Assessment Task 1:
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a fully integrated business management system covering functional areas of an enterprise such finance and accounting, HR, production, sales and logistics. It organises and integrates operation processes and information flows to make optimum use of an enterprise's resources (erssource, 2012).
Most ERP systems contain modules, including an accounting module, within them and organisations have the option of deploying the full system or select modules depending on their specific requirements. An accounting module will handle only individual business functions of accounts whereas a complete Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) package will handle the entire range of business functions of the organisation.
In this assessment task, you are required to research and compile information on five different ERP systems that incorporate finance and/or accounting modules. Present your research information in a tabular format with comparative functions listed side by side. You comparison will be based on;
1. System type and platform
2. Core functions and modules (or applications)
3. Accounting functions (Detailed and itemised)
4. Database type and flexibility
5. System (installation) requirements
6. Approx. cost (if available)
7. Customisation and flexibility
8. Training and support documentation
9. Market differentiation (unique selling point of each system)
10. Local support (Australia)
Once you have collected and compared the information, write a brief report summarising your understanding of ERP systems and their functionality; especially the finance and accounting applications (modules). In addition, cover the following information in your report. You may have to further research these topics.
– Basic structure of an ERP system
– Five key advantages and disadvantages of using an ERP system
– ERP implementation life cycle
– Security issues and measures
– Impact of ERP on business performance
– Key principles of internal control, including statutory requirements and how an ERP system can impact on these processes
– Costs: Implementing and running
– Problems and issues with implementation
The report should be written as a formal business document with appropriate structure and style.
All external sources must be cited using the Harvard referencing system. The report should be written in your own words. Extensive and straight copy-paste from the external sources without an appropriate analysis will not be accepted.
Assessment Task 2:
Note to Trainers/Assessors: The case scenarios provided in this task should be taken as examples. These scenarios can be replaced with new scenarios if necessary. Case study in this task has been taken from Microsoft Dynamics NAV case studies at: http://www.navisioninfo.com/casestudies.htm.
Rapid advances in Information Technology within the last decade have been catalyst for organisational change, especially in implementation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. ERP implementation means implementation of new software package and business processes that substantially alter workflow and jobs.
Organisations that successfully implement ERP systems, including new software and business processes, have reported enormous benefits, such as greater efficiency and effectiveness at both individual employee and organisational levels (erssource, 2012). However, ERP systems also fail and one of the reasons for the failure is organisation's inability to effectively manage the chance process.
In this assessment task, you will be provided with a case scenario of an organisation in need of an ERP system; especially in the area of financial/accounting management. From the given scenario, you will be required to identify and analyse the specific ERP needs. This assessment task will serve as the first part of the major task, provided in Assessment Task 3: Develop and Present an ERP Project Plan. You will be using information developed in this task as an input into your major project. You must retain a copy of your work in this task.
Cockatoo Ridge Wines has grown to be one of the most recognized wine labels in Australia. Listed on the Australia Stock Exchange in February 2002, the company continues to expand distribution of its wines in Australia, as well as increase sales and distribution to international markets. It has just started to export to Britain after a strong year in the US.
Situated in the heart of the Barossa Valley in Australia's largest wine producing region, Cockatoo Ridge Wines includes white and red table wines made from a single variety of grape, as well as white and red sparkling wines. Using the latest viticultural practices, their products are designed as modern, low-cost wines.
Cockatoo Ridge Wines currently exports 2,000 cases per year. Two of its business objectives are to increase its exports from 25% of distributions to over 50% within the next 12 months and occupy a larger proportion of the domestic market. However, the company realized its current reporting software would not allow it to reach these goals.
As a condition of being a publicly listed company, Cockatoo Ridge must provide complete financial and data analysis reports to all shareholders on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.
Such reports meant that fields within the company's database needed to be populated by hand from a number of different sources. The process of manually entering data each month was time-consuming and prone to errors. As a result, the reports were often delayed by up to two weeks.
Cockatoo Ridge needed a solution that provided specific software functionality relevant to the wine industry that could also be tailored to its needs. In particular, Cockatoo Ridge wanted a package that would handle sales and distribution at the same time it allowed the company to report on any area within its operations, using a simple interface.
Damien Lister, Financial Controller for Cockatoo Ridge Wines, says the main challenge was the amount of time it took to analyze and report on the business.
