Success for ERP implementations, like all projects, is not determined solely by whether the project was completed on time and on budget. The quality of the final product and its alignment with management’s desired objectives have long-lasting impact beyond the initial project costs. Fixing errors after the system goes live is more costly than correctly implementing the system in the first place. Throughout the implementation, internal audit should have a vital role in verifying that project controls and best practices are followed.
During the strategy phase, key executives make decisions including what software to implement, whether to perform the work in-house or to outsource it, and the approximate timeline for the project. The internal audit function can assist in the decision-making process by assessing whether the selected software is capable of enforcing controls, and if the group performing the implementation has a sound methodology that incorporates a control orientation with an emphasis on meeting business requirements. A strong implementation methodology mitigates overall project risks by carefully defining roles, tasks, and goals.