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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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Why Best Practices Fail

There is a lengthy list of reasons why a best practice installation may not succeed, as noted in the following bullet points. The various reasons for failure can be grouped into a relatively small cluster of primary reasons. The first is lack of planning, which can include inadequate budgeting for time, money, or personnel. Another is the lack of cooperation by other entities, such as the programming staff or other departments that will be impacted by any changes. The final, and most important, problem is that there is little or no effort made to prepare the organization for change. This last item tends to build up over time as more and more best practices are implemented, eventually resulting in the total resistance by the organization to any further change. At its root, this problem involves a fundamental lack of communication, especially to those people who are most impacted by change. When a single implementation is completed without informing all employees of the change, this may be tolerated, but a continuous stream of them will encourage a revolt. In alphabetical order, the various causes of failure are noted as follows:

  • Alterations to packaged software. A very common cause of failure is that a best practice requires changes to a software package provided by a software supplier; after the changes are made, the company finds that the newest release of the software contains features that it must have and so it updates the software—wiping out the programming ...

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