ERPs and accountants' expertise: The construction of relevance

Heba El Sayed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose - This articulation sets out to focus on the mechanisms and dynamics of "expertise constitution" where it is understood as an "accomplishment" or an "achievement". This understanding appears to be an important step in studying the interrelation of accountants and ICTs, while avoiding the traditional de-skilling or empowering accounts of technologies that still inform much of the current debate on the uses of ICTs. Design/methodology/approach - The paper, using accountants and enterprise resource planning systems in Egypt as an example, illustrates how ERP represents an opportunity for accountants to assert their expertise and to produce new identities for themselves by acting as the spokesperson of technology and by promoting claims of expertise in terms of identifying what is required for ERP to work in their companies. Findings - Finds that there is no dilution of expertise in relation to ICTs; rather, some accountants are promoting themselves as a group of relevant experts in deriving benefits from these systems. Rather than a threat, accountants mobilize the advent of ERP as an occasion where their skills and their accounting knowledge are represented as important for the proper functioning of these technologies. Originality/value - This paper is seen to contribute to the existing literature, by addressing calls for the study of the relation between ICT in general and ERP in particular, and accountants' expertise, and offering a different conceptualisation of their interrelationship. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Enterprise Information Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Accountants
  • Case studies
  • Communication technologies
  • Egypt
  • Manufacturing resource planning
  • Skills


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