The statement following from this discussioni s that elaborate interpretive instance surveies of ERP and BI executions are needed in order to understand the complex impact of such information systems on comptrollers ‘ place and patterns. This subdivision is built around one such survey, refering the execution of ERP and BI systems at AAA, an Italian moderate-sized house. The acceptance and usage of the system is described and discussed.
The focal point of the instance survey is AAA, a moderate-sized house based in Italy. The company operates in the vino sector and has a strong cooperation with 41 spouse wine makers and over 20,000 wine agriculturists from throughout the parts of Italy. Accounting for 10 % of the entire Italian one-year production and with an one-year turnover of around 250a‚¬ M per twelvemonth, AAA is one of the prima houses in Italian vino industry. AAA operates in another concern country: distillery division. It is of import to advert that the type of concern in which the house is involved is improbable to act upon the findings of my analysis. The chief feature of the organisation that helped me developing an in deepness analysis is its size. The ground is related to the fact that, since we conducted an interpretative instance
survey, it was of paramount importance to interview and interact with all the people who had taken a existent, active portion in the execution of the new ERP system. This would hold non been possible if we had explored a large house, where the ‘distance ‘ between the people who take determinations and those who implement them is frequently excessively long for the aggregation of theoretically meaningful informations. Second, the house has already implemented both ERP and BI systems and was in an advanced phase of use that allowed me to roll up, non merely all the feelings from the users which have become more practical thanks to the accrued experience, but besides to allow them place the bounds and give me more penetrations, which are non presented in other researches. Sing ERP systems, the house has implemented a whole ERP system, non merely some of its faculties. From the literature reappraisal this appeared to be an of import factor act uponing the magnitude of the impact of the system on comptrollers ‘ places and patterns.
THE BACK GROUND
The determination to implement an ERP system at AAA came straight by the freshly appointed CEO, which likely for his background as a direction comptroller proverb in the ERP execution a batch of possible “ to travel for growing ” . In order to prolong this growing, the company needed a corporate information system, which have to replace the replace the different information systems widespread across the company. Each system was dedicated to one or two undertakings, such as natural stuffs stock control or invoicing. So he convinced people that the chief failings of the house were represented by these bequest system, which were hard to keep and would non let the integrating of information flows. Then it was decided to follow an integrated information system as a mean to wholly regenerate the IT country.
When the house decided to implement the ERP package, different package sellers came to suggest their solutions. AAA excluded SAP – one of the most widely used ERP packages across Europe – from the scope of possible solutions. The official motive was linked to two chief grounds: cost of execution and rigidness of the system. The IT responsible for the undertaking stated that SAP was without uncertainty the most attractive solution in footings of holding the best patterns and larning how to execute as the best. At the same clip it loses in footings of flexibleness, because with SAP you have to accommodate the house to the system and non frailty versa, and in footings of longer clip required as SAP is considered more complex than other ERPs. More clip for execution means more costs for developing users and for the sellers support for execution. The concluding determination went straight to the CEO which opted for flexibleness, instead than best patterns. Harmonizing to the corporate, it would non hold been possible to supervise the public presentation of the freshly acquired house, without quickly implementing the new IT system after the acquisition. Second, this would non hold been possible without revising the patterns for the aggregation, amplification and diffusion of accounting information. In 2001 was approved an action program with a full clip undertaking squad composed by 8 people, among which was included a direction ( undertaking ) comptroller. The undertaking was sponsored by the CEO who wanted to regenerate wholly the IT substructure and its application and align with the other rivals which had implemented an ERP. At that clip, the information systems were fragmented and proprietary. There was a mainframe computing machine and several local country webs running standalone systems. All the users claimed to be satisfied with their systems. nevertheless none the systems used reported consequences which were consistent, and none of them contained wholly accurate informations. These systems were besides expensive to keep and they promoted separate individualities within the organisation and discouraged teamwork.
More specifically some expressed motives, refering the accounting section, were given in order to make consensus sing the alteration within the section itself: the low quality of the accounting information provided and the attendant dissatisfaction of the concluding users ; the increasing troubles in pull offing the fiscal statements and the internal coverage which were going more complex. But replacing these bequest systems with the ERP involved several major jobs:
The ability of the ERP to run into single demands, because each map was satisfied with its old system. As a user stated: each user used to execute undertaking utilizing its ain system, and has to larn how to utilize its system. Now it has to larn how to utilize a system in which other users work. You have to pay attending to the informations entered in the system because can modify the activities of other users.
