Testing the ERP system. Part 1

    Over the past six months, I have tested ERP systems for the full program. Participated in a review of the Russian market of ERP systems . Interesting things surfaced, I confess to you. And well, if these interests surfaced, if during the review I introduced myself on behalf of the editors of the publication, which this review conducted. But we intentionally made it so that I introduced myself on behalf of a completely real client. That is, he was in the shoes of the most natural client and saw everything with his own eyes. I won’t tell you the details of the review, they can be read on the pages of the publication (as the review comes out, I’ll post it). The conclusion is simple - you have to be prepared for the fact that they will try to “deceive you a little”. I will try to give some recommendations so that this does not happen.

    So, you are a company representative and your task is to choose the product that suits you best to automate your tasks.

    Well, firstly, do not think that this issue can be resolved in a couple of hours. It takes 6-10 hours to conduct quality testing and product research accompanied by a representative. I have.

    A universal testing method that would relieve you of the risks by 100%, I think not. But, nevertheless, there are some tips that will help reduce these risks. Let's talk about some of the functional capabilities of erp-systems, which I would classify as fundamental, on which everything else is built. We will not talk here about complex algorithms and all kinds of “tricks”, since their testing must be approached with special training and this is not easy to do. Let's try to make sure that the system has normal tools for accounting, analysis and workflow.

    Own firms

    On behalf of how many legal entities do you work? If on behalf of one, then this is one, but if on behalf of two, then this is much more complicated. We are testing.

    To get started, simply ask to show the place where these same "their" legal entities are entered. Where the general and chief accountants are entered, where "their" bank accounts are entered. Ask just to bring it all with you. Now do a little test. Ask for a bill. In the invoice, indicate the same "your" company that you just brought. Ask to display the invoice form. Carefully check this form, make sure that it really is “your” company, and not the one that is “pinned with nails” to the form. Surnames of the general and the chief accountant in place?

    It would not be out of place to verify that the system supports a simplified taxation system. List your company that is not a VAT payer. Now write a bill from her. Is there VAT on the form?

    An even more complicated case is different VAT for different goods. Food, toys. If you have this, then ask to include such a product in the program and see where it is indicated. Write an invoice, check the VAT.


    When you start the system, you need to start the numbering of invoices and invoices from some number. Where is this number indicated in the system? Ask to show, make a shipment, make sure that the number is correct, i.e. next to the one you specified in the settings.

    Write out the next invoice, but from your other company, make a shipment (or if you can without an account, then ship without an account). Look at the invoice and its number. For each of its firms, the numbering of set invoices and invoices should be independent! That is, the number of this second of your invoice should be completely different than the first invoice (and not differ from it by one).

    Carefully study the invoice form itself. Will you give such a customer? Is it full normally? Are all the details in place?

    A little nuance with invoices. There is such a requisite “To the payment and settlement document”, this is the number of the payment order and its date. Customers really do not like it when this attribute is not filled. Make sure it works. It's simple. Let's say your invoice is dated 01.07.2009. Make a payment order dated 06/30/2009 and look at the invoice. Is there a number and date? And now the test is more complicated. Make a payment order dated 07/05/2009. And again we look at the invoice. If filled, then bad. Of course, only payment orders that were before shipment, and not after, should be reflected here, because the invoice cannot know what will happen in the future. And if the client paid twice, first before shipment, and then part of the money after, then in the invoice should be only the first payment.

    Ask to show bargaining-12, carefully check all the details. If the presenter answers the question “Where is the half of the details?” They are simply not filled, then ask them to fill in and show again. In general, it is very strange that the system allows you to print semi-blank forms of strict reporting.

    Now we are testing the breakdown of invoice items by lot and customs declaration. It is better for this to bring a new product. So it will be clearer. We make a simple procedure. We make two purchases, in one we indicate one customs declaration, in the other the other. And now we issue a bill to the client for all purchased goods and ship. We look at the invoice and we observe two lines there, just with those GTE which indicated.

    Well, so that you do not relax, I will give a fragment of one testing history:
    Accounting GTE. So, I asked to buy the goods and indicate in the delivery of the cargo customs declaration. Indicated. Then he asked to make a sale and look at the invoice. And here is the most interesting. They made a shipment, the very customs declaration was in the invoice, but the country was completely different from that indicated in the delivery. That is, the one that is indicated in the classifier for this product, which is not related to delivery. Is a potential customer paying attention to this “trifle”? Of course not.

    So, as the “thimbles” said, we look carefully - we win necessarily.

    We are going further. Customers

    I think many have come across a situation where a client has several legal entities. So let's check whether the system understands this or not. For starters, why is this needed. I think if this post is read by a person who worked with clients, he will understand. Here you have a client, he has three legal entities. Today he bought the goods from you according to one of his lawyers, and tomorrow it will be different. The backfill question - what is the customer's receivable equal to?
    This is for your accountant absolutely “violet” the real receivable of “the whole” client, but you are of course interested in the total, that is, for the client as a whole, and not for each of his legal entities separately. By the way, about the accountant. Ask the guys to show you how to make a reconciliation act from the program. And there it is just that everything should be strictly for each legal entity of the client separately.

    And now ask to bring in a new client, and to him two legal entities. Make a shipment, see the invoice. Is there no mention of the name of the client itself anywhere? Only the names of jur. persons? Well, thank God, otherwise everything happens in life. I’ll give a fragment from testing below, to make it clearer. Make shipment to the second legal entity. Now ask to show the receivables for the client as a whole. It should be equal to the sum of these two shipments. Yes, another nuance. It would be nice if from this place where you just showed the total debt, it was clear by which shipments it was formed.

