Implementation of ERP Systems 

 
Accounting and Auditing Implications
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Technology plays a key role in today's business environment. Many companies greatly rely on computers and software to provide accurate information to effectively manage their business. It is becoming increasingly necessary for all businesses to incorporate information technology solutions to operate successfully. One way that many corporations have adopted information technology on a large scale is by installing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to accomplish their business transaction and data processing needs. The company named SAP Aktiengesellschaft (commonly known as SAP AG in the business press) is currently a world market and technology leader in providing ERP systems. As such, this article primarily discusses IT implications based on the SAP system.

ERP Systems and R/3

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are software packages that use relational database technology to integrate various units of an organization's information system. ERP systems provide several separate, but integrated, modules that can be installed as a package for any organization.1 Many large corporations use several different information systems, often because they have merged with and/or acquired other companies with varied systems. An ERP system integrates these diverse information systems and results in improved data reliability and processing efficiency. ERP systems quickly became popular with large corporations that needed a seamless integration of their business, but are now frequently used by small to midsized companies. The excellent ability of ERP systems to simplify business transaction processing, eliminate work that adds little or no value and simultaneously improve customer service are the main reasons for the outstanding success and popularity of these systems.2 ERP systems have made legacy systems outdated and obsolete for many companies. For example, by implementing an ERP system, Owens Corning went from having more than 200 legacy systems to fewer than 103. The main obstacle to installing an ERP system is the cost: it can cost upwards of US $100 million to implement a large-scale ERP system. However, an ERP system can provide significant benefits by improving information processing quality and management decisions related to business operations.

SAP R/3, introduced in 1992, is one of the most-used ERP systems in the world. The R/3 software package is designed to allow businesses to operate a variety of business processes within a single integrated information system.4 The software is customizable using SAP's proprietary programming language, ABAP/4. R/3 is scalable and highly suited for many types and sizes of organizations and runs on six different platforms (www.sapfans.com). SAP R/3 has been designed to focus on four areas: human resources, financial, supply chain management and marketing. R/3 is also an international product and meets the local fiscal, language and tax requirements of most countries.5 The R/3 software package is so pervasive that many people mistakenly believe that it is SAP's only product.

Technological and Accounting Issues

Implementation

Properly implementing an R/3 system is extremely important, and it is a long and expensive process. Large-scale, complicated ERP systems can often take 12-18 months to be installed and operating. Fees for consultants to modify or customize the system are extremely high, with rates at about US $150-$225 per hour. SAP AG offers a consultant education program to train individuals to implement and install each version of its ERP systems to help increase the supply of needed qualified programmers (https://websmp206.sap-ag.de/ce). The significant costs of acquiring and successfully implementing an ERP system indicate that it should be considered a long-term investment, with careful planning to obtain all the available benefits of improved data processing.

Implementing the SAP software will often involve business process reengineering. This is because the SAP R/3 ERP package is organized by the business processes of financial, human resources, supply chain management and marketing as opposed to conventional functional areas such as production, sales and accounting.6 This leaves a company desiring to implement SAP R/3 with two basic options:

  • Reorganize itself to agree with the components of the software
  • Modify the software to comply with the current organization of the company

The structure of the R/3 package is extremely complex and not particularly flexible, so a significant challenge with changing the software is that it will adversely affect performance across the entire system if not done properly. It is important to understand that SAP R/3 was not necessarily developed for application by every company. Rather, R/3 was designed for manufacturing companies that have similar business processes.7 Therefore, it is wise to invest considerable time and effort in evaluating if an R/3 ERP system is the right one for a particular company.

