How To Ensure A Tactical Financial ERP

PostedOn: 2018-03-16 11:04:57

If you are overseeing a financial ERP implementation, upgrade, or reengineering project, you have probably noticed a motif among the industry analysis. The top research firms advise you to think in terms of short-term versus long-term system goals. Between improvement and differentiation. Strategic advantage versus stable system of record. On top of all that, you are faced with technical differences between platforms. Cloud versus on-premise. Hybrids thereof.

Whether you are deep-rooted in the implementation team or observing from the distance of the steering committee, do keep in mind industry trends and topics. These are crucial aspects of today's ERP. But in the method, don’t discount what you already know. 

General Ledger  

  • Can you produce your income statement and balance sheet using only the Natural Account in your chart of accounts?
  • At month-end, can you close and reconcile within three days?
  • Does the system produce reports for you that identify reunion items between GL activity and those in the feeder systems?
  • Does your GL automate the elimination journal entries needed for consolidation?
  • Does your GL automate foreign currency gain and loss recognitions, along with translation and revaluation?
  • Does your general ledger meet statutory reporting rations in addition to those of GAAP and IFRS?

Fixed Assets 

  • Does your fixed asset system automatically create assets based on expenditures through your AP or GL system?
  • Does your fixed asset system track physical location and custody of your assets along with depreciation? Or do you have to track the physical attributes elsewhere?
  • When you transfer an asset between legal entities, does your system continue a full, reportable trail of where the asset started and where it went? What about when there are multiple transfers to the same asset?

Payables 

  • Does your AP system store electronic images of your vendor invoices? Or, at least, can you link directly from the online record of the vendor invoice to the electronic image in some other system?
  • Does your AP system employ the preventive control known as three-way matching?
  • Can your AP system produce 1099s at year end out of the box?
  • Does your AP system implement the preventive control known as positive pay?
  • Does your AP system take plus of timing-based discounts when it schedules payments?

Receivables 

  • Does your system allow AR specialist to see, in one single screen, the customer’s account balance and payment history?
  • Are customer records set up at the correct granularity to call on and collect those accounts?
  • Can you reprint bill of lading copies from your AR system in five clicks or less?

By all means, consider technical trends and heed the advice of your IT counterparts. The right strategy carries great opportunity. In the process, just don’t lose sight of the tactical functionality that matters to you as a finance professional and to your club. It is the stuff you already know. It is the reason to implement ERP in the first place.