How to determine if real estate is over-priced?

Real Estate in India has had a very long bull run in India. Some people feel it is high priced other feel it is still undervalued.

Two indicators that can be used to determine this are 1) Price to Rental Ratio and 2) Demand Supply gap, 3) Spread between buy and sell rates for the same property and 4) Return from real estate sector vis a vis other investments.

Price to rental ratio is a good indicator to gauge valuations in real estate irrespective of nature of property. This is somewhat similar to price to earnings ratio in stock market. Higher price to earnings ratio means that the company’s returns are lower vis a vis a price. A higher ratio would be sustainable only if the company grows at a high rate and delivers higher earnings in future. A higher price to rental ratio would indicate the same. If a property has a rental to price ratio of 3%, then it would have to deliver another 2-3 percent in capital appreciation or price appreciation to match returns of Fixed Deposits.

Capital appreciation is a function of demand and supply gap. In a country like India, demand supply gap varies for different cities or geographies and for different segments within a geography. The demand may not only be a function of demand for use but could also come from demand for investment which could arise due to excess liquidity, under-valuation. Real estate for a long time was also favourite of investors. Easy liquidity may also create asset bubbles.

Another indicator for stability of the market could be the difference in purchase and selling price. Taking stock market as an example, there was a time when market had “jobbers”. The role of jobber was to provide both buy and sell quote for a scrip. The difference between the quotes indicated stability of the market and turnover of stock. Higher the turnover and stability, lower was the difference between buy and sell quotes. Lower the turnover, higher was the difference. Some of the cities under Delhi NCR reflect the same where brokers provide two very different quotes for the same property.

The third and final angle for triangulation is to remember that real estate is also an asset class and just like other asset classes. It cannot beat the market consistently. Over a period of time, all asset prices end up giving similar kind of returns especially after adjustment for risk. Some of the assets like real estate and gold may not show high fluctuations, unlike stock markets. A comparison of returns across financial assets also gives us a good idea about how much returns can we expect from an asset class over the years. Real estate is no exception. Please see the charts below to see returns from different asset classes in US and India.

If we draw similar chart for India, Equity has given returns of 17%, with real estate at 15%. The bonds and Gold have returned lesser returns than both these asset classes.

We can use Noida as an example to see how we can use the above triangulation points.

If we look at residential sector in Noida. The land prices peaked around 2014-15. At that time, the price to rental ratio was more than 50 years (ranging from 50-55 years, depending on sector). The prices have come down around 30% of the peak rates. The flats have seen marginal increase in rates.

At current prices, Noida has a price to rental ratio of around 45% with the rental income ranging from 1.5-2.5% in the city. With banks offering FD rates of around 6%, either the rentals should increase to that level or rental returns should be supplemented with increase of prices. The price increase should be more than 3.5%.

If we look at the demand-supply situation, the city has a population of around 1.1 million which is growing at a rate of round 8-10% p.a. That implies adding roughly 100,000 persons every year. Assuming a family size of 4, the total demand would be roughly 25,000-35,000 every year. But the real estate in the city is not focussed on EWS which would be roughly 40% of the population. If we take out 40% population which is not target of builders, the additional demand each year would be roughly 15,000-20,000 flats (assuming a family size of 4).

This translates to roughly 4.5 years of demand. This does not include inventory held by investors who are looking to sell their properties. Now with economic conditions deteriorating due to Corona, the demand will come down further. Given the demand-supply, the prices should not increase. The only way, current investors can get a return of 6% is if the prices come down further and rental to price returns equal 6% for the next 4-5 years.  Hence, we can say that residential real estate is overpriced in Noida. The same framework can be used to evaluate prices in Industrial and commercial sector.

Empowered teams are the way to go

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A major change eCommerce has brought to business is increased transparency. It has moved the markets closer to perfect markets by making information available at a click of button. Take sites like Trivago which make price comparisons so easy and help consumer choose best option at lowest price. People can compare brands and choose the best deal. The competitive market also ensures that companies are under tremendous cost pressure and hence cannot make super normal profits. The companies have to redesign and re-work on their strategies as mentioned earlier in https://rajneeshrastogi.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/changing-management-paradigms/.

