Some of you might be too young to remember – it used to be that the reconciliation and monthly closings were done on a hand-written ledger, and every adjustment was done in pencil so it could be changed. If an account needed to be changed, it was changed only on a going-forward basis with possibly a restatement and a single entry to reflect the change. Then there came the spreadsheet – and there was a lot of resistance from the accountants to adopting spreadsheets as the standard.
Still, with spreadsheets, there was no clear drill down process. Further, as organizations grew and required maintaining thousands of spreadsheets rather than a few, the accuracy and integrity of the data became questionable, and for good reason. Now, the ERP system has taken away some of the burden of manual reconciliation and spreadsheets, but even large ERP systems don’t reflect the fact that companies change.
There are countless places that are touched when making changes in a relational database, and it is difficult to perform all of the changes required to maintain the relational integrity of the underlying structures that were initially set up. But it is also difficult and time-consuming to re-implement or reconcile, or to migrate to a new chart of accounts, a new organization unit, or a new ledger and go through a complete test cycle every time a company reorganizes, acquires another company, or sells part of the business (or, if they have just outgrown their current system). That difficulty, along with the deterioration of data integrity that results from companies having to resort to thousands of spreadsheets to reconcile the changes, doesn’t make a manual process any more accurate or auditable, and it severely limits a company’s agility.
eprentise and FlexField software products deal with the technical aspects of the change so that EBS can re-align to the current business environment. The ability to change is now part of the normal lifecycle and ongoing maintenance of an enterprise application.