This construct is linked with the issue of the resistant to alter showed by some users, who were nervous about their occupations. The more people who were against alterations were senior workers, who had a really good cognition of how the organisation operates and they do non desire this procedure to alter and free the security they have about their occupation and place.
Another issue is linked with the alteration of the civilization of the organisation, which should travel into a construct of integrating and sharing of information. To reassign information from different bequest systems is and difficult undertaking, because you have to transform the information in the same format and do “ communicate ” together informations coming from different maps, from marketing to finance, from accounting to production, etc. A undertaking leader explained: we transferred the informations from different systems, but the transportation was non completed because some informations were corrupt and others were losing.
But the most hard undertaking was to present the construct of integrating of information inside the organisation, a undertaking which is non completed at all. As one senior IT worker explained: with this incorporate system, when a user alter on type of informations, it could act upon and impact a batch of other informations which stands at different degree and of different maps inside the organisation. Peoples have troubles to believe outside the “ walls of their office ” and comprehend the whole system and how big it is. They can non understand that their work now can straight act upon the work of others and frailty versa, so they have to get down believing as a squad non merely an person.
For the corporate directors the incorporate nature of information offered important attractive forces, with common systems throughout the company complecting with each other. However they stressed one job of ERP which is that it can non acknowledge organisational boundaries. This can necessitate important alteration in both constructions and organisational civilization. As ERP is organized around concern procedures, it is indispensable that these are at least reviewed before engrafting ERP, and determinations taken as to whether bing concern procedures need to be modified. Last but non least, a major inquiry is whether the generic ERP bundle can be configured to run into the concern ‘s demands or whether customization is necessary. The general policy of houses which implement SAP is to avoid custom-making package bundles, for three chief grounds: clip, costs and simpleness. The determination non to custom-make the package was taken because of the job of concern procedure reconfiguration and the troubles that would convey to the different concern unit of AAA. The costs and flexibleness were the two chief grounds that brought to take of an ERP different from SAP. The organisation preferred to choose for a “ good- plenty ” solution alternatively of an optimum solution because of the features of their concern with bash non fit the demands of SAP. So opted for a cost salvaging solution.
From the really beginning, the CEO intended to clear up to workers that the acceptance of the ERP did non merely connote a alteration in the IT applications in usage, but was instead linked to a alteration of the civilization of the organisation and of its working patterns. In order to make consensus among workers, the ERP was presented as a extremely desirable pick every bit good as indispensable for viing in today concern environment. As clip passed, workers acquired more experience in the usage of systems and were efficaciously asked to larn how to make hard things, so they had some apprehension of why the system was necessary and could impute a wider significance to everyday undertaking activities. The CFO has a batch of assurance in the undertaking and was witting that he could obtain a great engagement in the undertaking, by showing the ERP as a desirable ‘way of working ‘ . This construct would included workers to get the better of professional and “ physical ” boundaries, and be engaged in proactive coaction. The new ERP was defined non merely as a inexpensive solution to the atomization of information, but besides as a alone chance to make harmoniousness among workers, simplify the work by revising procedures, which would go more machine-controlled, and the possibility to portion information and penetrations with co-workers, in order to hold a 360A° cognition of the organisation and its procedures.
Following this line of logical thinking, the ERP implemented was described as an incorporate solution covering all functional countries, which is based on an application that enables and facilitates the execution of a procedure position of activities, every bit good as constrains people to utilize a common platform, doing it possible to avoid the subsequent acceptance of different attacks and different systems by the different maps.
