Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Management Accounting Change and ERP, an Assessment of Research

Aernoudts, R.H.R.M. and Boom, T. van der and Vosselman, E.G.J. and Pijl, G.J. van der (2005): Management Accounting Change and ERP, an Assessment of Research.

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Extant accounting literature shows that there is increasing research interest into effects of ERP systems on management accounting and control practices (c.f. Granlund, Mouritsen, 2003). This paper provides a review of the literature and identifies knowledge gaps and shows opportunities for research. The review reveals that there are two main streams of research. The first uses a structural approach, while the second uses a process approach. The structural stream adopts a functional approach to technology and is deterministic in nature. It implies the assumption that ERP is the driver of organizational performance improvement. The process approach stream on the other hand seeks to explain how processes of change unfold and how outcomes develop over time (see for example Granlund and Mouritsen, 2001, Granlund and Malmi, 2000, Scapens and Jazayeri, 2003, Caglio, 2003, Quattrone and Hopper, 2004). The focus in this stream is on several different issues, such as hybridization of the accountants' work due to the adoption of ERP and the impacts of ERP on introducing innovative accounting practices. The review of extant literature reveals that there is no cumulative body of research. In this paper several causes for this lack of accumulation are identified. Furthermore, there proves to be very limited coherence among the different studies. Finally, our review shows that although there is some attention for effects of ERP on Management Control, research on this particular subject is still very much lagging behind.

We extend our literature review by going through literature from the Information Systems field. It proves that there are some similarities between the two different fields. Based on the findings of our literature review the following recommendations for further research are given: (1) Focus on studying the Management Control aspects of ERP, using a process approach, (2) Build on the results of earlier results of research in Accounting, and (3) Build on the results of earlier research in the IS field.

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