The classical management solutions will not help companies beat markets in this new age. The companies would need better products and cost-effective operations. More importantly the companies would not be able to beat the market using their strategic advantages but will also have to rely on making use of tactical or short-term opportunities in the markets. This would call for faster decision making. Many of the decision calls may not allow sufficient time for the people in the field to wait for while the information goes up and decision comes down. This makes a case for devolution of decision making to the people in the field. Since, teams collectively take better decisions than individuals, it would be better to delegate decision making to teams.

These self-managed teams would take responsibility for their performance and take their own decisions. The responsibility of the senior managers would be to provide conditions that facilitate such decision making. Some of the enablers for empowered teams are ( please also see https://rajneeshrastogi.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/building-football-teams-at-work/)

We are now seeing a trend where some of the companies have adopted this. Harvard Business Review in its recent edition has carried the story “Harnessing Everyday Genius” and explains how Jean-Michel Guillon, head of personnel department and Bertrand Ballarin worked together and launched their project MAPP (Autonomous management of performance and progress) in summer of 2012 with the aim of redistributing authority and creating empowered teams.  

Some of the other companies, mentioned in HBR are

  • Nucor: An American steel maker that allows operating crews to take responsibility for business development, capital planning, product innovation, process improvement etc.
  • Buurtzorg: Dutch health care service provider which is organized into more than 900 self- managing teams.
  • Svenska Handelsbanken:  A Swedish bank that treats each of its branches as standalone business. Branch teams take on decisions on credit, loan rates, deposits, customer communications and staffing levels.

Holacracy is another concept that operates with similar organizations. Lot of companies today are adopting Holacracy. Zappos is one of the largest companies to adopt Holacracy. Some other companies that have created self-managed teams are Morning Star, a ketchup manufacturing company and W.L. Gore, a material science company that specialises in PTFE (Teflon). The movement is now gathering critical mass and snow balling into a revolution.

Roman Empire teaches us importance of culture and values in building great companies

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Roman Empire lasted some five centuries and at its height spanned from England to most of Europe, stretching from England to Greece, North Africa, West Asia. Romans dominated Mediterranean Sea. More importantly it was known as Empire without an end, that is neither the time nor space limited it. The empire became a role model for other empires and rulers. It changed the world. For example, Britain was a geography with multiple smaller kingdoms. Each group thought the piece (of land) that they had was their own. There was no political unity until Romans brought them under one rule. There by, in a way, Roman empire created Britain.
Interestingly we do have companies that have survived five hundred years but they are not widely known. The oldest one, Kongo Gumi, was setup in Japan in 578 A.D., within 100 years of decline of Roman Empire. Studying about Roman Empire made me realise importance of culture and its contribution in making companies great. Some of the cultural aspects that companies can adopt are:
1. Cultural Integration –
a. Governance structure and rules – Everywhere in Roman Empire the governance structures and rules were the same. The rules were inscribed on the walls of public buildings so that everyone could read them. Most companies today put their policies, processes and procedures on intranet for the same reason. To be consistent, the companies ensure that policies are interpreted the same way by everyone.
b. Architecture – Whole of Roman empire had distinctive architecture- grand community buildings such as amphitheatres, baths, forums, race tracks etc. These buildings fostered a feeling of being Roman. It would not be uncommon to find these buildings even in Algeria, part of which was once part of Roman Empire. While on one hand Romans built typical Roman buildings in acquired territories, they also replicated the best of what the acquired territory had to offer to Rome.
c. Citizenship Rights – All romans had same citizenship rights irrespective of which territory they came from. Hence a slave who was granted Roman citizenship, had same rights that any other citizen of Rome had. This is also important in companies especially now that we have multi-national companies with people of different religions, regions, colour and genders. Companies make HR policies for harassment and to prevent sexist or racist comments. But these are not inclusive actions, inclusiveness is attained by giving even minorities equal voice as Romans did.
2. Core Values
a. Inclusiveness – Romans did not force the territories to adopt their lifestyle or language. They adopted and included them, e.g.
i. Religion and Gods – Romans had multiple Gods. They included gods of acquired territories within fold of their Gods. At times, even giving them joint name for example Goddess Senua (of Britain) became Goddess Minerva Senua. The relationship with God was similar across the empire.
ii. Language – Though Roman and Greek were official languages, all the acquired territories were free to use their language.
3. Decisions made on Merit and Democracy – Romans had emperor but also had senate and four assemblies and local groups. The assemblies or different bodies met at Forum; a building built through out Roman empire. Candidates were selected by citizens who were allowed to vote. This promoted a system of merit since, as mentioned aforehand, Romans had strict and very defined rules on governance. This allowed even slaves to graduate and become Roman citizens. Similarly, anyone could become an Emperor. Their emperors did not come from Rome but from Spain, North Africa, Syria, Balkans etc. The citizenship to Roman Empire had to be earned. For example, soldiers could become citizens by completing twenty-five years of service or performing exemplary act of valour in the battlefield.
4. Role of women – Women played important role in Roman society not only in trade and craftmanship but also in royal household. For example, Livia, wife of Augustus, built buildings, organized religious festivals and reached out to other women. She was not an exception and many of the emperors had influential wives, mistresses, mothers and even mothers-in law. The companies are also now increasingly being gender conscious. More and more women managers are breaking glass ceilings.
If Roman Empire was great, it was because Romans developed a culture of discipline, inclusiveness, democracy and merit. One of the reasons for decline of Roman Empire was in-fighting between Romans over religious beliefs with advent of Christianity which believed in One God instead of multiple Gods (Core beliefs and values were being questioned). Today, when the work has become complex and inter-dependencies within roles has increased, when most companies are now promoting team work, these values (of inclusiveness, promoting merit, being democratic and discipline) have become even more important. The founders have to work on it from the day one. True to the saying, ‘Rome was not built in a day’, a company’s culture too cannot be developed in a year. It is a continuous process. Any IBMer would tell you that !( https://www.ibm.com/blogs/jobs/2018/12/20/i-think-therefore-i-am-an-ibmer/).

