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  SAP Business One or getting your ERP implemented internationally

Andrew Karasev

It might be unpleasant surprise when you discover that accounting software implemented in the headquarters is not available in the foreign language user interface. Another surprise may strike you when you discover that there is strict business related legislation and your subsidiary located down there has to be in compliance. Welcome to the world of multinational corporations and international business! It is intuitively clear that software vendors have to advertise their products and stick to the markets where they can do reasonable (or better maximal) profit. If somewhere in Asia the efforts to prepare the package are too high then the vendor might decide to stay away. Good news is that likely major ERP brands will have to offer their products worldwide or at least in major world areas. Our recommendation is to see executive and technology presentations from such leaders as SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics and Sage. Let’s try to organize the rest of this discussion in the form of live questions and answers that we got so far:

Q. Why should we care about details if our vendor indicated that software supports Spanish client interface? There are taxes which should be similar worldwide as well as we can produce P&L and Balance Sheet for compiling tax filing statements?
A. Well in general the opinion is fair. However the taxation methods are different from country to country. For example here in the United States we have state sales tax. In Europe it is VAT (Value Added Tax which is included in product price and not shown on the separate line on invoice). Some countries require you to report annual and quarterly returns based on federal standard chart of accounts (Russia, Brazilian SPED or Public Digital Bookkeeping to name couple of popular examples). Brazilian SPED needs to be filed electronically and this got to be implemented in your accounting system. These are just to open the list of differences

Q. Then what are the recommendations?
A. Make your homework. There are no miracles. European and US based software companies are making their best in the hosting countries with reasonable efforts to offer their products internationally. You should expect requirements to be covered in these countries. But internationally it might look like ‘catching up’ process. For example if new regulation is made effective in Brazil then it should be reasonable customer base to address it in the software

Q. We have seen Business One demo and have simple question. We are acquiring manufacturing facility in China. Does it support Chinese hieroglyphs?
A. SAP B1 supports Unicode and languages based on hieroglyphs including Chinese, Korean and Japanese. We recommend you also to check with SAP office in each country of destination how many clients they have and if tax compliance is achieved (and could be verified)

Q. We do not like unnecessary publicity on this forum. We are acquiring large production company in Brazil. Could you recommend VAR to implement SAP Business One? To give additional specific we are in the area of Santos and Guaruaja in the state of Sao Paulo
A. First of all we would like to note that SAP B1 is localized in Brazil including such complex requirements as SPED (Public Digital Bookkeeping). We could do the job but we do not like the idea of unfair competition. So do your homework to locate the best consulting firm

Q. We have just acquired mining operations in Siberia Russian Federation. Our primary goals are to retain control over finances and accounting. We have seen that B1 is available in Russian. This is great news but how about government approved chart of accounts and printing such tax filing statements as Balance. We also heard about issues with printing bank money transfer ‘platezhka’
A. Try to think about B1 as ERP concept which has limited features in RF compliance documents printing. If compliance is a great concern then consider composing Balance in Excel or translating GL to 1C Accounting and print tax filing documents set from there

Please call us 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904, help@efaru.com. We have local presence in Chicagoland, Southern California, Atlanta Georgia, South West Michigan, Houston and Dallas areas of Texas. We serve customers USA and Canada nationwide and internationally via web sessions and phone conferences (Skype is welcomed). We are working on Brazilian ERP consulting market in Sao Paulo since 2004

Andrew Karasev is SAP BO consultant and Great Plains Certified Master, MVP, help@efaru.com 1-866-304-3265, 1-269-605-4904. He is also the initiator of eFaru project http://www.efaru.com and founder of Alba Spectrum information space

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