Jill E. Posnick
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April 21, 2006
Maximizing Enterprise Resource Planning Enables Finance Executives to Drive Value, According to New Accenture Book

NEW YORK, April 21, 2006 – Successful Finance Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) programs should be business driven and IT enabled, according to a new book written by Accenture’s Cristian Wulf.

CFO Insights: Enabling High Performance through Leading Practices for Finance ERP is the third book in a series that describes the role Finance plays in the success of high-performance businesses and governments.

According to the book’s author, finance executives need to drive an alternate view of ERP – one that looks at an entire range of finance end-to-end business processes – rather than individual functions - to uncover key integration points and areas of focus.

“Organizations that tackle ERP successfully treat it as a program composed of multiple initiatives and projects,” says Wulf. “Our research reveals that high-performance organizations implement ERP as a series of ongoing projects that continually challenge their organizations to measure the value from their solutions.”

According to Accenture, a high-performance business effectively balances its current needs and future opportunities, and consistently outperforms its peers over time, across business cycles, industry disruptions and changes in CEO leadership.

Wulf and his Accenture coauthors examine business processes such as Procure to Pay, Asset Lifecycle, Order to Cash, and Tax Management along with key Finance functions such as the closing process, financial and management reporting, and compliance. They also review process, technology and organizational considerations that enable high performance.

In addition, they note that even though off-the-shelf ERP software supports the planning and execution of most Finance ERP programs, executives need to remember to focus their programs on generating returns for the technology investment.

“Most organizations think that implementing technology alone will allow them to reach their business objectives,” explains Wulf. “However, we have found that successful ERP implementations require equal focus on improving processes and communications which enable people to create value from the technology.”

To illustrate these concepts, Enabling High Performance through Leading Practices for Finance ERP draws on insights from visionary global organizations along with a number of Accenture ERP experts.

This book also provides key perspectives on broader implementation and operational imperatives such as: ERP in a Shared Services environment, Total Cost of Ownership, Enterprise Performance Management and Compliance requirements.

Enabling High Performance through Leading Practices for Finance ERP is published by John Wiley & Sons and is the third of Accenture’s CFO Insights book series. The other titles are CFO Insights: Achieving High Performance through Finance BPO (2004) and CFO Insights: Delivering High Performance (2006). More information and ordering details will be available online at www.accenture.com/cfoinsights.

Metrics and insights for the book are also provided from The Hackett Group, a strategic advisory firm and a world leader in best practice research, benchmarking and business transformation services. Hackett empirically defines and enables world-class enterprise performance in finance and other sales, general and administrative (SG&A) areas, and also supply chain activities with analysis gained through 3,500 benchmark studies over 14 years at 2,000 of the world’s leading companies.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 129,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

About Wiley & Sons
Wiley is a global publisher of print and electronic products, specializing in scientific, technical, and medical books and journals; professional and consumer books and subscription services; and textbooks and other educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students as well as lifelong learners. Wiley has approximately 22,700 active titles and about 400 journals, and publishes about 2000 new titles in a variety of print and electronic formats each year.

About the Author
Cristian Wulf is an executive partner in the Accenture Finance & Performance Management service line. He is the global lead of the service line’s Finance ERP practice and sponsors the Next Generation Enterprise Solutions offering. Mr. Wulf’s client experience includes full lifecycle Finance and Human Resources ERP programs (including Oracle, PeopleSoft and SAP), business architecture, Finance transformation programs and Finance & Accounting operations. He has assisted organizations across many industries, including wireless communications, high technology, media & entertainment, professional services, automotive, retail and financial services. Mr. Wulf holds an Accounting degree from the Universidad de Buenos Aires in Argentina and an MBA from the University of Washington.