Carefully planning the installation of R/3 is extremely important because problems can and will occur during and after the implementation. As an example of a serious case, Hershey Foods Corporation attempted to go live with its new SAP system and had nothing but trouble for three months. The delay in successfully operationalizing its R/3 system drastically cut Hershey's revenues and profits for the year. There are several other cases similar to Hershey's experience. However, Amoco Corporation successfully implemented R/3 in all 17 of its business groups without any significant problems.8 ERP experts say that one of the keys to a smooth and relatively trouble-free installation is to do as little customization as possible of the ERP software. The experts also recommend developing performance measures for the system, having close control over the ERP consultants working with installation and maintaining control over internal politics.9 The key is full support by all members of the company and strong teamwork within the implementing body.

Information Technology Issues

The five key items to consider when selecting an ERP system are functionality, price, hardware platforms, the relational data base management system (RDBMS) and the installed base.10 Functionality deals with the availability and ease of installation of new modules and updated applications. SAP upgrades its product frequently, which makes the R/3 system very appealing by providing a company the opportunity to improve its current R/3 system.

As discussed previously, the costs to initially purchase and install an ERP system are substantial, with the cost of SAP's R/3 system being as high as US $100 million. After the system is installed, upgrades will be necessary within a few years to maintain current information technology capabilities.

However, very frequent upgrades to the ERP system can be as expensive as the original implementation. For example, SAP's newest application designed to make the R/3 ERP system interface effectively with the Internet is expensive and difficult to implement.

SAP R/3 is versatile, as it will operate on six different platforms, including the recently added Microsoft NT. The RDBMS of the ERP system primarily deals with the programming language upon which the system operates. SAP uses its own proprietary language for the RDBMS, known as ABAP/4, which essentially requires that companies use SAP-trained personnel, but it also offers more flexibility than generic programming languages. The installed base refers to the viability and financial strength of the company seeking to implement SAP. Installed base is an important factor in selecting an ERP system because the system must be efficiently implemented and the significant costs of the system must be recovered through improved and more efficient operations.11 Recovering these costs will usually require many years, and a company needs to have significant resources to invest in an ERP system that is not required for other aspects of operations.

The R/3 package includes several very attractive features. First, it has a three-tier client-server system. Providing three tiers offers scalability and easier adaptation to the specific needs of large companies and fast-growing companies.12 SAP R/3 is available in 14 different languages and also incorporates multiple currency features that provide essential information processing capabilities for multinational corporations. R/3's modules are organized by the functional areas of financial, human resources, supply chain management and marketing. While information is entered separately for each specific module, the modules are fully integrated and provide real-time applications. This means that data entered into one module are immediately and automatically updated and reflected in all of the functional areas. R/3 is composed of a single, virtual file structure with no subsystems.13 In addition, SAP has released MySAP.com, which is software that provides for data interaction and processing connections with the web.14

However, the powerful capabilities and complexity of SAP R/3 do make it cumbersome to work with in some ways. Any large-scale ERP system, R/3 included, is challenging to keep updated in today's fast-paced business environment. Technology can significantly change in a matter of months, but it requires more than a year to implement R/3. The primary reason that R/3 is difficult to maintain at a current technology level is that SAP has designed an intricate and complicated product to meet the needs of very large companies. SAP has not reduced its enterprise-focused frameworks to smaller components that can be effectively used by midsize companies with fewer resources, which is another limitation of R/3.15

Application of Accounting Functions in the ERP System

Financial and managerial accounting tools in SAP R/3 are contained in the financial accounting (FI) and controlling (CO) modules. The general ledger function in the FI module provides a comprehensive record of all information needed for external financial reporting. The accounting data are complete and accurate because the SAP system fully integrates all business transactions that were entered from all the operational areas of a company. In addition to the FI and CO modules, the SAP system includes the investment management (IM), sales and distribution (SD), materials management (MM) and human resources (HR) modules.