Design Thinking and Town Planning

The other day Mr. Ratan Tata mentioned that developers should be ashamed of creating slums. He is very correct in many ways. But the problem of slums has more to do with town planning than with developers. Take example of Noida which has been developed by a PSU, a UP government agency. The sector in which I live in, Sector 119, itself has provision for roughly 5000 HIG families. There are adjoining sectors which would also have similar number of flats. All these flats would need atleast 1 support staff each. But has NOIDA Authority provided for it? The support staff like drivers, maids, guards live in two adjoining villages. As the occupancy in these flats goes up, the load on villages will increase and I would not be surprised if we would see other NItharis developing in Noida. Interestingly Noida was supposed to be an industrial township. Any factory or industry would have a pyramid. With more of workers, fewer managers and may be very few owner(s) at top. Hence the housing facilities should reflect that pyramid structure with LIGs and EWS at the bottom and HIGs and Super HIGs at the top of pyramid. Design thinking can be used everywhere. Be it designing towns or designing Business Processes.

Click on link below and watch the Powerpoint Show
Design Thinking and Town Planning

Reviews – are key to learning and success

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Most business owners are involved in all aspects of their business and know every small thing in their business. That’s like knowing the wood or in other words, knowing all trees intimately in a jungle. That’s why most business owners get flummoxed when told that they should conduct reviews. The typical response being, why do I need reviews when I already know everything in my business?

A review allows us an opportunity to detach ourselves from the business and look at it from a distance. While engaged in day to day operations, we are getting a 30 feet view of our business, a review helps us step backward and get a 30,000 feet view of our business. We are able to see the forest instead of trees. Hence we get a more holistic view of our business. For example, how our credit policy is affecting not only our sales but also our cash flow.

Periodic Reviews also help us gauge scale of movement and hence provide inputs in planning course correction(s) and in gauging impact of new initiative(s). For example, how costs have changed in last few years.

A review would typically start with a comparison. Mostly it is comparison of budget vs actuals. The review could also be a comparison of performance in current period with that of a past period. Most organizations use budget vs actuals for reviews. This helps them gauge progress against plan. It also allows companies to revisit assumptions that they made in their plans. The assumptions could be related to any aspect of sales or costs. For example, percentage bids won or lost, number of inquiries generated or average order size.  This allows companies to revise their assumptions and make course corrections.

Good planning processes and reviews allow managers to zero in on problem areas and move from 30,000 feet to 30 feet. This reduces there day to day involvement in operations and allows them to delegate.

Given the importance of reviews, it is important that they are conducted in a friendly and positive atmosphere, are scheduled on regular periodic intervals. Most importantly, they should be structured in a way that they help us learn and take action.