The execution of the ERP was a hard and complex undertaking. During the execution stage, the undertaking squad created a vision of the system, in order to accommodate it to the concern. As said before the feature of this instance survey is that it has non happened a Business Process Reengineering, because the system was adapted to the existent concern, because of jobs to incorporate the system into a particular concern unit. However, the undertaking squad has to hold a vision of how the organisation will be in the hereafter and to fix all the tabular arraies and agendas which will hold place the chief elements of the organisation: clients, merchandises, concern units, distribution channels, etc. This initial procedure helped to develop an apprehension of the bing concern in order to accommodate the system to it and to preempt some future deductions for the operating theoretical account. Although was an organisation driven undertaking instead than a technological driven one, the ERP has to be treated as a concern instead than an IT undertaking. The success of the undertaking was linked to the clear thought of how to run concern, and so utilizing the ERP to pattern it. In order to supply workers this clear thought, a preparation plan was needed in both concern and IT literacy. This plan was likely underestimated, because a batch of workers still lack of the cognition required to work the capablenesss of the system. As a user stated:
“ the biggest job we had was to convert some workers to accommodate to the new engineerings. There are some older people in the company which have a batch of troubles to interact with computing machines, and to swear the informations displayed in the picture, which means that the money were spent non merely in developing plan which resulted rather useless, but besides in publishing all the paperss, studies, images, etc. that they can non follow on the picture! ! ! ”
The resources devoted to preparation and retraining people are the major cost ( and sometimes concealed ) of put ining the ERP. The velocity which persons become computing machine literature varied from individual to individual: some acclimatized really rapidly, while others took more clip to go familiar with the new computing machine environment. this created legion jobs in the early phases of execution, as errors and informations entry mistakes in one portion of the system can bring forth important jobs elsewhere. This was one of the toughest construct for people to understand: the incorporate nature of ERP means that informations are put in into the accounting system, for illustration, non merely by people working in accounting map, but besides by people runing in selling, production, or whatever in the organisation.
During the execution stage, the precedence was given to accounting for different grounds: the nucleus map of an ERP undertaking is the accounting map, the CFO was greatly involved in the execution stage, workers were unsatisfied of their old bequest system. But the chief ground was that the determination to get this new system come straight from the CEO who wanted to construct system which allow a rapid flow of information, get downing from accounting. So strong attending was devoted to the accounting map. The users of accounting information were dissatisfied and perceived accounting activities as non-adding value. The hazard for accounting map of going marginalized with the debut of the new ERP system was really high. However, instead than protecting his map from the alteration, the CFO promoted the engagement of the accounting section to the execution stage. As a consequence accounting map broadened its scope of activities and its scope of contacts, increasing coaction with co-workers of other section and geting a whole apprehension of the information flows with the new procedure. The new ERP was an juncture for implementing the coveted alteration sing the accounting map.
One individual for each map was selected to take part to the execution. Peoples involved in the undertaking were requested to pass on, every bit good as to interact, with their teammates, harmonizing to a new inter functional position working, which is the footing of the construct of integrating. Sing their mundane activities, the system was characterized by more complex and more intense spatio-temporal mutualities of undertakings and duties.
The success of the undertaking relied to a great extent on coactions and mutualities among people involved at different degrees. In peculiar during the pilot trials, the mutualities affecting different maps came out strongly: any clip the trial was unsuccessful, all the parametric quantities used had to be revised, necessitating the engagement of all the future users of the system. The trials were utile to clear up uncertainties and see which was the degree of integrating of the house: it was the minute when all the procedures of the house were performed at the same clip by all the people in charge of pull offing them.
In this sense, the ERP connote a alteration of the internal clime since it was during the undertaking that important facets of societal behavior were redefined, as the execution attempt transformed non merely communicating patterns, but besides organisational norms and function outlooks. It was through socialisation, cooperation, and preparation that people reinforced the thought that their working patterns were altering harmonizing to a procedure position of organisational activities. As a IT senior explained: the system is structured so that if a job occur, it is resolved “ interfunctionally ” , affecting workers of other sections.