Management accounting tools in SAP R/3 are cost center accounting, internal orders, product costing, activity-based costing, profitability analysis and profit center accounting. Some applications of these tools include:

  • Analyzing an organization's overhead costs according to where they were incurred within the organization
  • Planning, collecting and settling costs of an organization's internal jobs and tasks
  • Developing different types of cost estimates for a particular product or subassembly, such as standard cost, future cost, tax cost or commercial cost estimates
  • Planning the cost of products before an order to commence manufacturing is placed
  • Assigning costs incurred in an organization to the activity units within the organization
  • Activity-based costing
  • Evaluating profit or contribution margin based on an organization's market segments. These market segments can be classified according to products, customers, orders or any combination of these, or strategic business units, such as sales organizations or business areas with respect to an organization's profit or contribution margin.
  • Working with two different types of cost drivers—activity types and statistical key figures
  • Understanding the differences of primary cost elements, primary revenue elements and secondary cost elements

An Example of Using the Standard Hierarchy

The standard hierarchy is the central cost center hierarchy created in the system and acts as the one repository for all cost centers. Starting from the standard menu, the following are the steps needed to access the cost centers for technical services:

SAP standard menu —> accounting —> controlling —> cost center accounting —> master data —> standard hierarchy —> display (transaction code: OKENN). Enter the controlling area and click the enter button —> 3000. Find H3000 for Company 3000-USA, and click the arrow to the left of the cost center. Click on the details button to expand the section of the window, where the details for cost center groups are displayed. Once the cost center groups are displayed, click on the expand arrow in front of H3400 Technical Services, and click on the expand arrow in front of H3410-Technical Services to obtain all of the cost centers for H3410-Technical Services.

Impact on the Accounting Profession

SAP R/3's accounting features are modeled on the German approach to accounting, and thus they are well organized and efficient in processing accounting information and providing accounting statements and financial reports.16 As stated previously, R/3 offers multiple currency features and a three-tier system that is capable of meeting high demands from the accounting system for either transaction processing or financial reporting.17

SAP was the first to implement integrated treasury capabilities. This attractive feature allows a corporate treasury department to function as an in-house bank by automating the control of cash flow, investment trades and portfolio management.18 R/3 provides check writing capability in its accounts receivable component, which very few other programs offer. Additionally, there is equal access to all data in the system. This means that personnel can access financial data directly from a computer screen rather than physically meeting with the treasurer, controller or some other similar person. In other words, R/3 offers real-time, immediately updated reporting. R/3 also provides for a "single data entry point," where data entered from any location are instantly sent to all other appropriate modules in the ERP system. Another time-saving feature is that end-of-period closes are shortened dramatically from days or weeks to hours since subsidiary ledgers no longer need to be closed prior to closing the general ledger.19

The advent of ERP systems has affected the role of accountants, and it is a role for which accountants need to be prepared. ERP systems are definitely changing the work environment of accountants today. Implementing an ERP system requires a reengineering of prior business structure and changes in general operating methods. A CPA mentality is necessary to understand and communicate the value added by ERP systems, and it requires significant technological knowledge to implement them.20 Accountants have a solid understanding of business, but today they must also embrace the efficient technology available from ERP systems. If accountants learn about ERP software and how it works they can greatly assist companies in improving the management of their operations. For example, in many cases, older styles of internal controls no longer apply and the accountant can greatly assist a company in developing new controls to work with an ERP system.

Switching to continuous, real-time reporting using an ERP system is a tremendous change compared to issuing financial statements annually, quarterly or monthly. Many CPAs welcome this transition, but some are hesitant to adapt. It is obvious that accountants must invest much time and energy to become proficient in working with ERP systems. When working with companies that use ERP systems, innovative auditing techniques and advanced consulting skills will become the norm, particularly where collaborative efforts are essential within a firm.21 Many auditors use "independence" as a reason to avoid involvement in ERP, but auditors can maintain their independence and be actively involved in the implementation and operation of a client's ERP system.22

Data and Information Integrity and Audit Issues

Risk and Control

Whether a company uses a basic manual data processing system or an extremely complicated, computer-based data processing system, controls are needed to reduce the risk that the information in the system is inaccurate, false or has been manipulated. Accountants can greatly assist companies in developing appropriate controls, and can use new technology to significantly strengthen the control environment. Improved controls will greatly benefit the company since better controls will make it more likely that management's goals will be achieved.

