We explore whether off-the-shelf accounting solutions are used or not used in management control. This study explores the usage of accounting solutions such as ERP, “hybrid ERP”, and “best-of-breed” (BoB). Previous research highlights the problem that ERP has a “moderate” impact on management control but no study addresses whether hybrid ERP and BoB adopters experience the same problem. The explorative study investigates two budgeting activities – annual budget and rolling forecast construction, and variance analysis – in five case companies in order to explore and explain if and why off-the-shelf accounting solutions are used or not used. Due to a misfit between user intentions and system functionality, all the case companies use non-accounting solutions such as MS Excel and Hyperion business intelligence budgeting. In the first activity, users intend to achieve budgeting accuracy but the accounting solutions offer poor forecasting ability. In the second activity, users intend to identify management control problems but the accounting solutions offer poor analysis functions, for example poor visual presentation. We conclude that hybrid ERP and BoB accounting solution adopters experience the same problems as ERP adopters because accounting solution nonuse or “workaround” is related to both technical and social problems.


Budgeting, Enterprise resource planning system, MS Excel, Hyperion


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Full paper