Such sense of mutuality got amalgamate with the preparation activity. The preparation plan linked the new orientations towards integrating with the mundane activities of organisational histrions. The preparation procedure marked the beginning of a more comprehensive procedure of alteration. This involved non merely the cardinal people of the undertaking, but besides the people who did non take an active portion in the ERP execution. The execution of the new ERP system provided an sphere for the
development of important co-operative patterns and helped to prolong reciprocality behaviours as a new institutional rule trough which put the footing for an organisation with more flexible relationships among workers. This consideration is supported by the undermentioned statements pronounced by a concluding user:
With ERP the relationships with ‘production people ‘ and with the people responsible for procurance have changed: the communicating flows are more intense, the exchanges of information are more frequent and there is a higher demand of co-ordination. This is a effect of the fact that now we have merely one individual IT system for all the maps. This has contributed to better concentrate people ‘s attending on their undertakings: everyone feels more responsible so that coaction has improved a batch. In order to avoid jobs, people are more willing to portion solutions and penetrations. ( Final user, responsible for histories receivable )
In decision the ERP system, through its embedded, standardised patterns, could be in itself considered as a vehicle of conformance. This is besides where domination and meaning become hard to separate, as with the ERP. non merely functional but besides perpendicular barriers seemed to disappear for AAA people. In a sense, the ERP undertaking served to make a parallel organisation ( Kanter, 1985 ) , as the shared definition of world, mediated by the ERP experience, could let a ‘collective sense of power ‘ ( Roberts, 1990: 121 ) . which, in bend, emphasized a co-op instead than a coercive division of labour. Thus this interplay between meaning and domination successfully translated into the function and credence of mutualities between units and maps, and in the face of the common challenge – the debut of the ERP – drew out a mutual sense of committedness and duty.
IMPLICATIONS FOR MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTANTS
There have been undoubtedly alterations in direction accounting within AAA, following the execution of ERP. The new system conveyed new patterns which consolidated the regulations of reciprocality and inter functional collaboration. , independently from the spacial and temporal boundaries. It improved and standardized the flow of information, and increased workers interaction through their shred cognition and corporate experience of the new ERP system. The demand of coaction and working among different maps led people to admit and accommodate to the alterations brought by the ERP ‘s execution. The alterations non merely emerged during the execution stage, but besides consolidated in new ways of working for workers of different maps, including direction comptrollers. During the execution phase the whole accounting map was strongly involved in the undertaking, as the accounting map was considered the cardinal portion of the system. This included direction comptrollers which had participated to the parameterization procedure and the transportation of the dimensions from the old bequest system. This gave them possibility to understand the system operation before it went unrecorded, and to be prepared for the possible alterations the system would convey. In peculiar the impact of ERP system on comptroller ‘s patterns and function can be explained by features of the system itself: the standardisation of procedures, the demand for integrating and inter functional coaction.
First of wholly, the first processs to be reviewed were the accounting processs. Though the possibility to suit the system to petitions of comptrollers, the incorporate nature of the system has in portion modified the work of comptrollers. The ERP debut has standardized some patterns and processs, which have turned into some advantages and some disadvantages for the work of comptrollers. The advantages are indentified by the possibility to obtain clearer informations, as one direction comptroller explained: “ with old bequest system, the information was non dependable, because every map worked independently form the others, and so we had to pass a batch of clip in commanding the beginning of informations before commanding the significance of the informations. Now, with ERP, the informations are more right because every map put the information in the same database, and we have merely to download informations from this database and fix studies without holding to look into informations because they do non fit each other ” . At the same clip the possibility to obtain clearer informations has imposed some rigidness to processs and comptrollers have lost some discretion in using the processs for the aggregation, amplification and proviso of information. Indeed the ERP system enforce some rigidness in its procedures: it prohibits the executing of undertakings until the old undertaking, whether it is performed by the same user or by others, is completed. This means that comptrollers are non to the full in control of their expertness, as they rely on the coaction with their co-workers in order to carry through their mundane activities. Furthermore the ERP debut has increased the force per unit area on comptrollers work. With the standardisation of procedures now other plants know how long it takes to bring forth accounting information and besides because their end product is instantly seeable across the full house. In add-on, as a comptroller explained, with the old system comptrollers had the possibility to rectify errors before anyone noticing, now mistakes are instantly seeable.
So, on the one manus, the standardisation of processs and the rigidness of the system has put a batch of force per unit area on comptrollers. On the other manus, the capacity to obtain clearer, more dependable and more precise information from ERP systems, has been a great advantage for direction comptrollers to supply better end products.