Some ground rules for review meeting

  1. Psychological safety – for a meaningful review, it is important that employees feel comfortable in speaking up. It is important that employer provides a psychological safety. As Amy Edmondson, Professor at Harvard says, “Psychological safety is a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes.”
  2. Everyone has equal voice. Everyone can raise an issue and respond to an issue. Listen with an open mind and remember that everyone’s experience is valid.
  3. Don’t make it personal, don’t take it personally.
  4. Avoid blame game. Take learnings and think of improvements. Look forward and Think Positive

 

Structure of reviews

It is necessary to ask three questions in reviews

1 . What has worked for us?  What is it that we need to do more?

  1. What did not work for us? What is that we should change or avoid doing?
  2. What should be next steps? What should be our action plan with time frame?

Plan and review. Your business will go places.

Al Qaeda – Demonstrating team based organizations

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With the advent of Information Technology, the business has become very competitive. Technology has led to disruption. Today aggregators like Uber, Zomato are disrupting markets for automobiles by taking away reasons to own a car. Competitors are quick to respond to strategic initiatives making everyone fight for tactical advantages. This requires a new way of structuring organisations, working and communications. The organisations of today are competing not only with their traditional competitors but also with start-ups. They are competing not only for customers but also to retain skills and talent. They have to work at speed with inter-dependencies. They cannot afford bureaucracy. The only way they can achieve this is by developing team based organizations. (https://rajneeshrastogi.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/team-based-on-organisations-a-new-organisation-structure/ )

Al Qaeda, though a terrorist organization, is a very good example of it. Organizations and management Gurus can learn from Al Qaeda on how to structure their operations and be effective.   Al Qaeda has functions similar to most corporates have. It has to raise funds, recruit zehadis (employees in another sense), induct and train its manpower, market itself and publicise its acts. Most importantly it has to carry out its work clandestinely so confidentiality is very important.

Al Qaeda, like most corporates, has a distributed structure with its operations across countries. It is continuously trying to increase its global footprint. It works across multiple languages and cultures. Its leadership is also distributed across countries. Al Qaeda is able to achieve its objectives due to its innovative structure and the fact that its recruits (or employees) are aligned with its purpose (however flawed it may be) and committed enough to lay their lives for the purpose (thanks to its recruitment, induction and training systems).

Structure of Al Qaeda

Al Qaeda is structured around teams and committees.  The leader of Al Qaeda consults and works with Shura, which means “Consultation” in Arabic. The Quran and Prophet Muhammad encourage Muslims to decide their affairs in consultation with those who will be affected by that decision. Consultation and decision making by consensus are the basic principles of democracy. Shura is committee of elders and all major decisions are taken in it.

Al Qaeda has committees for military operations, finance and information sharing. Its leaders communicate with its affiliates through these committees.  There are no hierarchical controls.  It works on system of role and responsibility and not hierarchy. An undated document, believed to have been written in the late 1980s or early 1990s, provides an extensive description of the roles and responsibilities of each of Al-Qaeda’s committees and sections. (https://www.hudson.org/research/14365-how-al-qaeda-works-the-jihadist-group-s-evolving-organizational-design).

Decision Making

Al Qaeda leaders are focussed on strategy and messaging or communications. The messages have to be consistent and aligned to strategy. The affiliates plan and execute their own operations. They do need to double check with central leadership before they carry out a large operation.

The affiliates adhere to its strategy, objectives and goals, but adopt tactical approach based on the local dynamics.

Al Qaeda is demonstrating how to operationalize key principles of team based structures:

  1. Operations delegated to teams with Board focussing on Purpose, Values, Strategy and Accountability
  2. Hierarchy and designations replaced by roles and responsibilities. Some roles could be more important than others.
  3. Tap on to entrepreneurship of its workforce by allowing them to take initiatives, fail and learn from their mistakes.
  4. Allow everyone (in team) to participate in discussions they feel are important for them. Give them a voice and a chance to shape those discussions.

We may not agree with the purpose of Al Qaeda and its acts. But we have to acknowledge that they have shown the way how the future organizations would be. That is Organizations where Boards will lay down the purpose, values and accountability structures while they would delegate operational responsibilities such as planning, implementation, monitoring and control to the teams.

