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VIEWPOINT: POWER AND AGILITY You need both to succeed

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A rugby team is made up of 15 players, with seven or eight more on the bench. Each of these players has a very specific skillset – strength, speed, ball handling, catching or kicking skills – and the players are positioned in the team according to those skills.

A great rugby team has both power and agility when the players are in the correct positions. You need both the size and the strength of the forwards and the faster, more agile backs. It is unlikely that a small, fast wing would be able to step into a prop position and have the same effect in the position or for the team.

A few players might be all-rounders, good enough at several different positions to allow them to sub in wherever they are needed, and this has definite value –  as a backup, on the bench. In a match between a team of specialised players against a team of all-rounders, who would you put your money on?

You should take the same into consideration when putting together your financial systems. Each part of your financial system has a specific function that needs to be performed, which needs a specific skillset to be done properly.

How many people, and therefore businesses, do you know who are expert in human resources management, accounting, as well as and e-commerce? They require completely different knowledge, different processes, different passions, and different understanding of a business.

Sure, there will be one or two out there who started in one field and crossed over to another; but they are unlikely to be able to do what a niche business who focuses all their resources on what they know and what they love in a specific field could.

Why then are you trying to push your ERP system to perform 15 different roles? It might be able to do it, but it won’t do it seamlessly and it won’t do all things equally well. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’?

Solid financial systems are no different than a winning rugby team; they need to be made up of the very best, performing their specific role to perfection, in order to support the rest of the system and go for gold.

Author: Kevin Phillips CA(SA) is Managing Director of idu Software