The information provided by ERP is rather similar to the information that was produced by the old bequest systems, but is available in existent clip and besides directors at operational degree can entree information themselves, instead than waiting for the accounting studies. This possibility to obtain existent clip information has modified all the processs and activities of direction comptrollers which were based on past informations, and more focused on prognosiss. For illustration the budgeting procedure has now has a more advanced accent. Budgets are going more flexible and dynamic alternatively of being a inactive representation of the approaching twelvemonth. Indeed the initial model is the same of the yesteryear, what changes is the possibility to modify the initial budget as a work in advancement, trusting on prognosiss instead than on “ historical information ” . This new type of information has brought besides a new forward looking position as explained by a direction comptroller: “ The prediction procedure is likely one of the cardinal fiscal procedures that we have in the concern, because we do a program but the program is history: we ‘re pull offing the concern on prognosiss. We ‘re frontward looking all the clip. ”
This means that the budget, which is set in the old twelvemonth, reflects a “ past ” position regard to the clip in which the determination are taken, but as clip passes this position can alter. Thus, thank to the handiness of existent clip information provided by the ERP, the budget must be updated with the usage of prognosiss.
As prognosiss are produced for the approaching months, there can be monthly comparings of existent results against the most recent prognosis. However, this procedure follows a certain logic and purely regulations: alterations of the budget and each new prognosis have to be to the full explained and justified. Therefore, fluctuations from the original budget are discussed by the direction squad. In this manner, although the budget is used as a general model for the twelvemonth, direction is looking frontward through the prognosiss, non backwards to the budget.
The way of alteration for comptrollers has been at the same time shaped by another feature of ERP: the demand for integrating and inter functional coaction, as testified by the words of another concluding user which argued that ERP have brought a higher consciousness about the importance of informations and information every bit good as the importance of communications among different maps. The ERP system has a whole consideration of the organisation, non separating from people of accounting or production. This has redefined the relationship among workers, constructing a sense of common cooperation for the production of accounting information, which will function to direction. Management comptrollers confirm that their interactions with workers of other maps has increased. they argued that interactions increased but non every bit much as after the debut of electronic mail into organisations. However they have changeless phone calls with other workers, thanks to the possibility to see the information in existent clip. The coaction has increased besides because both direction comptrollers and production people have the same mark: the production of informations which are dependable, clear and precise. Furthermore, cooperation means that errors have to be found every bit shortly as possible. In the new ERP environment, separation of maps is a construct no more considered, because the processs are linked each other. Added to the proviso of existent clip informations, the communicating to the worker of other map and the subsequent rectification of the error should be immediate and clip economy.
The new interrelatednesss born among different maps have besides modified the duties and undertakings, and the function of different histrions involved in the undertaking. Management comptrollers were one of them. Bing involved in the parameterization of the system, they obtained IT cognition. There was a shared cognition among these two histrions: direction comptroller and IT specializer. Indeed direction comptroller started to understand some construct related to IT, which with the old system was wholly impossible, as the underlying construct and standards were unknown. Bing involved in the execution, helped both histrions approach the function of the other, and making strong relationship. Furthermore the flexibleness of personalising the ERP chosen, beef up the relationship, giving the possibility to happen new ways to better the system operations. Sing direction comptrollers, they have enlarged their function, going more and more engaged with the IT map, in order to better the system. This in portion confirms the findings of Caglio ( 2003 ) , which have argued that direction comptroller have experienced a phenomenon of “ hybridisation ” , deducing from the expansion of their set of patterns and legitimated competences. Not merely direction comptroller but besides comptrollers benefited of this so called “ hybridisation ” , and this two histrions of the organisation, thanks to the debut of the ERP, have mixed their cognition. This hybridisation tendency is of involvement in this instance because I had the possibility to interview both parts and see how the separation of fiscal and direction accounting, has become dilutant after the acceptance of the new system. The division of these two maps is straight related to the different users of the results of their activities: direction comptroller produced information for internal users ( direction ) , while fiscal accountant external users ( stakeholders ) . However, ERP integrative nature has approached this so similar and so different histrions, so that it would make more mutuality and coaction between them, and crating a mix of the two. This means that these “ intercrossed ” places, have to develop a broader vision of the house as a whole, every bit good as of an apprehension of all procedures from the eyes of both fiscal accounting and direction accounting. ( PARTE DI scapens su broader function of MA ) . The fiscal comptroller was the 1 who benefited largely of this new coaction. Sing the activities managed by the fiscal accounting map, AAA has non determined any alteration in pattern. Rather, it has modified the manner the implicit in information flows are managed. After the ERP execution, comptrollers, which have participated to the parameterization of the system, have understood how the procedures are represented within the system and are besides cognizant of how information flows across the organisation.
