Research of Relationship and Impact between the Implementation of ERP Systems & Accounting Work Flow


Background of the study The essential role of accounting in the modern economy is to provide fair presentation of financial statements. In the context of financial markets globalization and the need of financial information investors are examining relevant accounting issues in developing and implementing integrated accounting systems. Information technology is involved in most affairs in modern organizations. It is indispensable in relation to most tasks that involve the analysis and presentation of information and as such it is virtually required to enable management control in modern organizations.(Dechow, 2007) The recent accounting scandals put a lot of pressure on accountants to improve their ethical standards not only in traditional accounting but also in accounting information systems and information technology. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (2002) requires strong internal control procedures. Some of those requirements are systems-related, and accountants are key players to safeguard those controls. One of the systems issues that accountants face is the implementation and maintenance of ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) systems in the organization. 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). ERP solutions emerged as the replacement for disparate legacy systems for many companies of the dimension of Fortune 500 during the 1990s. The major developers were SAP, Oracle Applications, PeopleSoft, J. D. Edwards and Baan. Clearly, efficient and effective technology has the scope to impact companies in either positive or negative ways during the technology’s lifecycle (i.e., feasibility, justification, requirements definition/engineering, system design, test and preoccupation, implementation, operation, maintenance, and post implementation audit/evaluation). Furthermore, the multiple paths associated with technology management can often yield considerably different outcomes (Galliers & Leidner, 2003). Although extensive research has been conducted to find implementation success factors of ERP systems, and moderate number of studies have been directed on the role of accountants in accounting information systems in general, no direct study of the relationship and impact between the Implementation of ERP Systems & accounting work flow could be easily found. The purpose of this research is to fill this gap through an exploratory research method. For this purpose, the research encompasses two aspects. First it addresses the role of the accountant during the implementation phase. This phase also identifies the accounting skills that are crucial to a successful implementation. Then, it reviews the role of the accountant in post implementation issues. Another purpose of the study is to find the characteristics, traits, and skills of accountants that can help them in a successful implementation and maintenance of ERP. The importance of this research is reflected in two important areas. First it highlights one of the major responsibilities of the modern accountant to possess systems skills. The results present the skill set necessary to carry those responsibilities. They also display the areas where accounting skills are needed during the implementation and maintenance of ERP systems. Another importance of the study is cost reduction. According to Chen (2001), small organizations may spend up to $4 million and larger organizations over $1 billion to install an ERP system. Companies also spend hefty consulting fees during both the implementation and post implementation stage. This part of the study will be beneficial to both the accountant, and the organization. Accountants will be aware of those skills which can make them more marketable, efficient, and useful to their organization. Likewise organizations will benefit by learning how their accountants can become ERP-implementers, and as a result, they will be able to reduce implementation and maintenance costs by relying on internal talents. Another importance of the study is the basic principle of knowledge sharing which is very important in major projects such as ERP. Since accountants are key players in using ERP, it is crucial for them to share their knowledge with non-financial co-workers. Most importantly, this study covers the bottom-line. Most of the ERP modules are integrated and designed to interface with the general ledger from which financial statements are generated. This is a crucial component of ERP that is best understood by accountants. Definition of Terms

The following definitions will be used to guide this study.

Accountant. One that keeps, audits, and inspects the financial records of individuals or business concerns and prepares financial and tax reports (, 2005) The primary role of accountants is to collect, organize, analyze, and present information to internal and external parties (Gelinas, 2002). Accounting information system (AIS). A specialized subsystem of the MIS. Its purpose is to collect, process, and report information related to the financial aspects of business events (Gelinas, 2002). Enterprise resource planning. These commercial software packages promise the integration of all the information flowing through the company - financial and accounting information, human resource information, supply chain information, customer information. For managers who have struggled, at great expense and with great frustration, with incompatible information systems and inconsistent operating practices, the promise of an off- the-shelf solution to the problem of business integration is enticing (Davenport, 1998) Legacy systems. A computer system or application program which continues to be used because of the prohibitive cost of replacing or redesigning it and despite its poor competitiveness and compatibility with modern equivalents. The implication is that the system is large, monolithic and difficult to modify. (Free-On-Line-Dictionary, 1996) XBRL (Extensible Business Reporting Language). Standard format for reporting financial data. XBRL is an internationally agreed, open specification that uses XML to structure financial information for automated electronic processing. It is being adopted by major accounting standards bodies, regulators, tax authorities, banks and credit organizations around the world to streamline the reporting and analysis of statutory financial statements and other business financial information. (Source:, 2005)

A Review of ERP Systems ERP systems allow integration of modules such as production, purchasing, sales, human resources and the general ledger. These programs replace legacy systems that cannot keep up with current business requirements. Instead of having many stand-alone modules, data can be entered once and the relative impact on other modules is reflected immediately. The ERP is an improvement of MRP (Material requirements planning) models that did not contain modules such as human resource management and customer management. The implementation of ERP requires re-engineering of business process, and as a result brings changes throughout the entire organization. ERP implementation must be managed as a program of broad organization change rather than a software implementation (Markus & Tanis, 2000; Somers et al, 2001). “ERP implementations usually require people to create new work relationships, share information that was once closely guarded, and make business decisions they never were required to make” (Appleton, 1997, p. 2). This information sharing remains an important element that most of the key players including accountants need to cultivate to attain a successful implementation.

The Reasons Behind ERP Use Organizations constantly seek better solutions to improve their relations and responses to a competitive world. A study lists several factors that convince managers to use ERP. These reasons fall under both the technical and business arenas. Some of these reasons are:

1. Finding a solution to better serve customers
2. Better systems integration
3. Avoiding to deal with the technical limitations of legacy systems
4. Better logistic capabilities
5. Better business processes
6. Allowance for business growth
7. Building an efficient operation with reduction of costs in critical areas. (Markus & Tanis, 2000)

Similarities in ERP System Implementation No matter how big or small a company may be, a minimum number of factors must be present in a successful ERP implementation. These factors are usually common to many organizations. A Standish Group report entitled Chaos about Information Technology software projects in general, found sources of failure factors in cost or time overruns, unfulfilled objectives, cancelled projects etc. The percentage of successful projects in large companies was estimated at 9 % (Standish Group, 1995).

