How ERP systems are centralizing and standardizing the accounting function in public organizations for better and worse

Catherine Equey Balzli, Emmanuel Fragnière

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have conducted research in an attempt to understand why the accounting function of a Swiss public administration has significantly changed following the implementation of an ERP system. To study this social phenomenon, an ethnography research strategy was followed. This approach is well suited for situations facing deep structural changes such as the transformation of a profession. The sample consisted primarily of accountants, accounting managers, and related professions. We have structured the analysis around the 3 following axes: 1. organizational structure changes, 2. standardization and centralization processes, and 3. centralization's effect on accounting tasks. Research findings and analyses indicate that the power of each public administration department under review is very strong to the point that it has negatively impacted the necessary standardization imposed by an ERP system implementation. So, the full potential of the ERP is not exploited at all. However, the financial statements can now comply with international standards such as International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS). Consequently, our case study shows that an ERP implementation project cannot be managed in the same manner as those realized in the private sector.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStrategic Enterprise Resource Planning Models for E-Government
Subtitle of host publicationApplications and Methodologies
PublisherIGI Global
Pages55-72
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781609608637
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Balzli, C. E., & Fragnière, E. (2011). How ERP systems are centralizing and standardizing the accounting function in public organizations for better and worse. In Strategic Enterprise Resource Planning Models for E-Government: Applications and Methodologies (pp. 55-72). IGI Global. https://doi.org/10.4018/978-1-60960-863-7.ch004