As a effect, fiscal comptrollers had the possibility to refers to internal users as direction comptroller do, but mentioning to the other maps, holding the possibility to supply them supplying the most relevant informations and information.
This should non be called a new “ intercrossed ” place, as the one proposed by Caglio ( 2003 ) , but it has let them to get new cognition and accomplishments which would be utile to make a new place or function inside the organisation.
Management accounting has confirmed this position of new comptrollers, and when I asked even if they had evolved into new “ signifiers ” they replied that they still germinating, but the alteration is taking topographic point slower than fiscal comptrollers. One direction comptroller explained that: “ when the system was implemented, the map which they devoted most attending was accounting. Accounting is a cardinal portion of the ERP system, so every procedure have to perfectly fit into accounting demands. This gave them an of import advantage. Management accounting is a secondary map for the organisation, is something like a excess. So direction accounting petitions did non hold the precedence and were implemented subsequently. ”
The difference from the yesteryear is that now information is spread across the organisation and direction comptroller are no more the lone proprietor of that. Despite their cardinal function in prolonging information flows, now information is more decentralized into all maps, from marketing to production.
In order to attach to this transmutation, direction comptrollers had redefine their function inside the organisation. AAA decided to specialise direction comptrollers by country, and delegating them different undertakings, so that one direction comptroller will be in charge of works direction and R & A ; D, while another one of selling and gross revenues. These let them to work straight with people of different maps, sharing their mundane jobs. And so direction comptrollers will portion the cognition acquired with each other. The consequence of this pick is to crate professionals which after deriving some experience in the field, will back up different maps as concern advisers. So direction comptrollers are altering their expertness, going less involved with aggregation of information and more involved with reading of information, back uping directors and people of the line. In decision the new direction comptrollers, resulted after the ERP execution, have the possibility, which sometimes turn out into a demand, to develop new accomplishments, such as IT apprehension, communicating and strategic thought, every bit good as the ability to work in squads. This non merely means that such professionals will hold to cover less with traditional accounting activities, giving more clip to understanding concern operations, information systems, and strategic determination devising. It besides means that they will back up workers of other maps as internal advisers, going more team participant and less individualistic.
In this instance this statement is non wholly right. Get downing from the execution where the direction comptrollers were non to the full satisfied with the pick of ERP. First because AAA did non experienced the phenomena of Business Process Reengineering. The determination of implementing a flexible and customizable ERP alternatively of a best pattern ( for illustration SAP ) has non given the possibility to larn something new from direction advisers. They had interactions with IT advisers, with the possibility to allow the system do what they want, but they did non work the cognition of a direction adviser of its experience with other concern instances. As one direction comptroller stated: “ the SAP doctrine is that if you choose their systems you have to accommodate your concern to SAP and non frailty versa, because they have the best patterns. The pick of SAP would take to oppugning your procedures, your patterns, your manner to form concern, compared to the solution that they proposed to you, which is the best possible in the market. ”
So this has non led to to the full work the potency of ERP systems, which still be improvable. In peculiar there is a batch of work that is done outside the ERP. Management comptrollers still prefer to take informations from ERP and so to download them on Excel in order to fix studies to demo straight to directors. As declared one of the direction comptrollers: merely a minimum portion of our work is performed straight on ERP systems, for illustration study are straight prepared by the ERP system, but they still remain uncomplete because the system deficiency of some functionalities, which are present in Excel. The demands of direction is different for each type of work and its impossible for us to make all on ERP, because it was merely non set for this type of activities. It is utile for our work, because cut down the clip spent on informations aggregation and execute other undertakings that were antecedently made by us. But Excel remain the best solution to execute the greatest sum of our twenty-four hours to twenty-four hours activities.