Learning Organization: Structures that facilitate learning

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There is an idiom in English language. “All good things must come to an end”. That is nothing great will last forever. And so it is with civilisations, countries and organizations including companies. Civilisations like Greek, Indian and Egypt have lost their status and so have countries like England, France and Germany. Tom Peters and Robert Waterman researched and put together a list of organizations that they said were excellent (Please refer to the book “In Search of Excellence”). They put together a list of companies they felt were great but by the end of 10 years, 7 out of 10 companies had lost their status. Companies like Nokia, Firestone and Toshiba which were industry leaders are now struggling to survive.

A key question that keeps on bugging us is that can we design Learning Organisations? Smart machines are machines that can think, that is they can process new data and adapt themselves based on the incoming data. Can we, human beings design organisations that change with time?

This should be feasible provided we can break “The Trap of Success”. Success is the biggest block to learning. Success reinforces our mind-sets and reinforces our beliefs. It makes us repeat what we did before in a changing environment while the competitors try new things and hence one day competitors overtake successful companies till the time, another company comes and changes the rules of the game. How can companies avoid this trap?

The key to avoiding trap of success is to keep on questioning our mind-sets especially the mental models that helped us win. We all are more comfortable with and like people who share our mental models. But this creates a trap. Its like everyone is looking in same direction and the group fails to watch its back. We all have blinders, a group with same set of blinders would fail to look at 360 degrees.

The easiest way to look at 360 degrees is by allowing a diverse group of people to challenge our mindsets. That is have teams of peers with no hierarchy so that people can challenge each other’s mindsets and the team would not only be taking optimal decisions but would also be creative or innovative. For this we need to structure an organization around teams (https://rajneeshrastogi.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/team-based-on-organisations-a-new-organisation-structure/ )

Teams allow us to develop an organisation without hierarchy and where people can question each other and challenge each other’s mindsets. This not only improves quality of decision making in the teams but also makes them more creative and innovative. Teams built around roles and without hierarchy would encourage people to take on roles of others just like in a game of football or basket- ball unlike Cricket where the captain takes all the decisions (https://rajneeshrastogi.wordpress.com/2017/03/18/building-football-teams-at-work/). An unlikely fallout of it is increased ownership of employees, which in a competitive market is a big advantage.

We can design a learning organization by designing an organization around teams and

  • building a culture where people affected by a decision or people taking a decision can participate in decision making. Decision making is by and large by consensus.
  • Providing psychological safety to staff and assuring them that they would not be punished for calling out if they are affected by a decision or in a discussion, and https://rajneeshrastogi.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/indian-experience-with-democracy-2/
  • promoting diversity. Diversity not only in demographics but also diversity in thoughts.
  • Processes that facilitate team members to cooperate and collaborate and not compete with each other.

Is that all what we need to develop learning organizations? There is more to it but then teams is a good starting point.

Why SMEs find it difficult to scale up

After working with SMEs for last few years, one of the reasons why most SMEs are not able to scale up their operations is because the day is usually spent in firefighting. A typical day may start at 8.30 AM or 9.0 AM with messages from customers, vendors etc. By the time, the person reaches his office, his day is almost cut out for him. He has to find resources and soothe his customers. I describe it as “Vicious Circle”

One of the reasons why SMEs struggle is because they lack a team. A team that can take responsibilities and deliver them instead of taking on tasks. This is due to many factors. One is poor risk taking appetite where the entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurs do not want to incur or want to avoid cost of learning. Some are very hands on and find it difficult to delegate. So they typically end up working with under-qualified staff.

But increasingly I am finding that they realise that they have reached the critical mass but now cannot scale up as their employees are not confident to take responsibilities. The cost of new hires with relevant skills becomes a deterrent for the entrepreneur. (S)he is afraid of the new hires not delivering.

This vicious circle can be broken only once the entrepreneur starts developing a business plan. Take time off, reflect and work on the roadmap for next two to three years with an operational plan for the first year. This also provides clarity of thought on manpower and other resources required, expectations from them and a framework ( how to monitor and when to monitor) to gauge company’s progress and monitor performance of the employees. The “Vicious Circle” would not turn to “Virtuous Circle.

Planning, developing robust systems that are customised to the culture they want to develop and needs of their business can help the business men scale their companies.

