Kauppatieteellinen tiedekunta, 2004
Erkki K. Laitinen, Lili-Anne Kihn
Laskentatoimen ja rahoituksen laitos
Laskentatoimi ja rahoitus
Yritysjohdon laskentatoimen linja
The primary objective of this study is to describe and analyse the change in the cost accounting system in the case company. The case company is a unit of a large Finnish globally operating company. It has recently implemented an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, SAP R/3 (later SAP). Therefore, the second objective is to study what are the effects of the ERP system on the cost accounting system and on the role of the management accountant. More exactly, the objective is to study how the characteristics of SAP change the cost accounting system and the role of the management accountant.
This study is mainly a descriptive case study although it has explanatory aspects as well. The data is gathered by direct observation, participant observation, documentation, archival reports and interviews. The researcher was a member of the project group to develop a cost accounting system in the case company and later on also a member of the SAP implementation team to implement the new information system. Theoretical framework of this study is formed by the theories of cost accounting systems and ERP systems, mainly SAP. The empirical part concentrates on the case company’s cost accounting system and on the role of the management accountant.
As a result the previous– and new cost accounting system is described and analysed. The new system in the case company can be characterized as ABC system. Scapens and Jazayeri (2003) introduced four characteristics of SAP that affected on management accounting and on the role of the management accountant. Those characteristics were integration, standardization, centralization and routinization. Also in the case company those characteristics of SAP were identified. The results of the study are in line with the previous studies that ERP systems have only minor affects on cost accounting systems and on the role of the management accountant. Although there were changes in the cost accounting system and in the role of the management accountant it cannot be said that SAP was causing those changes. Those characteristics of SAP were facilitating the case company to change even though SAP was not a driver for change in the case company.
Cost accounting system, Management accountant’s role, Activity based costing, Enterprise resource planning system, SAP