So in footings of alteration of direction accounting information, as a consequence of the survey we can reason that at that place non hold been cardinal alterations. The information produced by direction histories is the same of that was produced by the bequest systems. the biggest difference is in that they spent less clip in executing undertakings that can now be done by the system itself. The undertaking in inquiry is the so called information aggregation, which refers to the activity to roll up, clean, sum up and fix informations, which will be presented to directors in signifier of studies. However ERP did non helped direction comptrollers to extinguish everyday occupations. As a direction comptroller explained: “ the sum of work has remain the same, so in some instances has increased. The system has helped us to cut down some type of plants which were considered besides clip blowing and this was a fortune, but we did no experient any permutation of work by other workers. The lone one work undertaking which now is performed by fiscal accounting is that when they record bills, they input the information into the cost centres, leting us to hold the informations already available in the system. ” The work has increased every bit much as they hired a new accountant. Sing the sum of work performed thank to the usage of ERP, the interviewed explained that the work performed on ERP has increased from the beginning. Now they have reached a degree of customization of the system which allow to hold all the footing for the study ready on the ERP. so they have merely to tiffin studies on the system and so download so on Excel for analysing the information and detect the tendencies. They argue that now the 15 % of their occupation is performed on ERP systems, and that all their activities, such as budgeting, coverage, discrepancy analysis, cost accounting, are linked with the usage of ERP, which serve as a big container where they draw out informations.
The four chief alterations analyzed in the work of Scapens and Jazayeri are: the riddance of everyday occupations, line directors with accounting cognition, more frontward looking information and a wider function for direction comptroller.
The riddance of everyday occupation is partially confirmed. It is confirmed that the ERP and its functionalities have replaced some occupations which were antecedently done by people. Thankss to its centralised database and its integrative nature, when runing forces enter informations into the system, this is straight transmitted to comptrollers, which do non hold to inquire sporadically the informations to workers of other maps to fix the fiscal statement. The portion which is non confirmed, or that is in discordance with the findings of Scapens and Jazayeri, is the fact that direction comptrollers perceived ERP as positive non merely for the concern but besides for the direction accountants itself. The chief difference likely is because of the size of the organisation studied. BM Europe was a subordinate of a big multinational while AAA is an independent medium big house. Another motive should be the different ERP used: BM Europe has SAP which includes best patterns, AAA has NAV which includes customization. This two statements explain the state of affairs: BM Europe has to mention to their headquarter and so necessitate a more standardised procedure of information flow. So SAP takes precedence over everything, besides on direction comptroller patterns, which become more machine-controlled. At the antonym, direction comptrollers refers straight to direction and so they need standardisation with other maps in order to obtain information and so are able to execute their undertakings outside the ERP, utilizing Excel or tantamount tools.
The decrease of work for comptrollers can take to the lessening of the figure of comptrollers. The hazard exist, but with a hazard comes an chance for them to alter their place. Indeed they move one measure further in the procedure of supplying information going analysts, instead than scorers ( COLLEGAMENTO A PARTE PRECEDENTE ) .
Second line directors with accounting cognition is besides partially confirmed. It is confirmed that accounting cognition is spread across the organisations, but this do non intend that people on the line get besides the duties of direction comptrollers. For illustration now operational people in charge of production have acquired more cognition about costs and now can interrogate their ain costs and calculate their ain costs for future disbursement. They are besides able to bring forth the budget for their map. They have besides the possibility to travel into the histories and holding a expression at how much they ‘ve spent, and what they expect to pass. So it does n’t come as a daze at the terminal of the month when they used to acquire the old cost statements on their desks: ‘What did I spend that on? ‘ They ‘re far more in control of their ain costs. And it has made bookkeepers, if you like, out of everyone. They do cognize how to travel into a set of histories and draw their ain costs down. However, direction comptrollers duties remain the same and have non been moved out in favour of people on the line. Peoples on the line experience more comfy with accounting and have more control on their disbursement, but this do non include the fact that they are able to fix a concluding study. Management comptrollers remain responsible of the contents of concluding studies. Now they have more interactions and can work out a error in less clip from the yesteryear, because the information is available in existent clip for both parties. For illustration when direction comptrollers fix studies for discrepancy analysis and one entries exceed budget, they can pass on it to line directors which can assist them work out the job in less clip as was required antecedently. The large alteration is that now they can talk the same linguistic communication and this create a possibility to hold more interactions and make a more dynamic on the job environment. Line troughs can non execute undertakings of direction comptrollers by themselves, because they have non the analytical accomplishments required. It is true that ERP have created more intercrossed places, so if be a direction comptroller with IT skills so would besides be a logistic officer with analysis accomplishments. For illustration the responsible of production procedure should be able to execute a portion of the work of direction comptrollers, for what concerns its activity: for illustration he can fix budgets, analyze discrepancies and prepare prognosiss for the hereafter. And the same could be done by workers of other different maps. The job is that there is no 1 that can unite all this informations, analyze and construe them, and after holding created a whole apprehension of the instance, should fix studies in signifiers of usher lines for direction which have to take determinations. And that is the function of direction comptroller, which obtain more importance in the incorporate environment created by ERP. However, the possibility to go through accounting cognition to others maps reduces the work of direction history, which antecedently would hold spent a long clip assemblage and look intoing the dependability of informations and so publishing it in paper format.
