Magazine article Government Finance Review

Consultant: Differences among ERP Vendors Largely Irrelevant to Finance Office Performance

Magazine article Government Finance Review

Consultant: Differences among ERP Vendors Largely Irrelevant to Finance Office Performance

Article excerpt

The choice among the six leading ERP software vendors is largely irrelevant in an organization's efforts to drive toward world-class performance in finance, according to new research from The Hackett Group, a business advisory firm.

If improving finance performance is the primary goal of an organization's ERP implementation efforts, it should not agonize over small differences in the core finance features of the various packages, because all of the leading packages offer fairly similar functionality in this area. Instead, organizations should pick a package, then concentrate on process improvements and configuring to enable best practices.

"Many companies delude themselves into believing that ERP packages will solve all their problems and automatically help them cut finance costs and improve effectiveness," said Hackett IT Practice Leader Beth Hayes. "This is understandable, given the millions of dollars they're spending to implement the software. But the reality is that to a large extent, when it comes to finance, the ERP software you choose simply doesn't matter.

"There are certainly other areas where the ERP packages do differ significantly," Hayes said. "But if companies are focused on getting to world-class in finance, they need to improve how they do things, not simply change the tools they use to get things done."

The new research report is based on statistical analysis of Hackett's comprehensive database of finance benchmarks. To achieve Hackett's "world-class" designation, an organization must score in the top 25 percent of Hackett's database in both efficiency (cost and productivity) and effectiveness (quality and value) output metrics in a given functional area. …

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