The success factors reflected on the report were:
1. User involvement
2. Executive management support
3. Clear statement of requirements
4. Proper planning
5. Realistic expectations
6. Smaller project milestones competent staff
7. Ownership
8. Clear vision and objectives
9. Hard-working, focused staff (p. 3)
James and Wolf (2000) posit that people working for companies installing ERP were very traumatic. Following long, painful, and expensive implementations, some companies had difficulty identifying any measurable benefits (James & Wolf , 2000). Although ERP systems were replacing old and disparate legacy systems, their painful implementation sometimes trigger users to challenge its necessity and benefits. Accountants, IT staff, consultants, and other expert users all face mountains of challenges before ERP can live up to its expectation of providing better inventory control, improved customer service, and full integration of all modules. A clue to why project implementations are often fraught with difficulties is alluded to by Rivard and Alfred (1999) when they state that information technologies are neutral, their impact depending on the way they are implemented and used in a given environment. Correctly implemented, information technologies can facilitate and initiate important changes. Echoing The Standish Group report, Rivard and Alfred (1999) mention a clear vision, a proactive approach and sustained management implications, and a good understanding of technologies and their potential impact as key factors affecting ERP implementation

User involvement

User involvement refers to a psychological state of the individual and is defined as the importance and personal relevance of the ERP system to the users (Esteves & Pastor, 2000). It is one of the people characteristics which will affect the ERP implementation and will be reflected in their participation in the implementation project phase (Zhang et al., 2003). User participation is important in ERP implementation projects. It facilitates the collection of functional requirements and difficulties in various phases of an ERP implementation project (Kawalek & Wood-Harper, 2002). User participation can reduce resistance to change too. If users can involve in the ERP implementation activities, they will understand whether their needs can be fulfilled or not. They will also have the feeling that they choose the processes and it is their decisions (Zhang et al, 2003; Sternad & Bobek, 2006). User involvement can increase user satisfaction and acceptance because it develops realistic expectations about the ERP system capabilities, provides an arena for bargaining and conflict resolution about business process redesign issues, leads to system ownership by users, decrease user resistance to change and commit users to the ERP system (Esteves, Pastor & Casanovas, 2003). There are two main categories of users: key users (sometimes called super users or power users) and end users. Keys users are supposed to involve and support all the activities in the course of ERP implementation. End users will have daily contact with ERP after it is go-live. In the current study, the term “user” refers to both of them unless otherwise specified. As discussed in the business process redesign section, it is recommended to apply the vanilla approach which implies that standardization is desirable. Understanding the functional needs and issues can help the project team standardize the business processes in compliance with the pre-defined processes in the ERP system (Kawalek & Wood-Harper, 2002). Those users who do not prefer to make changes may seek for workarounds. It is an obstacle to learn a new ERP system and its pre-defined processes. To overcome the barriers, the relevant changes should be incremental and accompanied with appropriate training. Incremental changes allow users have time to recover from the stress and strain of ERP implementation. Appropriate training includes both conceptual and procedural training which is process-oriented and addresses broader change management issues (Robey et al., 2002). Besides understanding the ERP system, users are expected to articulate their view-points and to build up consensus in the training process. Then, users will have less surprise when the ERP system is in use (Bagchi, Kanungo & Dasgupta, 2003). In short, the aim of user involvement and participation is to reduce resistance to change through helping user understand and accept the ERP system. It can be achieved by effective communication and training.

Teamwork and communication

User involvement and participation can be expressed in the form of teamwork. Teamwork is recognized as one of the critical success factors in ERP implementation (Loh & Koh, 2004; Nah et al., 2001). Although Nah et al., (2003) found out that teamwork and composition of project team did not relate to ERP implementation success, they explained that the possible reasons were that the project team was focusing more on the system architecture rather than the change process and it was difficult to have necessary human and technological resources in the course of ERP implementation in the developing countries. When focusing on the change processes, teamwork is important throughout the ERP implementation life cycle (Nah et al., 2001). Chien, Hu, Reimers & Lin (2007) stated that ERP systems did not lead to a satisfactory organizational outcome without effective teamwork in ERP project teams. The synergy of project team members can lead to greater and faster achievements. Teamwork enables team members to plan, organize and coordinate the activities of the team for goal attainment (Pineda & Lerner, 2006). Marks, Mathieu & Zaccaro (2001) defined taskwork as what it was that teams were doing, whereas teamwork described how they were doing it with each other. Team processes are used for directing, aligning and monitoring taskworks. Gunson & Blasis (2002) adopted Marks, Mathieu & Zaccaro’s ideas and described teamwork as people working together to achieve something beyond the capabilities of individuals working alone. Empowerment or delegation of decision making authority to the project team is regarded as a success factor in ERP implementation (Parr & Shanks, 2000; Umble & Umble, 2002; Reimers, 2003; Muthusamy, Palanisamy & MacDonald, 2005; Finney & Corbett, 2007). However, Sarker & Lee (2000), in a case study, found out that a balanced and empowered team was not a necessary condition for ERP implementation success. Davison (2002) pointed out that there were two considerations for empowerment. First, the project team had to understand the ERP system thoroughly because any mistakes made would affect subsequent processes elsewhere in the system. Second, organizations with low power distance culture would accept empowerment much greater than high power distance ones. Martinsons (2004) found that the employees of stateowned enterprise in China were more reluctant to assume responsibilities associated with empowerment than their counterparts of private ventures in the ERP implementation. Lack of empowerment, communication between team members and management becomes more important. Communication is essential to teamwork. It is also regarded as one of the most critical success factors in ERP implementation (Somers & Nelson, 2001b). Lack of communication has been linked to many project failures (Amoako-Gyampah & Salam, 2004; Muscatello & Chen, 2008). When talking about changes, effective communication is an important factor which is required through the whole business process and on all level (Zabjek et al., 2009). Within a project team, communication includes information transmission, conflict resolution and the definition of objectives and roles (Francoise et al., 2009). The human aspect of an ERP implementation plays a preponderant role (Tchokogue, Bareil & Duguay, 2005). It involves stakeholders and human related issues. Stakeholders mainly include top management, project manager, team leads, team members, functional users and consultants (Palanisamy, 2007). Human related issues or social enablers include strong and committed leadership, open and honest communication, and a balanced and empowered project team which are necessary conditions for a successful ERP implementation (Sarker & Lee, 2000). Top management is regarded as the most important factor of an ERP implementation (Esteves & Pastor, 2000). Martin & Huq (2007) studied the roles of top management in three ERP implementation cases and suggested eight tasks top management should do to enhance the chances of successful ERP implementation. The tasks included taking a change leadership role to oversee and coordinate the efforts of multiple change leaders, attending to changing employee behaviours, concentrating on cultural and organization environmental contextual factors which could potentially change employee behaviours, shaping the organization’s cultural response to ERP, having a carefully crafted communication plan that offers sufficient lead time for employees to get used to the idea of doing their jobs in a different way, participating the ERP implementation from beginning to end with the project team, resolving different types of political issues in the organization and addressing other factors beyond cultural factors. Top management can participate as the project champions or members of the steering committee which is a project management structure consisting of senior management from different corporate functions and project management representatives (Somers & Nelson, 2004). In short, top management should participate in the ERP implementation cycle and encourage and monitor the change behaviours of employees in the organization. Top management’s commitment is critical to controlling organizational change (Wenrich & Ahmad, 2009). In addition, disputes between functional departments are not uncommon in various stages of the ERP implementation. Top management plays an important role in providing clear direction for disputes settlement (Zhang et al., 2003).

