Can Accountants Bring A Positive Contribution To ERP Implementation? by ProQuest


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									International Management Review                                                  Vol. 5 No. 2 2009

 Can Accountants Bring A Positive Contribution To ERP Implementation?
                                      Rodney Jean-Baptiste
               Accounting Department, Southern New Hampshire University, NH. USA

[Abstract] This study reviews the contributions of accountants during both the implementation and
post-implementation phase of Enterprise Resource Planning systems. A survey was sent to accounting
professionals of the Institute Of Management Accountants, and 219 responses were obtained.
Regression analysis and t-testing are used. Results confirm that there is a positive significant
relationship between the contribution of accountants and the successful implementation of ERP. The
study also confirms that accountants are more likely to participate on ERP implementation teams when
they possess technical skills. Also, the article discusses differences between the time spent by
accountants solving ERP issues during each phase.

[Keywords] ERP; enterprise research planning; MRP; accounting information systems; management
accountants; modern accountant; accounting; accounting systems; ERP and accounting; project

The role of the accountant in a business environment has been evolving over the years (Scapens, 2001).
Besides traditional accounting knowledge, accountants need to possess other skills that are vital to
their survival in an effective organization. Among those skills are knowledge sharing, the
understanding of information systems design, systems development, and applications (Newman, et al.,
2003; Scapens, et al., 1996a). The accountants who possess those skills are in a better position to help
management in the daily challenges that they face in the business world, which is becoming more and
more complex and technology-oriented. Peccarelli (2004) views the success of accountants based on
how they use their time, how fast and easy they access data from multiple sources, and how well they
understand integrated systems and virtual office capabilities through the use of the web.
     Besides finance, accountants are expected to be business partners, technology experts, and
strategy allies (Chapman & Chua, 2000; Scapens, 1998). The numerous changes in technology and
business bring many challenges to all professionals. Those challenges also rest on accountants’
shoulders. They present tremendous areas of opportunity where accountants can grow. They must find
a way to alleviate the burdens by learning how to use technological tools and how to apply them.
     One of the systems issues accountants face is the implementation and maintenance of ERP
(Enterprise Resources Planning) systems in the organization (Newman, et al., 2003). ERP systems
allow companies to integrate all information systems applications, such as supply-chain management,
accounting applications, human resources, and customer relationship management (Boubekri, 2001).
     This study addresses the contribution of the accountant during the implementation and post-
implementation phases of ERP systems. The study also identifies the importance of technical skills
that can help accountants during the ERP implementation. Also, the paper discusses differences
between the time spent by accountants solving ERP issues during each phase, as well as simple
systems versus more complex systems. Many surveys were used to collect data. The main
questionnaire was sent to accounting or finance professionals who are
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