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Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems

by Laurant Lachal


New for 1999:

  • Up-to-date evaluations of the top 16 international accounting packages – including latest versions of offerings from Baan, Oracle and SAP;
  • Regular briefing papers on key issues and hot topics;
  • Two new ways to buy – providing you with the flexibility to meet your needs.

Do you need to:

  • Upgrade or replace your existing accounting system to meet your current and future business needs beyond Year 2000 and euro requirements?
  • Understand how the uncertainty caused by market shake-out will affect your purchasing decisions?
  • Assess how your accounting package will cope with euro legislation that is still in the making?

Beyond Year 2000 and the euro – what’s next for your accounting system?

The deadline for reaching Year 2000 compliance, and meeting EMU requirements has forced many organisations, like your own, to upgrade their accounting systems to meet short-term business needs. But with compliance under your belt, are you happy with the accounting software you have and does it address your future business needs?

While the euro may now have been introduced, local legislative requirements have yet to be settled. With the long transition period now underway, the extent of the burden of Euro conversion on your accounting software is uncertain.

Whether you need practical and independent advice on selecting the most suitable accounting system for your future requirements, or whether you need authoritative forecasts and analysis on the development of the market and the evolution of accounting software, you must read Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems.

Providing continuously updated evaluations of the 16 top international accounting packages, Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems is the market-leading service in this area, with a proven track record over 5 years. It offers in-depth analysis of the products and suppliers, enabling you to keep up-to-date and follow the development of the market.

All change for financial business systems

Business and accounting software is undergoing significant change brought about by major shifts in technology and customer requirements. Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems shows to what extent suppliers are meeting customer demand for new product architectures, strong multinational capabilities and integration with other functions – such as human resources, supply chain logistics and manufacturing.

While some developers are growing at up to 100% per annum, others are in severe financial trouble. As market growth slows, due to last-minute Year 2000 and EMU projects, supplier companies will pursue growth through acquisition. Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems keeps you up-to-date as the key players purchase, merge, or partner with other package suppliers.

Authoritative and objective information

Upgrading your accounting software is expensive, and buying a new package is a serious investment decision. No product is right for every user’s circumstances. Start the selection process with Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems and take the risk out of product selection. We provide authoritative and objective information, and save you months of evaluation effort.

The service represents continuous research based on personal visits to users and vendors throughout the world. Building on the author’s unparalleled knowledge of international accounting software, it enables you to:

  • get to grips with the background to these products with a clear and accurate introduction to the field, covering changing user requirements and the vendors' response to that challenge;
  • select the right system for your business with detailed 40-page evaluations of 16 leading international accounting systems;
  • compare the products and the developers quickly and easily;
  • avoid implementing a system which will be obsolete in 5 years' time with in-depth analysis of current and future market dynamics, plus market forecasts for Europe and the USA from 1999 to 2005;
  • stay in touch with a continuous update on the emerging IT requirements of EMU, the Year 2000 and harmonisation of accounting standards.

Future-proof selection

Although some vendors have responded to end-user demand, many companies are finding that client-server versions of their accounting software do not live up to vendor claims about performance and usability. With so many products failing to live up to expectation, how can you ensure you choose the right one for your organisation? Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems evaluates the leading products and helps you make the right decisions first time.

Ovum’s criteria for decision making

Our independent evaluations are based on nine business-oriented criteria specifically developed to help you compare and contrast their functionality:

Company criteria

Performance – a review of each company’s current and past structure, management, culture, ownership and financial performance;

Strategy – an overview of the company’s overall, product and service strategies;

Market reach – an analysis of the company’s user base, direct and indirect channels, geographic and vertical revenue splits and strategies.

Product criteria

Functionality – points out the key features in the product’s account payables/receivables, general ledger, cash book and fixed asset modules, including analysis of the product’s vertical market specific functionality;

International – details of the product’s ability to adapt to local language, fiscal and legal requirements to handle multi-currencies with a section dedicated to the euro, and to consolidate accounts;

Architecture – to help decide whether you face a modern network-based client-server product with a relational design or an old host-based modular structure with a face lift

Information retrieval – an overview of the product’s reporting, on-screen enquiry, and advanced data analysis facilities;

End-user perspective – deals with how users interact with the system, featuring a section dedicated to document management/workflow;

IT perspective – points out to what extent the vendor helps you deploy, customise, integrate, manage and upgrade the product.