The 3rd alteration, more frontward looking information, is wholly confirmed, as described earlier in the paper. Now direction accounting information is more based on prognosiss and on the possibility to trust on existent clip info, instead than historical. The difference between bequest systems and the ERP is the fact that the clip spread between the minute in which the informations are entered into the system and the minute in which direction comptrollers receive the information, has become near nothing. In the yesteryear, direction comptrollers had to wait for yearss, hebdomad, in worst instances months, before garnering informations, from another map. Now it has the possibility to watch the informations straight on the show with no clip blowing. In instance of hold, people are guilty, non the system. The possibility to obtain the informations and the information required in short clip frame, allow direction comptrollers to establish their analysis and studies more on the hereafter, or at least on the present, instead than compare with the past. Now they have changed their manner of thought, with a more positive position: instead than trailing past errors, the focal point is on happening ways to better the present and the hereafter.
However the content of information has non changed at all. The information that was provided by old bequest system compared to the information provided by ERP, is the same. Indeed direction accountant extract information from ERP and so analyse it through the usage of spreadsheets, in order to bring forth penetrations for directors. But information still remain the same. In add-on the greatest sum of informations available in an ERP environment, has led to increase the figure of analysis performed. The possibility to increase the figure of analysis has improved the type of analysis, which now is survey in deep. There is more interaction with informations, which is analyzed thorough different degrees, which lead to a more specific reading. This could turn into a drawback. Indeed the hazard is that the information represents a signifier of inordinate security for direction comptroller. Once direction comptrollers receive the information from the system, the information is no longer questioned and taken as one hundred per cent safe. Alternatively the informations may incorporate mistakes or is generated through a incorrect procedure. Datas are ever entered by workers, and workers, as people, can do errors. So direction comptrollers in AAA decided, in conformity with their superior, to sporadically command the beginning of informations obtained by other maps.
The last alteration, wider function for direction comptroller is confirmed. The other alterations analyzed have brought direction comptrollers to play a more originative function within the organisation. After the ERP execution, the function of direction comptroller has changed. Now direction undertakings has shifted from garnering, analysing and fixing studies, into construing the different public presentation indexs and understanding where reside value. This new function has potentially put direction comptrollers in AAA in the place of “ internal advisers ” or analysts, who assist directors to make schemes and to take operating determinations. But to be effectual as internal advisers, they should broaden their cognition, including new accomplishments, such as communicating and interpersonal accomplishments, and a much broader cognition of the concern than their old function required. To be able to assist directors construe the assorted fiscal and non-financial information with which they are faced and to measure both the operating and strategic effects of alternate classs of action, direction comptrollers need a broad-based cognition of the concern, instead than a proficient apprehension of accounting. If they want to go internal advisers, they have to develop a more dynamic function, developing the ability of a marketer, in order promote the thought of what can be done with the information, and so do things go on. In AAA cross-functional squads are progressively used to develop new undertakings. Therefore, decision-making frequently involves interaction with workers which have different backgrounds and thoughts. This means that direction comptrollers have to take a wider position of the concern and to be able to associate accounting cognition to the strategic development of the concern. As such, direction comptrollers need to follow new ways of thought, being more head opened.