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accounting systemsAmongst their many services, some consulting firms offer advanced accounting systems for tomorrow’s complex organization. In the textbook, especially Chapter 22, we warned against overly-technical approaches to change management; we particularly emphasised the importance of framing change considerations in their broader contexts and ‘beyond optimising solutions’.

Nevertheless the fact is that consulting firms are probably the largest players in shaping any accounting systems change in most organization – they remain popular choices to lead organizational (systems) change, in spite of their considerable cost to the client. It is always an interesting exercise to look at the kinds of services and advice which consulting firms offer to their potential future clients. For instance, consider (and critically appraise!) this interesting list of ‘telltale signs’ which one consulting firm, FinancialForce.com, argues are an indication that an organization has probably outgrown its existing accounting systems:

  • Increase in transaction volumes
  • A strong indication for automating business processes
  • Databases, filing and spreadsheets expand out-of-control
  • Information processes appear less integrated
  • IT specialists are struggling to keep up with demands on their time
  • Staff feel they do not ‘have their finger on the business pulse’
  • More questions are being asked by (external) auditors
  • Staff are working unprecedented (over-)long hours
  • The existing system is stalling progress and advance in the business

 

Source: adapted from FSN White paper “Have you outgrown your system?”, FinancialForce.Com, see: http://online-accounting.financialforce.com/FutureFinance_Whitepaper_what_in_it.html