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ERO system: implementation, audit and control risks

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par Borhen KHATIB
INSEEC - MSc Program in Audit and Control Management 2010

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2. ERP System Implementation 2.1. What is an ERP System?

ERP means "enterprise resource planning" and it is a computer application. That enables the company to manage and optimize all of its resources.

ERP provides availability of different modules that cover all business needs such as undertaking, since commercial production, logistics, finance, human resources, customer service, (all fields are present at an equal level completeness). ERP System dependents on the different process and on the different areas caused by the use of a common database.

ERP system provides the company with the enables to manage and control several sites, languages and currencies simultaneously. Therefore, the ERP system is fully recognized and used at international level.

Organizational and functional integration was built around the knowledge of different management processes and interaction between different services. The complexity of this integration is growing fast with the number of areas covered and with the number of users, which itself is a technology that is a set of techniques, expertise and practices.

- ERP technology

As the applications share the same information, the system must be developed with
rules built inside the database. The development of the screens and reports can be
minimized since each application does not require duplication of share data update

capabilities. For instance, defining departments can be done in one site and shared by all applications.

- Know-how and best practices

ERP systems require a big more effort in terms of planning and resources implementation than stand-alone applications. Integration means that all functional areas and business process's have to be considered prior to any decision.

3. Implementation of ERP System

3.1. The architecture of the ERP project

The architecture of an ERP project consists in defining its division into subprojects. The division into sub-projects is a breakdown into different types of activity. Subprojects allow the implementation of the global project, but each of them requires, for its realization, different techniques involving specific skills. Project success depends on a good timing and coordination between subprojects, which are the responsibility of the project management.

Figure 1. Architecture of an ERP Project

3.1.1. Change management

The role of this subproject is related mainly to users training, data preparation as well as to organizational change. This subproject must be conducted in parallel with the implementation of the ERP and it is essential for the transition phase.

Change management is conducted by operational users and accompanied by external consultants.

3.1.2. Technical structure

This subproject reviews:

- The technical infrastructure needed to run the software. Infrastructure refers to servers, networks, workstations that give users an access to the ERP. This infrastructure consists in hardware but also in software (operating system, database system, utilities). It will be necessary first for the team project and then for the production phase.

- The operating environment of the ERP itself and all the components that are necessary for the implementation: interfaces, conversions and database.

- All the adjustments to the standard product that the company decides to implement. The activities will be related to their definition, design, implementation, testing and documentation

These adaptations depend on the specific functions that the company decides to maintain and which are not provided by the ERP. This means modifications or creation of states or screens with or without modifications on the standard chaining screens.

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