Watch out CA(SA)! - If you are part of a major SAP installation you could be working yourself out of a job!

 

It is through my interaction with candidates and coaching clients that I pick up a lot of what I discuss in my articles. I hope you find it valuable and informative.

Recently I met with a client who was a senior financial manager in a large company. This company was a model of a typical rapidly growing business.

When acquiring companies, usually the last thing that is considered is financial system compatibility – this is normally dumped on the financial team as an afterthought.

But being the resilient and creative people that we are, us CA’s make it happen! We reformulate, restructure and redesign to ensure that the consolidated financial reporting remains a seamless process with minimum interruption. At the next Board/Exco meeting we might request greater involvement when deals are being put together, but this seldom happens, especially if the CEO is a creative entrepreneur (non-CA!).

This is all well and good but the end result is a series of incompatible ERP systems trying to talk to each other.

In basic simple language incompatibility results in a bevy of journal entries at month end to load all the information into the main reporting system. This creates copious amounts of work for accountants as they need to ensure that the whole spider web of systems reconcile and balance.

You don’t have to be a super brain to know that if all the systems were integrated, this tedious work would fall away. Furthermore with well conceived integration, often the accounting function gets centralized. This usually results in the closure of a number of satellite financial hubs.

If you work for such a company and you know that systems integration is part of the forward strategy, know that a lot of accounting jobs are vulnerable – including yours!

The point of this discussion is that in your current situation you could be working yourself out of a job.

Know it and prepare!

About the author:

Clive Kaplan, is a CA(SA) having studied at both Rhodes and UCT. With over 20 years experience as an executive director in both listed and unlisted companies. Clive offers a wealth of wisdom on both the people and business front. He is the CEO of Green Mind Capital. The company focuses on assisting executives, especially emerging young CA’s, maximize their potential and fast-track their careers. Clive has been involved with coaching and self development since 1994. Green Mind Capital is an emerging leader in the field of personal development and self-actualization.