Computerized accounting systems such as SAP Business One have been in use for decades. However, feature utilization and a real understanding of the capabilities of such systems have historically been less than ideal. While there have been a lot of strides made in terms of how businesses are able to use and implement accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, there still remain major challenges in the successful implementation of these systems in the local context, they are the most common barriers to a successful accounting and ERP system implementation.

1. Selection

The ERP software market has become incredibly diverse over the years. Popular suites such as SAP Business One remain popular, but there are dozens of different available solutions available on the market.

Not only are business owners and managers spoiled for choice, but many of the presented solutions are also only marginally different from each other, and it can be difficult to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each. The selection process becomes even more muddled the bigger an enterprise is and the more stakeholders are involved.

2. Scope creep

More often than not, these customizations and expansions of scope are responsible for most ERP implementation delays in the local setting. These issues often come up during the implementation and customization phase. Different stakeholders will often want different features to be incorporated that were not part of the original plan. While this is often expected and accounted for, there may be a mismatch between the desired functions and the implementation of the same, leading to even more delays.

These delays can be avoided in part by having clearly stated goals for the implementation as well as clear communication about the intent of any ERP implementation project.

3. Data migration

Data that’s present in older software, Excel files, and pencil-and-paper systems may not be directly usable in the new system. Data transfers can often involve painstaking manual work to ensure that they remain usable in the new system. There are also some methods for ensuring easier migrations, but they aren’t always fool-proof and time has to be allotted to test if the “old data” in the new system actually makes sense. In many cases, some a considerable degree of work is needed to ensure that migrations do not severely impact the day-to-day functioning of a business.

4. User training

While updated ERP and accounting systems like SAP Business One tend to be more user-friendly than they had been before, some training is still often necessary to ensure that users are able to use the new system to its new potential. Even with the best possible migration and customization outcomes, it’s likely that users will have to spend a few months getting themselves familiar with the new ERP software.

Users are often forced to sink or swim or rely on more ad hoc methods to get themselves up-to-speed on the new system. This often leads to some resentment after switching to a new system, as everyone will have to readjust to some degree. To avoid implementation failure, an adequate level of user training is necessary.

5. Outdated business philosophies

The new capabilities of the new system may be wasted on management if it continues to cling to old ways of thinking. Real-time reporting, for instance, is wasted on management that slow to respond and only looks at progress on a monthly basis.

The new capabilities may also open new opportunities in other areas. Cloud access may allow management to cut costs and improve productivity by allowing more employees to work remotely, or to develop more nimble ordering and inventory systems. If management ideas do not evolve with the tools, the benefits of upgrading to a new system may not be fully realized.