    Well, I will not dwell on any CRM functionality here. I think this is not difficult to verify on your own. The main thing is to look carefully.

    A little more logistics. Here is the customer billed. There is a certain product in the amount of 10 pcs. Need to ship 5 pcs. from the warehouse, and send the remaining 5 to the purchase. Well, the customer was unlucky and not enough. It happens to everyone.

    It’s clear that it’s convenient when you can see both from the card of a client just specially made for you, and also just the two entered accounts for his two legal entities. Check this economy. As well as from the supplier’s card, see orders for the goods, invoices from him, invoices, etc.

    Another interesting nuance. How does the system block users' access to changing the details of the document after shipment? Let them show you this locking mechanism. So we shipped the goods, of course, the system should block the possibility of changing important details of the transaction. Who can now correct the price of a product or counterparty in a document? Well, anything happens, suddenly you need to fix it? So what's now? Roll back everything, or, nevertheless, someone with very big rights can fix it? Correct the price and see the invoice. Of course, no reasonable person will correct the price on the invoice from the last quarter, but if this is only yesterday’s shipment and you negotiated a little with the client, then why not fix it?

    By the way, about the last quarter. And how is data access blocked in this very last quarter? Ask to show and demonstrate what really cannot be fixed. When you have 3 people in your company, you can agree on what you can and cannot do. And when you are 30, it’s difficult to agree. Need a system.

    And here is a fragment from testing one very famous ERP system:
    So, the most interesting thing began when I asked to show the auction-12. And I saw there, as a payer, for some reason, the name of the client itself, and not a legal entity. How is this possible? After all, the name of the client is simply the common name of your partner. How can it appear in official documents? I asked to remove this oversight and as the payer indicate the name of the legal entity, and not the name of the client. And here it all became clear. This legal entity immediately ceased to have at least some relation to our client. This means that when operating XXX, you have to choose. Or you will not be able to control the financial performance of the client as a whole or you will not be able to generate primary documents from XXX.

    A little bit about purchases.

    Where can I see what I should buy? Here I am, a purchasing manager at the factory. Thousands of components. At the same time, the company may feel the need to buy hundreds, maybe thousands of items? Here’s how I can understand what I should buy now in the first place, what’s in the second, and what I don’t need to buy at all, because it can wait? In short, the procurement schedule in the studio!

    We won’t complicate the simplest chain, but they will say that some crazy people made up the requirements ... You placed an order with the supplier, you were billed, you paid it, then the goods were brought to you. Make sure that at least such a simple chain works.

    We place the order to the supplier, we enter the second (so far simply manual). In response to both of these orders, the supplier issues us one invoice. We look at this. Where can I see for which orders it is formed? Where can I see in the orders, what invoice was issued to us in response to these orders? Do orders change their statuses after the formation of accounts on them? How, looking at an order, to understand that it has been processed and in response to it we have been billed (invoice)? Ask how to print a power of attorney to receive the above cargo? Look at her, how full is she? Will you have to indicate half of the details with a ballpoint pen?

    Simple situation: you have started operating the system. A bunch of orders to suppliers, hundreds. Here's how to understand on this list which orders are processed and which are not? If there is any order status, how does it change? Automatically or how? Maybe some colors, or something else?

    Further, the supplier’s invoice (invoice) must be paid. Or after delivery to pay, here it is different, but this is not important. Here you are the purchasing manager. How and to whom will you report that it would be nice to pay your bill? Specifically, what and where will you enter, and who and where will it see? Follow this procedure. Surely, in normal companies, payments to suppliers go through the approval process by the management (logistics or financial director, it doesn’t matter), and ask them to show how exactly this happens.

    In general, when testing the system, remember the main thing - you are looking not just at some product for personal use, but at the corporate information system in which all your employees will work. And it is very important that the system provides information transfer. Many developers miss this point, and then you should disentangle by email and phone, thus transmitting information from the unit to the unit.

    Bill paid. You are being transported cargo. But there is a nuance. This harmful provider broke the bill into two invoices. I brought one today, and the second will be delivered next week (in Russia this happens, less often in the West, but it happens that orders are divided into several invoices). Ask to reflect this trouble. Yes, do not forget to include the delivery price in the invoice price. And who exactly provided you this delivery, I want to know? And where is it visible, who provided it? And where is it visible that the delivery is provided and you received documents on it? And where is the debt to the one who provided the delivery? You haven’t paid for it yet ...

    Again about communications. How will the purchasing manager inform the storekeeper (especially if there are several warehouses), what kind of cargo should be expected and when?

    Factory (serial) numbers.

    Some companies that supply sophisticated equipment that needs maintenance and warranties want to consider serial numbers. I will not go into subtleties here, but just give some advice. Here you have shipped the goods. Where, after shipment, can I see which serial numbers are shipped?
    Another test is this. Open the general list of serial numbers. Seen in the serial number, where is he generally located now? Ask to show the history of the movement of a particular number, that is, where they bought, according to which document, from which supplier, to whom they sold, on what account (order), etc.

    And generally through accounting. There is an invoice (order, it doesn’t matter) where the goods are shipped. How can I see the batch (or serial number, if they are kept) from which this product is shipped? Who is the supplier of this batch?

    INof the next part, we continue to test the warehouse, finances, contracts, “deliveries to order” and something else.

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