Theoretical Background Managing change is a primary concerns in ERP implementation (Somers & Nelson, 2001b). A careful change management can lead to a success of ERP implementation (Motwani, Mirchandani, Madan & Gunasekaran, 2002). Without appropriate change management processes, organizations may not be able to implement an ERP system successfully (Kim et al., 2005). Finney & Corbett (2007, p.344) indicates that “all of the success factors are important in their own rite; however, the need to approach the implementation from a change management perspective is central to the success of any ERP project”. Although the importance of change management is recognized by researchers, the range of activities included in the aspect of change management and tactics to successfully manage the change are varied in the literature (Finney & Corbett, 2007). Hallikainen, Kimpimaki & Kivijarvi (2006) pointed out that ERP implementation is both an organizational change process and an information system implementation process. The general models of organizational change can be applied to ERP implementation. Since an information system implementation is involved, the changes will be emphasized on the information flow related operations. Change process theories and ERP implementation Van de Ven & Poole (1995) defined four ideal types for the explanation of change processes, life-cycle theory, teleological theory, dialectical theory and evolutionary theory. A lifecycle theory depicts the process of change in an entity as progressing through a necessary sequence of stages. A teleological theory views development as a cycle of goal formulation, implementation, evaluation, and modification of goals based on what was learned by the entity. A dialectical theory considers change as conflicts emerge between entities espousing opposing thesis and antithesis that collide to produce a synthesis which in time becomes the thesis for the next cycle of a dialectical progression. An evolutionary theory consists of repetitive sequence of variation, selection, and retention events among entities in a designated population.
Robey et al. (2002) viewed ERP implementation as a dialectic process which focused on the interplay between forces promoting and forces opposing change. In the dialectical model, conflicts emerge between entities espousing an opposing thesis and, subsequently, antithesis collides to produce a synthesis (Poole, 2004). Robey et al., (2002) indicated that the most fundamental dialectic occurred between the existing business processes and practices and the pre-defined business processes and practices of the ERP system. The former, as a barrier, is deeply ingrained into organizational memory which is supported by organizational structures. When implementing an ERP system, it typically requires organizations to replace large portions of their old knowledge with the new knowledge associated with the ERP system. Robey et al., (2002, p.35) described it as a “dialectic of learning”. To overcome the knowledge barrier associated with ERP implementation, one of the methods is training. In an earlier study, Boudreau & Robey (1999, p.295) indicated the four ideal types could be applied in ERP implementation, “for example, an ERP transition could progress naturally through a sequence representing a life cycle of information technology maturity within the firm. Alternatively, ERP could be seen as teleological change, designed by managers’ goals to integrate information systems around a new corporate vision. ERP transitions could also be viewed in dialectic terms as contests between established legacy systems and newly integrated architectures. Finally, an evolutionary motor could be employed by considering ERP solutions as the selection of best practices from the population of alternative applications.” In order to have a wider perspective, the current study followed Boudreau & Robey’s earlier study and did not limit to any one of the four ideal types.

Approaches to the study of change There are two approaches to the study of change, namely process theory and variance theory. Process theory explains how a sequence of events leads to some outcomes, while variance theory explains change in terms of relationships among independent variables and dependent variables (Poole, 2004). Variance theory approach which is more popular concentrates on identifying the predictors of successful implementation. It supports predictive models capable of explaining the variation in such outcome measures as implementation success. Process theory explains outcomes as consequences of the preceding actions. It requires data which may be obtained through longitudinal or retrospective research method (Sabherwal & Robey, 1995). Soh & Markus (1995) summarized the differences between variance and process theories and indicated that the logic form of variance and process model were if X, then Y (more X would cause more Y) and if not X, then not Y (more X might not cause more Y) respectively. When referring them to the ERP implementation studies, the process theory approach are to develop inductively stage models that identify a set of phases which fix in number and sequence in the ERP implementation (Kumar et al., 2002). For the variance theory, it usually refers to the studies of the critical success factors of the ERP implementation (Ma & Loeh, 2007). Newman & Robey (1992) indicated that the variance and process models could complement each other. The variance research establishes empirical connections between antecedent conditions and later outcomes, while process research examines the streams of activities that explain these connections. If researchers can handle the variables of the variance and process models with care, combining them into a single model may not be an inappropriate approach. Some researchers had tried to put the two models together as a hybrid model in their ERP implementation studies. Somers & Nelson (2004) proposed an integrated model of the ERP implementation experience which included success factors and the six-stage IT implementation stage model. Wong et al., (2005) applied the process model to analyses the critical failure factors in each phase of ERP implementation. After clarifying the causal relationship of the failure factors based on the ERP life cycle framework, the case study participants agreed the overall picture of the failure was more complete. Newman & Zhao (2008) combined the variance and process models in their study and concluded that the variance model could examine more cases than process model but the outcomes from the variance model could only be explained through a study of the processes. Poole (2004) pointed out that it was more constructive to study how to combine the two models than to argue the mutually exclusive nature of the two models. Before combining the models, it is necessary to distinguish the process variables from the variance variables. Accounting and ERP Systems