Accountants and company management need to be aware of the risks involved with an ERP system. A common problem encountered during implementation of the ERP system is eliminating traditional controls without replacing them with new effective control measures.23 SAP R/3 includes many control features such as screening access to data files, validating users and limiting authorized users to a specific set of transactions.24 In addition, R/3 offers tracing capabilities that can seamlessly follow a transaction throughout the system and identify what happened at each step. SAP also includes business workflow, which enables smooth, automatic transaction flows and improves customer service as well as improving business controls.25

Specific controls provided by SAP are discrepancy reports and reconciliations of outputs to source documents or data. SAP creates a numbered document for each transaction, and once a document is created, it cannot be erased. This creates an audit trail that allows all entries to be traced and verified. The SAP accounting modules include several built-in discrepancy reports that highlight possible problems with document output. One report lists instances in which invoice numbers have been assigned twice; another reports on gaps in document numbering. Reconciliations are facilitated in the SAP system through such reports as the posting totals reports, which allow the user to compare batch totals from source documents with the system posting totals for batches.

Recently, SAP partnered with PricewaterhouseCoopers to develop software that incorporates controls that comply with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. This new software will give CFOs and CEOs the ability to determine the true effectiveness of their internal controls. The software will allow the user to generate the necessary internal control documentation, as well as to perform remediation and sign-off.

However, all of the wonderful control mechanisms available in R/3 are effective only if they are set up correctly. Many of the controls must be "turned on" and the entire ERP system must be properly installed for the controls to function properly. Therefore, during implementation it is imperative that a formal approval process for the system design work be established. The accountant must be part of the design process to ensure that the ERP system operates as it should.

In an ERP system, many employees in various parts of the company may be authorized to enter data concerning company activities. This increases the risk that the data entered lack integrity (i.e., are not accurate) because it is difficult to assign specific responsibility to any one employee for the authenticity of all data entered.

Because data are shared across the modules of an ERP system, some traditional control activities are no longer needed. For example, the integration of data means that typically there is no longer a need for reconciling or adjusting entries. This requires adaptation by accountants to understand and work successfully with the functions of the ERP system. The integrated nature of an ERP system also creates a formidable risk of business continuity. Since the entire system is linked together, the company's success is dependent upon the ERP system operating efficiently and effectively. In a sense, the system is the company's life. If the system goes down for any reason then the company will be unable to process a single transaction.26 To keep the system operating properly, security management procedures need to be reviewed on a regular basis. The reviews should include thoroughly examining new and modified user profiles, as well as access authorization changes.27

Billing is typically a very high-risk area for a company, as billing has significant potential for errors and manipulation. In the R/3 system, most billing activities occur in the sales and distribution module. The sales and distribution module includes the components of authorizations, customer master file record creation, credit checking, sales order creation, delivery and invoicing.

If installed properly, an SAP R/3 system offers tight control over the billing process. The key to the SAP billing cycle is the authorizations function because it controls every user's ability to create, modify and delete transactions. Each user has an authorization profile that defines which specific records that user can access as well as whether the user can display, change and/or delete information. Thus, data errors and irregularities in billing can be significantly reduced by limiting the responsibility that various employees have in the billing process.

A customer master file record includes basic information for that customer, including credit, sold-to, bill-to, payer and ship-to information. The customer master file record must be established before SAP R/3 can process a sale to a customer. Most of this master file data is copied into sales documents. This means that the accuracy of the customer master data directly affects the reliability of the reported amounts of sales revenue, cost of goods sold, accounts receivable and cash receipts.

