output devices and storage requirements must also be identified. Appropriate computer systems should be recommended for employees based on the job responsibilities. For example, a server should not be recommended for any single employee.
Software (25 points) – Your proposal should identify the required software (system software and application software) that will be used by all employees. Software should be identified by name, type of software, and the function(s) it provides the employees. At a minimum, your proposal should identify the system software and at least five application software. Be sure to include enough software licenses to cover any simultaneous use of software.
Network/Communication Components (35 points) – Your proposal should identify the specific network components required to securely connect all devices, as well as share one Internet service connection. This area can describe the devices needed to connect the computers together, creating a LAN. A network device needed to connect the LAN to the Internet can also be described here. Any cables or wireless equipment can also be described in this area.
Protection/Security (10 points) – Your proposal should identify how the computers, network and data will be secured and protected. This area should describe how the computers will be protected from malware and how the LAN will be secured. This area should also discuss how the data will be backed up and secured.
Requested Functions (50 points) – Your proposal should describe how the above requested functions will be met. Your proposal should describe how the small business users will share files electronically, print to any network printer in the office, share electronic calendars, share a single Internet connection, and provide each employee with an email account. You may suggest free or paid cloud services or technology on premises.
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