There is an emerging literature about the relations between information technology, information systems ( IS) and management control (see Chapman, 2005) Information technology is not a solution to all problems; it also creates new problems many of which can be found in its relationship with information systems (IS) generally and systems for management control (Dechow, 2007) Information systems can also represent a barrier in that information systems and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can be very difficult to change whereby management accounting cannot always be supported by the information system. Thus, information systems probably should be located on the list of facilitators as well as that of barriers. Information technology has evolved quickly. In the 1990s, companies started purchasing ERP systems which are characterised by the integration of several business functions, sharing one database and by being real-time (Rom, 2008). During the use of conventional systems it wasn’t gave attention to information echnology. The optics has dramatically changed in present time when systems can be standardized and integrated ERP can provide real time information. Technology has become a key player who can help fulfill the ambitions of the company in terms of management control (Dechow, Granlund and Mouritsen, 2007). But there are also disadvantages the biggest shortcoming of the management of real-time database is a very difficult detection of errors. If an error is looking for the classic route leaving normal account and then log into documents. In contrast, we can not say the same thing for databases where control activity is a difficult task involving rigorous organization and secure database. Current computerized structured around a database, transactions in a much more rich than the traditional double entry, accounting appears multi criteria or multidimensional (Evelyne Lande et al,2002). Where accounting research focuses on ‘getting things right’ in relation to visibility and transparency, information system (IS) research is concerned with ‘getting users connected’ by means of requirement analysis, system-building and project management (Dechow, 2007)Technology mediates the relationship between information systems and accounting systems architecture. If the purpose of research in management accounting is to help companies improve management accounting practices, an understanding of what facilitates and what are barriers to the implementation of management accounting techniques is needed.(Rom, 2008) Several researchers claim that a prerequisite for getting most new management accounting techniques to work in companies seems to be coupling them with information technology Granlund(2001) identified advanced information technology as an economic facilitator of change. Also there is an increasing interest in analytic applications such as strategic enterprise management (SEM) systems and business intelligence software is now in evidence (Todor,2010).These developments in information systems make it seem relevant to explore how information systems simultaneously constitute a facilitator and a barrier in relation to implementation of management accounting theory.(Rom, 2008) Recent development has focused on web-enabling the ERP systems and making them inter organisational(Rom, 2008).The profound advantages of a simplified, standardized Internet-based integration scheme for the financial reporting industry are obvious (Briciu,2010). The use of the standardized reporting language like XBRL ( Extensible Business Reporting Language ) for companies means to reduce costs, speed and accuracy in financial reporting. Consumers of the data included here investors, analysts, financial institutions, through this language can receive, find, compare and analyze data efficiently and quickly.(Tabără, 2009) Bergeron write that „the data expressed in XBRL aren’t necessarily earmarked for inter departmental, business-to-business, or business-to-government communications but may be analyzed, formatted, and otherwise manipulated locally for a variety of purposes. The data also maybe archived for repurposing in the future.XBRL facilitates these uses as well. For example, in preparing graphics of payroll taxes for a stockholders’ meeting, it isn’t necessary to know the exact location of all payroll tax data within a database but merely that data tagged as “sales tax” is collected and repurposed for the presentation.” Implementation of an ERP system is a complex task; and a study by Granlund and Malmi(2002) indicates that the complexity of ERP systems prevents companies from redesigning their management accounting. Rather, they prefer to implement their traditional management accounting in the ERP system in order to reduce complexity (Rom, 2008) In the previous era of ledger systems no one paid much attention to IT. In the present era of ERPS that can standardize and integrate data and render information integrated, up-to-date, available and shareable in real time technology have become a visible player that can help develop a firm’s management control ambitions (Dechow, 2007) A brief look at the researched relationship between management accounting and information systems, it is seen that the findings reported above are limited to ERP systems. Granlund and Malmi(2002) find that for example the balanced scorecard is implemented outside the ERP system. When scanning the market for BSC software, several non-ERP systems appear such as Corporate BSC and strategic enterprise management systems from SAP,. A research gap seems to exist with regard to how management accounting is supported by different information systems. Therefore, it is to develop an understanding of the relationship between management accounting and information systems where information systems are not limited to ERP systems. Although the topic of management accounting and integrated information systems is not anew one (Chapman, 2005), the emphasis will naturally be on recent types of technologies such as ERP and SEM systems. Studies have shown that data integration is very difficult and that sometimes information based integration is possible only when firms are willing to throw data away and integrate less information. Yet, these effects become visible only when the relationship of IT and accounting is entangled through the analysis both of technical infrastructure and its organizational mobilization(Dechow, 2007) ERPS drive questions about integration, standardization and centralization (Granlund &Malmi, 2002); Since tasks of management accounting are an essential part of the definition of management accounting, the framework should have a task focus. Furthermore, research on the relationship between management accounting and information systems indicates that a distinction between different tasks is needed. Among others find that ERP systems are effective with regard to transaction processing and less effective with regard to reporting and decision support.(Rom, 2008) In order to produce information that can be reported to managers, a choice of what management accounting technique to apply must be made.How should customer profitability be calculated? What measures should be included when measuring the performance of departments or individual managers? What should a report to be used for cost control look like? (Rom, 2008) Techniques such as activity-based costing (ABC), target costing, strategic management accounting, the balanced scorecard (BSC), contribution margin analysis and life cycle cost analysis are all well known examples of management accounting techniques. The role of the accountant is an essential theme within research in management accounting and information systems. The information systems that are able to deliver support for management accounting is not a new idea. On the other hand, it is argued that the first use of information systems was in relation to accounting. It was the purpose of the first information systems to automate the processes of for example posting transactions to journals and sorting the transactions according to the chart of accounts of the general ledger. Regardless hereof, though, it seems as if research within management accounting and information systems is coming to live again.(Rom, 2008) Advances in information technology add new tasks to the ERP systems regarding the electronic control of the accounting information. currently witnessing a functional integration between financial accounting, management accounting and fiscal management: a single registration is fuelling a global database of which will be able to edit the financial statements of financial accounting, cost analysis pictures of managerial accounting , tax returns. As a result, accounting tends to become an integrated accounting.(Andreica ,2010). What is new with regard to the support of information systems for management accounting is the advent of integrated information systems (IIS).Previously, each function within the organisation had its own information system that operated separated from the information systems of the other organisational functions. THE focus now is on integrated rather than disintegrated information systems. With the introduction and wide-spread adoption of the so-called enterprise resource planning(ERP) systems in the 1990s, new potentials of integrated information systems to support management accounting seem to have emerged. One of the major arguments for companies to replace old legacy systems with integrated ERP systems was the wish to avoid maintaining the same data in several different places. That encompasses for example ERP systems, data warehouses as well as executive portals. In order to underscore that the essential characteristic of the new information systems is that they are integrated, the term ‘integrated information system ‘will be used. The term refers to a system of systems including both transaction-oriented ERP systems and analysis-oriented systems such as balanced scorecard and budgeting A major stream of research within AIS research deals with the modelling of accounting information systems. Several modelling techniques exist within the information systems literature (e.g.entity-relationship diagram, flowcharts and data flow diagrams).20 years ago management accounting was carried out by management accountants. Management accounting was a centralised task and management information was at the custody of the management accountants. Management accountants were carrying out counting. This seems no longer to be the case. Now management accounting as a set of tasks to be carried out and management accountants are two separate entities. Management accounting can be carried out by general managers as well as management accountants, and management accountants can carry out management accounting tasks as well as for example general management tasks and tasks in relation to maintaining the IIS The saying ‘from bean counter to business analyst’seems to have something to it.Several authors find that the role of the management accountant has changed.Granlund and Malmi (2002) find that the management accountant is now performing more business-oriented tasks.Therefore a multidisciplinary knowledge is needed as a management accountant.The routine jobs are eliminated and that management accountants are getting a wider role.Thus, it seems to be a general finding that management accountants are getting involved in general management by acting as business consultants. Management accountants are also getting a new role in relation to the IIS.ERP systems certainly provide accountants with powerful modalities of structuration. Management accountants can choose to take charge of the IIS or they can leave it for someone else. The future role and status of the management accountant is dependent on this choice. To sum up, it is found that the introduction of ERP systems leads to new, hybrid positions (.Management accountants are now carrying out tasks of business consulting and IIS maintenance in addition to the tasks of management accounting. Also, Management accounting at a more transactional level is also carried out by non-accountants. The ERP system has many in-built routines that for example automatically update the ledgers when data are entered in other parts of the system.(Rom, 2008) Process Theory in ERP Implementation