There are three major risks concerning customer master files:28

  • A customer file may be created without proper authorization
  • Duplicate files may be created
  • One-time customer files may be created and then used to bypass other controls

To control these risks, a company should do the following:

  • Require that customers be properly approved before establishing a customer file.
  • Handle customer master file creation and modification through the R/3 authorization function that requires the approval of the credit manager and customer service manager.
  • Block for shipment all orders to one-time customers and allow release only by an employee independent of order processing.
  • Generate a one-time customer report and ensure its examination by the appropriate manager.
  • Review a sample of changes to customer master files for proper authorization.
  • Separate the function of creating or modifying customer master files from the functions of processing sales orders, deliveries, billings and cash receipts.
  • Print the "ship to" and "sold to" address listings and examine them for duplicates.

Doing credit checks is essential to prevent sales from being made to customers who are unlikely to pay within a reasonable time. SAP R/3 performs automatic credit checks by using data from the financial accounting and sales and distribution modules. R/3 can check a customer's credit for orders and deliveries, and considers their accounts receivable balance and the amounts from open orders, open deliveries and open billing documents. Checking a customer's credit at the time of the sales order is preferred, since pulling the inventory items and generating shipping documents would not occur if the credit limit had been exceeded. It is also suggested that only credit department personnel be authorized to create and change credit limits or remove credit blocks.

R/3 includes useful controls for sales order creation, as it allows management to establish authorized prices and discounts for each customer and each product. Sales orders with unauthorized prices or discounts would not be allowed without proper management override. After the sales order is processed, R/3 next creates the delivery order based on the information in the sales order. Once the delivery order is created, the goods are pulled and the shipment is scheduled. At the point of shipment, a shipping employee enters in the R/3 system that the delivery order has been shipped. This last step in the delivery function initiates the billing process in SAP R/3. The billing component then uses the information from sales and shipping documents, such as quantities and prices, to produce the invoice. When the invoice is created, the financial accounting module is automatically updated to reflect the amount owed by the customer.29

Like billing, accounts payable is a high-risk area for an organization. Key concerns are preventing unauthorized and fraudulent payments. The accounts payable component of SAP R/3 contains four types of transaction blocks that make it much less likely that improper payments will occur. These transaction blocks are as follows:

  • The audit block compares the data in the R/3 system regarding vendor invoices to determine if there is an accompanying purchase order. A block is placed on payment of invoices that do not have a related purchase order. The block requires that the invoice be reviewed and payment released by an employee other than the one who entered the invoice information.
  • The receiving block tests for agreement among the purchase order, the receiving report and the vendor's invoice. Any discrepancy creates a block that can be removed only by an employee independent of those who entered the information recorded from those documents.
  • The vendor block deals only with newly created vendor master file records. The vendor block requires that an employee other than the one who created the new vendor master file verify the amounts owed before any payments are made to the new vendor.
  • A manual block is used to prevent payment while any outstanding issues are being resolved. A manual block can be implemented either at the time of invoice entry or afterward, and it can be removed by the employee who initially blocked the transaction.

For transaction blocks to be most effective, all of the blocking capabilities in R/3 must be implemented and the system must be configured to use these features. In addition, authorization to remove blocks must be limited to appropriate management, since otherwise unauthorized employees could release potentially improper payables for actual payment. This means that management must have a thorough knowledge of the process used by R/3 to block payables processing as well as the steps necessary to release blocked items.

Audit Issues

Careful planning and analysis is necessary for an accounting firm to properly perform an independent audit of an entity's financial statements. Some of the key items necessary to effectively perform an audit are obtaining a thorough understanding of the client's industry and business, performing an assessment of the risk that material misstatements are included in the financial statements, the collection and evaluation of sufficient and competent evidence and thorough supervision by the accounting firm partners of all work performed by assistants. The process of the accounting firm satisfying each of these key items will be similar whether or not the client has an ERP system. Thus, the remainder of this section will focus on how a client using an ERP system would have a significant impact on the audit approach.