“We were always on the back foot because our knowledge of our position was limited,” he says.
“It also created a processing backlog because the system needed to stop collecting data until month-end reporting was complete. Once this month-end reporting was finalized, all the data for the current month then needed to be manually re-entered once the system was back online.”
Cockatoo Ridge wanted a faster system that allowed all reporting to be done while the next month's data was being collected. To achieve its goal of taking a lead position in the wine industry, the company needed to employ a market-specific solution.
“The collection of data needed to address our financial and sales areas, including our budget forecasting, as well as our cellar-door and point of sales process management,” says Lister.
Based on the above case study;
– Identify and explain organisational requirements
– Describe the specific accounting solutions that the company requires
– Describe basic requirements of the accounting application/module based on principles and practices of budgetary control
– Identify and list legislative requirements (e.g. taxation, reporting) that the company must maintain in any solution
– Establish expected outcomes – what the solution will entail
– Research and suggest an appropriate system that fits the requirements
– Describe system features and processes in detail based on your research in Assessment Task 1
– Describe minimum system requirements for implementation
– Describe employee training requirements for implementation
- Develop an implementation checklist that list all the critical steps required in implementation of a new system, including data security measures
– Describe a procedure for testing the system prior to implementation
– Provide an approximate cost estimate based on your research on the system
– List expected benefits against the cost incurred and justify the costs
– Suggest an implementation timeline
This document should be prepared in a needs analysis format with a basic cost-benefit analysis included for review by the management. The document should be word processed and written in a formal style appropriate for business presentation. All external sources must be cited using the Harvard referencing system.
Assessment Task 3:
This assessment task is continuation of Assessment Task 2. Considering the complexity of the task, this project is given as a team project to be undertaken by a team of two (2) students. In this task, your team will be required to develop and present an ERP Project Plan for the case organisation. Team members will need to choose one of the project implementation solutions and time lines developed in Assessment Task 2.
A project plan will encompass project details, background to the problem, goals and objectives, key strategies and a comprehensive implementation schedule. Particular focus of this project is to implement a new ERP system within the organisation based on the needs analysis conducted in Assessment Task2. Most importantly, you and your team member will need to download and install a trial/evaluation copy of the ERP solution recommended and process a few mock transactions as samples.
This task has three parts; 1) Written project plan; 2) System installation; and 3) Presentation.
Your team project plan will include (but not limited to;
Executive summary Background (Case study) Project goals and objectives
Key stakeholders and consultation process
The solution (including input and output of data and reporting features)
Compliance Features (how it meets transaction, record and reporting requirements)
Key implementation strategies (including change management) Implementation schedule
Internal control processes and likely impact of ERP Data migration process
Staff training requirements
Support documentation requirements (download a copy of the system manual and attach with the plan) IT support requirements
Perceived risks and a contingency plan
The above can be used as suggested headings in the plan. However, the teams may develop their own structure incorporating above areas/topics.
The plan must be written in your own language and reflect both originality and inventiveness of the solutions proposed. The report must be written a formal business document for presentation to the senior management. There is no word limit. However, it is expected that you will contain your report within 3 Pages A4 sheets. All external sources must be cited using the Harvard referencing system.
Internal controls assist an organisation's policies and procedures to safeguard its assets, check accuracy and reliability of data, promote operational efficiency, and encourage adherence to sound management practices. In your plan, outline if implementation of ERP will have any impact on internal control processes.
Assuming that you have obtained the necessary approvals and permissions from the management for your implementation plan, download and install a trial version of the system/package on your computer. You must also obtain necessary permissions from your trainer, assessor or college's IT department. If your suggested vendor does not allow for a trail copy, you may install any other package as an examples and present to the class.
Assume that the company has three fundamental internal control requirements;
1. Effectiveness and efficiency of operations;
2. Reliability of financial reporting; and,
3. Compliance with applicable laws and regulations
Once installed, enter and process some different types of transactions (invoice, payment, sales order, purchases, expenses etc.); in line with the organisational requirements as established in Assessment Task 2. Save and backup the system file. Print the transaction records and reports relevant to transactions based on system/application features.
Write a brief report on how the intended solution/product will align with the internal control processes.
Present a summary of your project plan and the recommended ERP system to the class, assuming the class audience as senior management audience.
Your presentation should be well structured, aesthetically appealing and prepared using Microsoft PowerPoint or a similar application.