ERP implementation is a change process, from a legacy system to a new ERP system. It can be conceived as sequences of events that occur over time and lead to outcomes of particular interest (Boudreau & Robey, 1999). For the literature of the process theory related to ERP implementation, most of them focused on descriptive phase models (Robey et al, 2002). However, there is no consensus on how to phase ERP implementations. In this section, the stage models in ERP implementation will be discussed. Since the phases in different models are different, a reference model is introduced to group them into reference phases. Among the reference phases, the implementation project phase is the most difficult one which is the focus of the current study. In order to understand more about the phase, an ERP vendor implementation methodology is used for illustrating the main activities of the phase. Among of these activities, some are more critical than the others. Then, a critical events chain which includes the most critical activities is introduced. The chain represents a process model which leads to the ERP system success. Sabherwal & Robey (1995) pointed out that outcomes, like successful implementation, can be explained with reference to the preceding sequence of events in the processes.

ERP implementation methods Implementation phase is the most difficult phase in an ERP project (Mäkipää, 2003; Sarkis & Sundarraj, 2003). The activities include setup of steering committee, development of detailed project plan, ongoing project management, selection and assignment of project team members, training of project team members and acquisition of supportive skills, business process modelling, ERP system configuration and modification if any, system integration test with real data, data cleanup and conversion, documentation, executive and end-user training, and execution of cutover plan (Markus & Tanis, 2000; Hallikainen et al., 2006). These activities can be grouped into various steps, such as project planning, business process modelling, realization and final preparation (Al-Mudimigh, Zairi & Al-Mashari., 2001; Esteves, Pastor & Carvalho, 2003). To economize on the implementation process, most of the main ERP vendors offer their specific implementation methodologies, such as AcceleratedSAP (ASAP) by SAP, Application Implementation Method (AIM) by Oracle, DirectPath by PeopleSoft and Dynamic Enterprise Modeler by BaaN (Benders, Batenburg & Van der Blonk, 2006). However, most of the literature describe mainly the ASAP methodology developed by SAP (Mihailescu, Carlsson & Mihailescu, 2007), for examples, Esteves & Pastor (2001) derived a matrix of critical success factors versus ASAP processes; Ioannou & Papadoyiannis (2004) used ASAP methodology to verify the usability of the Theory of Constraints in ERP implementation; Mihailescu et al., (2007) used a case which applied ASAP methodology to show how the Methodology-in-Action framework could be used for evaluating specific ERP implementation methodologies; Kenett & Raphaeli (2008) demonstrated how to apply the techniques of Correspondence Analysis and partial order maps in the context of a SAP implementation, to mention a few.

Chapter-II Literature Review The evolution of enterprise resource planning Enterprise resource planning was coined in the early 1990s by the Gartner Group of Stamford (Jacobs & Weston Jr., 2007). According to Keller (1995), ERP has the following characteristics: • It is an integrated set of financial distribution and manufacturing software and an expanded and altered functional model of manufacturing resource planning (MRP II).
• It is a flexible application set that can reside on technology that can support it.
• It is proactive and it embeds business rules into software. It adapts to the rules of the business.

It is not a revolutionary conceptual breakthrough (Hicks & Stecke, 1995) but is a result of the evolution of computerized system in business application. Jacobs & Weston Jr. (2007) started the story from 1960s when they provided a brief history of enterprise resource system. The predecessor to and backbone of MRP II and ERP is material requirements planning (MRP) which was made possible in 1970s. In 1980s, the term manufacturing resource planning (MRP II) was coined to identify the newer systems’ capability. Tincher & Sheldon Jr. (1997) indicated that MRP was viewed by the management as a computer tool to help material and manufacturing do their jobs. When the concept of MRP II was introduced, the management viewed it as a structured approach, a process way of thinking and a formal way to manage a manufacturing company. Hicks & Stecke (1995) pointed out that ERP was concerned with making manufacturing decisions by considering the impact on the supply chain. Similar to MRP II, production decisions are affected by and affect all of the other major areas, such as engineering, accounting and marketing. A big opportunity for ERP to help manufacturers is in the supply chain management area. By integrating the upstream and downstream modules, the management will have better capability to understand and manage their supply chains. Rashid, Hossain & Patrick (2002) noted that, during the 1990s, ERP vendors added more modules and functions to the core modules. To differentiated the core ERP system, ERP with the new modules was named as extended ERP which, for example, included advanced planning and scheduling (APS) and e-business solutions such as customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM). In the current study, the term ERP referred to the core ERP system. The additional modules for the extended ERP were not considered. For the future of the ERP, the Gartner Group foresaw that the evolution of ERP was under way. The result was the emergence of ERP II which expanded beyond enterprise-centric optimization and transaction processing to participating in collaborative commerce (Genovese, Bond, Zrimsek & Frey, 2001).