Simplifying Agile Story Points

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One of my client was struggling with a huge backlog. His teams were not able to prioritise their tasks. The estimations were going haywire and productivity was low. The concept of story points (used in Agile Technologies) did not help them much as it was too abstract for them. Each story or task was different and hence they were not able to relate them in levels of difficulty. Because the idea of story was abstract, it was also not easy for them to compare stories with same points in different sprints.

Then I developed a framework to understand the stories and improve time estimations. The three parameters used were

  1. Understanding of business needs
  2. Complexity of tasks
  3. Difficulty of task and volume of work


The easiest tasks to estimate are the ones that are fully understood both in terms of what the customer wants and in terms of steps to be taken to complete the tasks. A task where the customer himself is not sure of what he wants or a technical task for which the engineer himself is not able to develop a road map would need more time in analysis. Either way the estimations for the time would be way off. Effort and time would be required in analysing and breaking the task into smaller tasks or sub-tasks.

Once the tasks are understood and broken into task with steps needed to accomplish it are defined, the estimations would be a function of difficulty and volume of work.

It works actually like story points does in Agile. The stories can be placed on matrix based on story points. It would be easier to develop time estimates for stories with lower story points and hence they are prioritised to be picked up. The above model can also be used for prioritising projects in case of a clogged pipeline. The teams would also be able to compare stories across sprints based on difficulty level.

Please do wait for an illustrated example of this in next blog post.

ERP does not build systems, It only digitises them

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One of the common quick fix solutions I hear from business owners of small to medium sized entities is to get an ERP installed and it will fix their broken and in some cases, non-existing systems. Their expectation from the technology is that it will bring in the required discipline besides implementing readymade systems. Unfortunately a software is as disciplined as the humans who drive it. In real life, it is common to see people develop work arounds or defeat the systems. For example in one case, salesmen would put a dummy entries with negative value in sales orders when they were close to exhaustion instead of repeating the whole process of creating a new sales order. It is also equally common to see shared passwords, especially in accounts where access to certain data cannot be provided to temporary resources. The most interesting was a case where a person would only make summary entries in ERP and maintain elaborate segment wise books of accounts in Excel.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) started as a material planning software that helped managers in getting real time information in different functional areas such as inventories of raw material, finished goods and work in progress in different stages of production etc. Soon ERPs went beyond database management and integrated key processes such as procurement to payment, order to cash and thereby reducing errors and improving efficiencies.

Different companies have different workflows and business rules depending on how they evolved and developed. A good ERP is flexible enough to accommodate different workflows and procedures. But unfortunately, it also makes such ERPs more complex and expensive. One risk of changing existing systems to suit ERP or utilize specified workflows in ERP is that it may result in loss of competitive advantage. There would also be additional cost of learning a new way of working. A corollary is that ERPs do not help in designing of systems, yes they can offer options that a company can choose provided the implementation agency has the patience to educate.

Before a company goes in for ERP, it would help if it documents its systems. That is, it should have defined workflows, practices, controls such as authorization levels for reviews and approvals. This would not only smoothen the process of implementation but also reduce the number of conversations that end in frustration for both the customer and for the ERP implementing agency. One of the biggest frustration for implementers is reconciling different versions of same process from different stakeholders and verifying that they got it correct.

The key thing that a company has to focus on is how to remove redundancies and avoid duplication of documentation in cross functional processes. For example, in most companies, invoices of vendors are still received in procurement. Procurement department reviews them and then forwards a copy to accounts for payment. Both departments end up storing a copy. A good control will be that invoices are received directly by accounts. Accounts conducts three way match, ideally four way if hard copies are also included, and raises queries, if any. Something similar happens on sales sides, where sales invoices are reviewed by Sales department and then forwarded to the customers. It also generates twice the amount of paper copies.

Business men may want to implement ERPs in their companies for the efficiencies and better controls the software would bring in while equally mindful of the risks of unauthorised practices. ERPs bring in its own set of discipline like respecting access roles and authorisations. It would work better for companies to formulate a cross functional team for implementation of ERPs. The team would document the existing systems, research and work with implementer in configuring so as to minimise customisation.
To recapitulate. Implementing ERP would standardise workflows, improve quality of data, quality of reports, efficiency and collaboration but not checks and balances.

If you are evaluating ERPs, Best of luck.