Addressing 7 key questions

Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems is grounded in Ovum's expertise in evaluating software products for business. The resulting evaluation service helps you avoid costly mistakes and answers all the key questions facing you and your company:

Q1. What impact will the Year 2000 data problem and Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the euro have on my finance system?

Q2. How should I replace or upgrade the financial systems in my organisation, and how can I do it in a sensible timescale?

Q3. Do I have to move from the mainframe to have a modern and functional client-server accounting system?

Q4. How are web-enabled accounting systems developing and what is the viability of Internet or intranet solutions?

Q5. What impact will enterprise-wide and ERP-integrated solutions have on the other operational systems in my organisation?

Q6. Which multinational products meet local language, legal, fiscal and tax requirements of the countries we wish to operate in?

Q7. What are the leading operating platforms going to be in the future in order to avoid making a costly mistake now?

Who should use the service?


Finance directors and chief financial officers
who need to review their accounting systems in the light of current and future business needs;

Auditors and accountants
who need to review current packages and evaluate their strengths and weaknesses;

Year 2000/EMU project managers
who need to react to the Year 2000 and EMU deadlines – either by replacing or upgrading their legacy system;

Project managers
who need to understand how modern financial systems can help them with project-specific requirements;

Consultants and analysts
who need to keep up with the latest product developments and advise their clients accordingly.


Application software vendors
who require an in-depth analysis of their competitors’ products and who need to understand the size and structure of the market;

DBMS vendors
who need to know which financial systems support their relational databases;

Operating system vendors
who need to understand the implications of distributed accounting packages for their existing products;

Hardware vendors
who need to know which packages are available on their own and their competitors' platforms.

Decision Maker

Is your organisation embarking on the selection process for new accounting software? Are you involved in making the decision? If you need to:

  • understand the technology and its benefits for your organisation
  • make and justify the right product and supplier choice within strict deadlines
  • ask the right questions of possible suppliers,

Ovum's Decision Maker package is for you. You will receive:

All current Product Evaluations – we are continuously updating our evaluations of the 16 leading products in the market so, when you buy, you will receive totally up-to-date evaluations, helping you to make a decision that is right for your current and future needs.

Guide to the Evaluations – to help you get the most from our detailed evaluations, we provide an "at a glance" guide to the products, the developers and the evaluation.

Summary of the Evaluations – a quick and easy-to-use summary comparing the functionality of all products evaluated, against Ovum’s 9-point criteria – performance, strategy, market reach, functionality, international, architecture, information retrieval, end-user perspective, IT perspective.

Everything you need to back up your decision – we support your product decision with an analysis of the accounting software market – identifying purchasing trends and market forecasts from 1999 - 2005. We also explain your architecture options: operating platforms, Client-server configurations, relational database integration, application development tools, web-enabled browsers, performance issues, flexibility and reporting.

Decision Maker PLUS+

If you need regularly updated product information and market news in order to:

  • compare evaluations of competing products and keep up-to-date with the latest market developments
  • understand the strengths and weaknesses of your own products and those of your competitors
  • enhance your product development

then Decision Maker PLUS+ is for you. In addition to all the elements of the Decision Maker service, you’ll receive:

Product Evaluations – continuously updated for a whole year. As new releases become available, we will update our product evaluations to keep them current. We will also evaluate significant new products as they are released. Subscribers to Decision Maker PLUS+ will receive evaluations of 2 additional products in the course of their subscription.

Annual Market Forecast – Ovum's expert analysts forecast market development, predicting how sections of the market will grow or decline, and identifying the key factors behind this movement. Ovum's Annual Forecast provides you with the insight you need to plan your business strategy.

Regular UpdatesOvum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systemswill bring you regular updates on product and market developments to ensure that you will stay informed in this fast-moving technology area.

Telephone enquiry service – speak directly to the Ovum Evaluates: Corporate Financial Systems analyst team for additional information and advice when you need it.

Products evaluated

Agresso AS Agresso Financials
Baan Baan Financials
Great Plains Dynamics
Intentia Movex
JBA System 21
JD Edwards OneWorld
Lawson Insight
Navision Navision Financials
Oracle Oracle Financials
PeopleSoft PeopleSoft Financials
QSP QSP Financials
Scala International Scala Financials
Systems Union SunAccount

Because we publish and fully explain the criteria we use, you can easily apply these testing evaluations to products not covered in this report - allowing you to ask vendors more informed and penetrating questions.

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