Critical success factors in ERP implementation The use of the critical success factor concept as an information systems methodology was first introduced by John Rockart (Boynton & Zmud, 1984). Critical success factors are defined as “the limited number of areas in which results, if they are satisfactory, will ensure successful competitive performance for the organization” (Rockart, 1979, p.85). The activities in the critical success factor areas should receive constant and careful attention from management because the results of these areas have causal relationship to the organizational performance (Rockart, 1979). Before the concept of critical success factor was used in the ERP implementation, Burns, Turnipseed & Riggs (1991) applied the concept in the manufacturing resource planning (MRP II) implementation and found that two environmental factors and twelve implementation factors associated with the success of MRP II implementation. Manufacturing resource planning is the prior version of enterprise resource planning. Most of the critical success factors defined in Burns et al. (1991) are applicable to the ERP implementation, such as willingness to change, use of project team, consultant use and involvement, use of a written implementation plan, percentage of project manager time devoted to the implementation, prior systems environment, prior recordkeeping accuracy and so on. After the introduction of the ERP concept, Sumner (1999) described seven ERP implementation case studies which highlighted the issues of project justification, benefits, critical success factors and factors associated with project failure. Holland & Light (1999) proposed a critical success factors framework to aid managers develop an ERP implementation strategy. The framework grouped critical success factors into strategic and tactical factors. Strategic factors included legacy systems, business vision, ERP strategy, top management support, and project schedule/plans. Tactical factors included client consultation, personnel, business process change and software configuration, client acceptance, monitoring and feedback, communication and trouble shooting. Although the studies of critical success factors have been criticized as limiting value because there is little general explanation of why the factors are critical to success (Robey, Ross & Boudreau, 2002), it is still valuable if the objective is to make a set of practical recommendations based on the most influential factors to an outcome which is influenced by many potential factors (Lam, 2005).

ERP implementation methods Implementation phase is the most difficult phase in an ERP project (Mäkipää, 2003; Sarkis & Sundarraj, 2003). The activities include setup of steering committee, development of detailed project plan, ongoing project management, selection and assignment of project team members, training of project team members and acquisition of supportive skills, business process modelling, ERP system configuration and modification if any, system integration test with real data, data cleanup and conversion, documentation, executive and end-user training, and execution of cutover plan (Markus & Tanis, 2000; Hallikainen et al., 2006). These activities can be grouped into various steps, such as project planning, business process modelling, realization and final preparation (Al-Mudimigh, Zairi & Al-Mashari., 2001; Esteves, Pastor & Carvalho, 2003). To economize on the implementation process, most of the main ERP vendors offer their specific implementation methodologies, such as AcceleratedSAP (ASAP) by SAP, Application Implementation Method (AIM) by Oracle, DirectPath by PeopleSoft and Dynamic Enterprise Modeler by BaaN (Benders, Batenburg & Van der Blonk, 2006). However, most of the literature describe mainly the ASAP methodology developed by SAP (Mihailescu, Carlsson & Mihailescu, 2007), for examples, Esteves & Pastor (2001) derived a matrix of critical success factors versus ASAP processes; Ioannou & Papadoyiannis (2004) used ASAP methodology to verify the usability of the Theory of Constraints in ERP implementation; Mihailescu et al., (2007) used a case which applied ASAP methodology to show how the Methodology-in-Action framework could be used for evaluating specific ERP implementation methodologies; Kenett & Raphaeli (2008) demonstrated how to apply the techniques of Correspondence Analysis and partial order maps in the context of a SAP implementation, to mention a few. In the following section, the ASAP Implementation Roadmap Version 3.5 (SAP, 2006) is discussed. It tells a story how an ERP system is implemented. There are five phases in the ASAP methodology, namely, project preparation, business blueprint, realization, final preparation and golive and support. Table 2.2 and Table 2.3 show the main milestones and activities in each of the five phases respectively. Since the fifth phase is the phase after ERP system go-live, only the first four phases are discussed.

Project preparation is a project planning and goals setting phase. Project objectives, project scope, project team, training plan, technical infrastructure, and high level business requirements are defined in this phase. Top manage involvement is important because making directions and resources allocation are the main characteristics in this phase.

Business blueprint is a business processes redesign phase. Based on the high level business requirements defined in the previous phase, consultants and the project team will work together to define business scenarios and complete the business blueprint which is the guideline of the baseline configuration in the realization phase. In this phase, consultants will train the project team the business requirements of the ERP solution. Then detailed business requirements for the organization will be discussed and potential gaps will be identified. Solutions to those gaps are expected when the blueprint is completed. Once the blueprint is confirmed, the project can go into the realization phase. Realization is the phase to finalize business processes in a configured ERP system. In this phase, the ERP system will be configured as per the confirmed blueprint. The project team will be trained and is responsible to conduct functional and integration tests for the baseline configuration with reference to the scenarios defined in the blueprint phase. Fine-tuning on the configuration is expected in the course of testing. Similar to the blueprint phase, potential gaps between the configured ERP system and the business requirements are identified and recorded in an issue log. After detailed discussion, solutions to those gaps are confirmed by the project team.