As indicated in earlier sections of this article, implementing an R/3 system will require that a company make significant changes to its internal control procedures. Auditing standards require that the independent auditors must obtain a sufficient understanding of the client's internal control system to adequately plan the audit and to determine the type, timing and extent of tests to be used to gather evidence.30

The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), in AU 319.06, defines internal control as a process designed to provide reasonable assurance that the company's objectives have been achieved in three areas: the reliability of financial reporting, the effectiveness and efficiency of operations, and compliance with laws and regulations. The AICPA further states in AU 319.07 that an internal control system has five components: control environment, risk assessment, control activities, information and communication, and monitoring. Perhaps, the two most important components that an independent auditor should evaluate in an ERP internal control system are control activities and information and communication.

Control activities are the procedures that protect the company's assets and prevent falsification of accounting records, for example, requiring two signatures on issued checks. Information and communication is the timely identification, collection, processing and reporting of relevant data in a useful format, such that employees can effectively meet their responsibilities. Since information and communication processes and control activities are the essential focus of an ERP system, it is extremely important for the independent auditor to completely understand and document how the ERP system collects and processes data as well as the actual controls implemented within the ERP system.

In addition, auditing standards require that the auditor evaluate each of the five components of internal control within the context of how the client collects, transmits, processes, maintains and accesses information.31 The auditor can adequately perform this evaluation only by having a thorough understanding of the details of the client's ERP system. The auditor must specifically know how the client uses each module of its ERP system to collect, process and transmit information to appropriate employees within the company, as well as the controls in place over input and access to data and controls over changes to the data files and the particular features of the ERP software.

The auditor's assessment of the reliability of internal controls is much more critical for a client with an ERP system than it is for a client that maintains a traditional information system. This is because the auditor probably will not be able to rely exclusively on substantive testing to collect the sufficient competent evidence needed to issue an audit opinion regarding a client with an ERP system. Most of the client's information is maintained in electronic form where information is susceptible to falsification or alteration, which would be detected only with strong controls in effect.32 This also means that the auditor will need to heavily rely on computer-assisted audit techniques to gather and evaluate the evidence for substantive testing.

Conclusion

SAP has become a leading provider of ERP systems by providing a powerful and comprehensive product in its R/3 software package. However, R/3 is costly, complex and not easily modified by the user. In considering whether to implement an R/3 ERP system, a company must compare the benefits of very efficient and effective information processing with little duplicated effort, to the significant monetary costs of up to US $100 million and a huge time commitment of thousands of employee hours needed to successfully implement the system. R/3 is complex due to its capabilities, which when properly applied can provide companies with tremendous data processing benefits.

SAP R/3 is organized with the concept that a business operates as a series of processes, which means that the company implementing R/3 may have to change and reorganize itself to properly fit with R/3 and use it effectively. R/3 offers powerful accounting capabilities, but accountants must learn the details of the R/3 system well to provide quality services to clients that either currently have or are considering obtaining an R/3 system. Auditors must also understand the R/3 system extremely well to perform a proper audit of a client that uses an R/3 data processing system.

References

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, "AU Section 319: Consideration of Internal Control in a Financial Statement Audit," 1999

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, "AU Section 326: Evidential Matter," 1999

Attaway, Morris C.; "Billing Risks and SAP R/3," Internal Auditor, August 1999

Attaway, Morris C.; "Cash Disbursements Control," Internal Auditor, April 2001

"Better Bang for the Buck," Software Magazine, June 1997

Bui, Andrew; "Staying in Control," Internal Auditor, August 1999

Covaleski, John M.; "Giant ERP Vendors Suffer Setbacks in Middle Market," Accounting Today, January 2000

Dance, D. Richard; "Five Keys to Evaluating Client/Server Accounting," Accounting Today, May 1996

