Companies of all sizes and shape now rely on Enterprise resource planning systems to be competitive, profitable, compliant, attractive, and trendy. The implementation of an enterprise resource planning is a complex long term project that requires input from many professionals and business process owners.
Accountants in the ‘now economy’ are the most equipped information system experts when it comes to giving advice on successful implementation of enterprise resource planning software.
The aim of this article is to identify and discuss those roles of accountants in the implementation of software system. Let’s now turn our attention to the main theme of this post.
Six Functions of Accountants in Successful Implementation of ERP System
Preparation of Business Requirement Document
A business requirement document is a technical piece that is often prepared by software programmers but not without consulting with other professionals. Accountants as information processing professionals that also speak the unique language of business are well equipped to immensely introduce commerciality at the grass root level of software implementation.
Preparation of business case
A business case is a vital document that sets out to make a case for any major project that a business intends to embark on. This is where the need for the software is clearly established. Theoretically, this document should be prepared by responsible top member of the management. But, in practice, managers go to their accountants to prepare this project justification paper.
Evaluation and appraisal of the project
This is the stage where options are weighed in the light of available information. The investment appraisal technique skill of an accountant is leveraged at this point so as to ensure that the enterprise software implementation is not only financially viable but also promotes the non-financial objectives of a company.
An accountant makes sure that not only projects with positive NPVs are selected but that other soft areas like staff motivation are also factored into the overall implementation.
Selection of the Right Software That Meets the Company’s Requirement
As users of enterprise software, accountants bring in hands on experience while making decision on what vendor to go with. This choice is directly linked to the needs of the company and the financial implications. At the very least, the projected benefit that will come from implementing the software should not be equal to or less than the full costs of acquisition.
Configuring the Enterprise Software
As insiders in business processes, accountants are at the forefront of enterprise system implementation. There are certain areas like tax and foreign exchanges that will be foreign to a non-accountant. Also, the involvement of accountants in the implementation of enterprise system software ensures that the system is configured in such a way that audit trails are left.
Post Implementation Review
Lessons are learned from every project, whether successful or not. For this lesson to be learnt, activities and results must be reviewed at the end of the project. The role of accountant here is to provide the responsible individuals with the right information at the right time and in the right format.
Overall, the contribution of accountant in the implementation of enterprise software acquisition is part of the broad role of accountants in the development of accounting information system.