The ERP system will be configured in accordance with the confirmation. Then the project team will test the ERP system again and ensure all the scenarios are as expected in the fine-tuned environment. The process may be repeated up to four cycles (Gardiner, Hanna & LaTour, 2002). Other activities include preparing end users training documentation and developing modifications such as forms, reports and user interface. Final preparation phase can be started only when the ERP solutions are confirmed and accepted by the project team. The objective of this phase is to ensure everything is ready for the ERP system go-live. End user straining and the execution of cutover plan are the main activities. Project team is usually responsible to conduct end users training. Cutover activities include production system installation, data migration from legacy system to the ERP system and users’ authorization setting. The phase is ended when the ERP system is go-live. Perceived usefulness as a critical success factor of ERP implementation Based on the Theory of Reasoned Action, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use affect intentions-to-use technology (Galletta, Ahuja, Hartman, Teo & Peace, 1995). Perceived ease of use refers to the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free of effort (Davis, 1989). Smyth (2001) indicated that perceived ease of use was subsumed in Task-Technology Fit in the ERP success model. Task-Technology Fit is the fit between task and ERP technology. If it is poor, the fit between ERP technology and user is also poor. Ease of use is a causal antecedent to perceived usefulness. Ramayah & Muhamad (2004) pointed out that most research found that perceived ease of use was a useful predictor of perceived usefulness. Kumar et al. (2002) found that their respondents did not select ease of use as a selection criterion because ERP system was quite complex which customers did not expect ease of use. Somers, Nelson & Karimi (2003) also found out that ease of use and user friendliness was received lowest ratings by end-users when they measured the end-users computing satisfactions. Based on these empirical results, ease of use is not considered as an indicator of intentions-to-use in the current study. Another factor is perceived usefulness which is defined as the degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would enhance his or her job performance (Davis, 1989). It is used as a construct which is an important measure of information system acceptance and will influence ERP implementation success (Zviran, Pliskin & Levin, 2005). Smyth (2001) indicated that the influence of perceived usefulness on ERP utilization was consistent with the Technology Acceptance Model as demonstrated by Davis et al. (1989) which indicated that perceived usefulness was a major determinant of people’s intentions-to-use computers. Amoako-Gyampah & Salam (2004) found that perceived usefulness affected behavioural intentions-to-use ERP system through the attitude towards ERP system. Some researchers also reported that perceived usefulness affected behavioural intentions-to-use ERP significantly (Hwang, 2005; Shivers-Blackwell & Charles, 2006; Shih, 2006; Ramayah & Lo, 2007; Hsieh & Wang, 2007; Bradley & Lee 2007; Kamhawi, 2008; Kwahk & Lee, 2008). It can be assumed that the greater the perceived usefulness of using the ERP system, the more likely that the ERP system will be adopted (Ramayah & Lo, 2007). An interesting finding in Srite (2006) was that the influence of perceived usefulness to behavioural intention was insignificant in Chinese sample but significant in the US sample. The result could not be explained by the cultural factors mentioned in the study and the author suggested additional research was needed to explore the issue. Chung, Skibniewski, Lucas Jr. & Kwak (2008) found that the functionality of ERP system, subjective norm, output, perceived ease of use and result demonstrability had a significant impact on perceived usefulness which had a significant relationship with intentions-to-use of ERP system.

RESEARCH METHODS Three dimensions were considered in the research design, namely what to research, whom to research and when to research. In the current study, the main objective was to find relationship of ERP implementation and accounting flow. For whom to research, Nah et al. (2003) suggested that it was necessary to account the critical success factors as perceived by various stakeholders. The target group of survey should include different groups of people who involved in ERP implementation including staff related to IT and Accounting. Finney & Corbett (2007) also pointed that it was necessary to cover the perception of all stakeholders in studying relationship of ERP implementation and accounting flow. The unit of analysis in the survey in the current study was accountants in the organizations which adopted ERP system. Although they could not represent the perceptions of all the stakeholders, they were the group of stakeholders who were most familiar with the implementation activities and impacts. For when to research, Forster & Rockart (1989) noted that critical success factors method was a form of descriptive research which often used cross-sectional design (Balnaves & Caputi, 2001). It was necessary to determine when to take the snapshot at a point of time. As process research reported that organizations always came across a tough period immediate after go-live. Users and management would concentrate on fixing issues (Markus & Tanis, 2000; Nah et al., 2001; Kumar et al., 2003; Martin & Huq, 2007.

Research approach The choice of research approaches largely depends on the types of questions being asked in the research study (Marczyk, DeMatteo & Festinger, 2005). Two widely used approaches are qualitative and quantitative. Both case study and survey are used as part of the qualitative and quantitative methodologies, respectively, in ERP research (Vathanophas, 2007). Berg (2001) indicated that qualitative research referred to the meanings, concepts, definitions, characteristics, metaphors, symbols and description of things while quantitative research referred to counts and measures of things. The notion of quality research is to the nature of things and quantitative research is an amount of something. In the current study, quantitative approach was used. A cross-sectional study is fast and can study a large number of participants at little cost or effort. It has a drawback that it is difficult to determine cause and effect between variables by using statistical tests of relationships. However, causal inferences can be made using regression analyses (Lewin, 2005). In the current study, regression analyses were used for measuring the causality between dependent and independent variables. Although quantitative research is harder to start but it is easier to conduct the analysis and write up because it is highly structured (Collis & Hussey, 2003). Another drawback of quantitative research is that the questions are determined by researchers. Any factors falling outside the framework may be missed. In the current study, a thorough literature review on the critical success factors was done to eliminate it. Questionnaire was used as an instrument in the survey. In order to measure the participant’s attitudes, multiple-item scales had been developed. Summative scales which allow agreement and disagreement for each question item were applied. The Likert scales are the most common form of summative scale (Balnaves & Caputi, 2001) and were used in the current study. To ensure reliability and validity, coefficient alpha and factor analysis were used for reliability test and construct validity test respectively. They were discussed in the instrumentation section in detail.

Population and sample The population of this study were the personnel related to accounting department in companies which adopted ERP systems who were contacted for their approval and willingness to participate in this study. Since the population size was not large, all accountants and IT personnel were requested to participate in the survey. Questionnaires were sent to all of them and the sample size was 30 percent in the current study.

HYPOTHESES AND BASIC ASSUMPTIONS This research will lead to identify the relationship of implementing ERP system and accounting flow whether positive impact for the development of decision making capabilities of the organisation by ERP solution or not? Luchtel, R. (2009) explains how ERP system would help increasing the accuracy of the information upon which accounting decisions are made while information flows among modules of the software freely. Using collaboration to achieve business goals while finding the efficient ways to gather Data, record, store and manage them in order to acquire ultimate goals. Stewart J. (2010). For the invested capital agreed percentage will be granted before interests, taxes or dividend paid.