Francett, Barbara; "ERP Gets the Point," Software Magazine, February 1998

Gibbs, Jeff; "Going Live With SAP," Internal Auditor, June 1998

Gibbs, Jeff; "The Power of Enterprise Computing," Internal Auditor, February 1997

Glover, Steven M.; Douglas F. Prawitt; Marshall B. Romney; "Implementing ERP," Internal Auditor, February 1999

Keeling, Dennis; "A Buyer's Guide: High-end Accounting Software," Journal of Accountancy, December 1996

Osterland, Andrew; "Blaming ERP," CFO, January 2000

Piven, Jashua; "ERP Vendors Caught in Web of Their Own Making," Computer Technology Review, October 1999

"SAP R/3 Risks," Internal Auditor, June 1998

Scapens, Robert; Mostafa Jazayeri; "SAP: Integrated Information Systems and the Implications for Management Accountants," Management Accounting, September 1998

"Top Accounting Software Will Soon Trickle Down to Midsize CPA Firms," Accounting Office Management and Administrative Report, April 2001

"What is SAP R/3?" Internal Auditor, June 1998

Xenakis, John J.; "Software for All Reasons," CFO, 1 February 1997

Endnotes

1 Scapens, Robert; Mostafa Jazayeri; "SAP: Integrated Information Systems and the Implications for Management Accountants," Management Accounting, September 1998
2 Gibbs, Jeff: "The Power of Enterprise Computing," Internal Auditor, February 1997
3 Op. cit., Scapens and Jazayeri
4 Ibid.
5 Keeling, Dennis; "A Buyer's Guide: High-end Accounting Software," Journal of Accountancy, December 1996
6 Op. cit., Scapens and Jazayeri
7 Osterland, Andrew; "Blaming ERP," CFO, January 2000
8 Ibid.
9 Ibid.
10 Dance, D. Richard; "Five Keys to Evaluating Client/Server Accounting," Accounting Today, May 1996
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid.
13 Gibbs, Jeff; "Going Live With SAP," Internal Auditor, June 1998
14 Piven, Jashua; "ERP Vendors Caught in Web of Their Own Making," Computer Technology Review, October 1999
15 Ibid.
16 Op. cit., Scapens and Jazayen
17 Op. cit., Dance
18 Xenakis, John J.; "Software for All Reasons," CFO, 1 February 1997
19 Op. cit., Gibbs 1998
20 Covaleski, John M.; "Giant ERP Vendors Suffer Setbacks in Middle Market," Accounting Today, January 2000
21 Op. cit., Gibbs 1998
22 Glover, Steven M.; Douglas F. Prawitt; Marshall B. Romney; "Implementing ERP," Internal Auditor, February 1999
23 Bui, Andrew; "Staying in Control," Internal Auditor, August 1999
24 Op. cit., Gibbs 1997
25 Op. cit., Gibbs 1998
26 Op. cit., Gibbs 1997
27 Op. cit., Gibbs 1998
28 Attaway, Morris C.; "Billing Risks and SAP R/3," Internal Auditor, August 1999
29 Ibid.
30 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, "AU Section 319: Consideration of Internal Control in a Financial Statement Audit," 1999
31 Ibid.
32 American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, "AU Section 326: Evidential Matter," 1999

Benjamin B. Bae, Ph.D.
is associate professor of the Department of Accounting at Central Washington University (USA). He is a member of the American Accounting Association (AAA). His research has been published in Journal of Accounting, Auditing and Finance (forthcoming), Advances in Quantitative Analysis of Finance and Accounting, American Business Review, Information System Control Journal and Today's CPA. He has also made a number of research presentations at AAA regional and national conferences.

Paul Ashcroft, Ph.D.
is assistant professor of accounting at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, USA. He primarily teaches auditing and intermediate accounting. His research work has been published in the CPA Journal, Oil and Gas Tax Quarterly and Today's CPA. Ashcroft has made a number of research presentations at American Accounting Association national conferences, AAA regional conferences, and other national and regional conferences.