“We do a lot of journal entries you know!” we said.

The consultant looked puzzled and asked, “You mean lots of lines in the system interfaces?”

“No. General journal entries in addition to interfaces,” we clarified.

“More than 500,000 lines a month, heavily skewed around month end,” we added.

How did it get that way? Like most things – poor planning. The company had been shedding accounting staff for years, but transaction volumes were actually climbing. Obviously, before you can begin to address these crazy volumes for the future, you need to be able to deal with the here and now.

The big ERP vendors could not help us. Yes, they could build us something, but it would not be a shadow on what we had already built ourselves. We built a web-based front end, using SQL server workflow technology which enabled authorised distributed users to raise journals, separately authorise journals, perform validation at source, post in real-time, confirm the postings back to the initiator, and produce a reporting register. Apparently, the big vendors’ ERP systems are designed for best practice and we just were not. But we were able to shift that mountain of debits and credits reliably, quickly, monthly.

Were we alone? I cannot believe we were solitary in the universe. Surely, other companies suffered from decisions that drove big volumes of journal entries. Surely there are mainstream products that do this? I cannot believe that what we built to shift that mountain is not significantly replicated by a mainstream ERP related product somewhere out there. I cannot believe that there is no market out there for such a front end.

“We do a lot of journal entries you know!” we said.

We shift ‘em too!

That was the easy part, now to address the poor planning that got us into this situation.

  • 2015-04-02 21:41:42
  • Mark Spicer
  • ERP, Transaction Processing, Process Control, Efficiency and Effectiveness, Governance, Systems Accounting