INSTRUMENTATION Questionnaire was used as an instrument to collect data in the current study. By using questionnaires, vast quantities of data can be collected from a variety of respondents. It is inexpensive to administer and can be easily and quickly analysed once completed. An effective questionnaire enables the transmission of useful and accurate information or data from respondent to the researcher. This is a complex process which involves presenting questions in a clear and unambiguous way so that the respondent may interpret them, articulate his or her response and transmit it effectively to the researcher (Wilkinson & Birmingham, 2003). There are three broad types of questionnaire, namely the mail survey, the group administered questionnaire and the household drop-off survey (Wilkinson & Birmingham, 2003). Since the current study was conducted in a selected field, the self-administered questionnaire was be used. A questionnaire was developed based on an extensive literature review. The question items were adapted from prior research with necessary modification to suit the study (Appendix A). The questionnaire was divided into two sections. The first section was the questionnaire items. Another section was questions for further suggestions. All the question items were five-scale Likert-type questions. Respondents were required to indicate answers according to the pre-defined scale, ranging from 1 = strongly disagree, 2 =disagree, 3 = neutral, 4 = agree to 5 = strongly agree. To avoid multiple responses, the questionnaire was formatted in an Excel sheet which allowed one answer for each item only. Reminder would be shown in the unanswered item. Data collection

Surveys were distributed to the respondents through post, fax and/or email by researcher. Respondents were required to return the surveys through email to the researcher Each respondent could return one survey only. To encourage frankness and openness, all respondents were assured of confidentiality. They were requested not to copy any person when they returned the survey. When the researcher collected all the surveys which were in Excel format, she replaced the Excel file names to numeric numbers and packed them in a compressed file. Then the compressed file used for data analysis

Data analysis After preparing the data, the data has to be summarized and then analyzed with statistical methods in quantitative research. In the current study, the SPSS 16.0 program was used for data calculation and analysis. Besides tables, charts, and numerical statistical measures provided by the SPSS program, statistical interpretation of the results’ meanings was part of the data analysis. Data analysis included the following tasks in the current study. First, descriptive statistics were computed for the understanding of variables characteristics and demographic characteristics of samples. Descriptive statistics aim at describing a situation by summarizing information in a way that highlights the important numerical features of the data (Antonius, 2003). The most often used descriptive statistic is the mean which is a measure of the central tendency of a variable at certain confidence intervals. The confidence intervals for the mean give a range of values around the mean where the population mean is located. It measures the capability of the samples inferring information about the population (Lewicki & Hill, 2005). Second, with the knowledge of the variables and demographic characteristics, reliability of data was tested by using Cronbach’s alpha. If all items in a construct are perfectly reliable, coefficient alpha is equal to one. If there is no true score but only error in the items, the variance of the sum will be the same as the sum of variances of the individual items and coefficient alpha will be equal to zero (Lewicki & Hill, 2005). Results and Discussion

Table 1 shows the sample distribution as related to personal characteristics and perceptions form the pre-implementation period. Concerning the issue of accountant perceptions, the majority (72%) say they have benefited from the ERP system training. As regard ERP system implementation problems, the majority (61%) recognizes that these do exist. An overwhelming majority, i.e. 42 out of 43 ERP system users, also consider that re-engineering and re-organization of their departments is essential, within the framework of the ERP system operation. As can be seen in Table-1, principal component analysis and Varimax with Kaiser normalisation rotation methods pointed to a total of three factors, which explain 74.33 percent of the total variance. This percentage is particularly high and is considered very satisfactory. The evaluation of the number of factors was carried out using the eigen value criterion, which was greater than the unitary (Hair, 1992). The analysis revealed a clear structure between the factor and the loadings of the corresponding variables. The Kaiser-Meyre-Olkin measure of sampling adequacy is high, suggesting that factor analysis is appropriate for this data set. Barlett’s test of sphericity is large and the associated significance leve is small (zero), therefore it is unlikely that the population matrix is an identity. With regard to the reliability of the scale measurements in relation to the variables composing each factor, the alpha-Cronbach coefficients were calculated and judged satisfactory between 0.947 and 0.875. High values of Cronbach’s alpha indicate high internal consistency of the multiple items measuring each construct and, hence, high reliability of the individual constructs. Table 1

The first factors refer to the managerial benefits from the ERP system including all relevant items. The item with the higher loading is “improved follow up of assets” and is followed by “improved exploitation of financial resources”. According to the results, the second most important factor affecting perceptions on operational benefits is hte impact of the ERP system. The item with the highest loading refers to “improved quality of reports and payment orders”, and to the decrease in the time needed for issuing reports and providing input. The introduction of the ERP system results in substantial reduction of errors, as well as time needed for the annual closing of accounts. The above mentioned results are incorporated within the important support and flexibility structure that the ERP system provides, as well as in the reduction of respective IT costs. The third factor refers to the IT infrastructure benefits from the ERP system. The items with the highest loadings refer tot the “decreased total operational costs”, “personnel re-organization” and “improved maintenance of common databases”. The accountants’ perceptions presented above point toward a reduction of operation costs through increased productively, and a reduction in personnel, as a result of the re-organization and functional re-engineering that will be required. Conclusion and Implications

The research that was conducted, aimed at locating the dimensions that had an effect on the accounting process and management of the Firms adopting ERP systems. The technique of assessing accountants perceptions was selected, for the reason that the ERP system operation is in an implementation phase and there is yet no numerical data available to compare to past situations. The structure of the distributed questionnaire was based on a careful study of the international literature on the subject. According to the results, the benefits from the implementation of ERP system on the accounting information and management of firms were identified according to the perceptions of accountants from the accounting department. The factor analysis of the benefits from the implementation of the ERP system show that managerial benefits come first, operational benefits follows, while IT infrastructure benefits are in the third position. The firms should exploit the above mentioned positive impacts and use them in order to ensure effective exploitation its resources, and in relation to its decision-making processes following the direct supply of valid and reliable information. The above case involves a number of managerial implications concerning ERP systems, which are substantiated by the research literature. This study has implication both for public/private sectors organization, particularly accounting departments as well as IT professionals, in that it provides some explanation of factors that involve benefits to accounting information and management. These results can help the management of public organizations to establish the best way forward in fully exploiting the potential of future ERP applications. This study illustrates how the implementation of ERP system has a radical impact on accounting processes and management. ERP systems are thus now becoming as essential tool for organizations wishing to remain competitive in all sectors. Nonetheless, ERP systems also offer the opportunity for organizations to re-engineer their activities and revamp their information systems and accounting practices. For the staff, clearly opportunities arise to acquire marketable skills related to the process of installing and using new technology. Future research could focus on the other dimensions of ERP system benefits such as the organizational and strategic field. A future study with financial data could compare the efficiency ratios before and after the ERP system’s implementation. Future research may further examine expected as opposed to actual benefits derived from ERP applications, as well as the impact of technical, organizational and financial problems in fully exploiting ERP systems within an accounting context. It is plausible that, ERP system implementation require a reformulation of business processes and organizational structures but most importantly a change of management style and culture. Furthermore, collaboration within the organization and between the organization and the ERP provider also appears as a critical success factor in applications. In addition, the importance of top management support, including employee training/participation should not be underestimated.  

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