IT Life Radio: Better IT Project Management With Accounting - InformationWeek

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David Wagner
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IT Life Radio: Better IT Project Management With Accounting

The latest episode of IT Life Radio will investigate how accounting practices could help IT projects.

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IT Projects fail at an alarming rate. Some estimates put the rate of failure for IT projects as high as 68%.

It is safe to say that a large percentage of all IT projects fail to deliver on-time and on-budget, and fail to provide the anticipated results. How can you improve your results? Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 2 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT), for the latest episode of IT Life Radio.

According to Karla Sasser, IT could learn a lot from the bean counters in accounting. Sasser has worked in both IT and accounting, and she knows how they take sides. IT gets annoyed at accounting's constant worrying about every penny, and accounting looks at IT as rather haphazard. Here's the thing: As IT and finance get increasingly digitized, the practices of both are starting to overlap. Each can inform the other and both can work smarter and better.

[ These apps will only cost you the time it takes to download them. Read 10 Handy iPhone Apps Worth Downloading. ]

Sasser's book, Friggin' Bean Counters: Navigating the BS Infested Cubicles of the Accounting Department, explores that exact issue. She believes she can help everyone work better. On the next episode of IT Life radio, we'll ask Sasser how accounting can help IT:

  • Get more projects in, on-time and on-budget
  • Learn from the best practices of accounting
  • Make the CFO happier while still delivering the tech IT thinks is best
  • Come together around basic common needs

Sasser is an accomplished internal auditor, accountant, and author with more than 20 years' experience in information technology and accounting. Her areas of expertise include Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, corporate governance, enterprise risk services, and IT auditing.

(Image: Karla Sasser)

(Image: Karla Sasser)

Sasser specializes in helping organizations identify and solve problems involving business processes and controls. She is a licensed certified public accountant (CPA) in Florida and California, a certified information technology professional (CITP), a certified internal auditor (CIA), and a chartered global management accountant (CGMA). Sasser is currently a senior associate with Aviva Spectrum, Inc., of Los Angeles -- a provider of internal audit, SOX compliance, and risk management services on the West Coast.

Tune into the latest episode of IT life radio, Sept. 9 at 2 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT), to learn how to take accounting into account when you plan an IT project.

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, ... View Full Bio
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User Rank: Ninja
9/10/2015 | 12:49:28 AM
Re: IT and Accounting: Not buying it ....
@Technocrati I agree with you. With the accounting background it will be easy to understand the accounting systems. However I am still wondering how accounting can help towards the success of IT projects. 
User Rank: Ninja
9/9/2015 | 11:43:57 PM
IT and Accounting: Not buying it ....

I don't know - I have worked ( labored ) on both sides of this equation and I don't think the two are similar in the least - There does not appear to be anything that is not obvious - Accountants do all their work on computers - that is what they need IT for and I am really not sure what benefit accounting brings to IT, other than to give some tips on getting that budget approved.


I don't see my view changing on this but opposing arguments are ( of course )  welcome.

User Rank: Ninja
9/9/2015 | 2:04:20 AM
The Similarities
It is a great topic because, the similarities between IT and Accounting are overwhelming and difficult to ignore. For instance, both are trying to enable productivity through provisioning resources and/or technology, the functions have created globalization and they has been impacted by globalization, and the functions realize that the future could be missed if greater understanding and integration is not pursued, etc.

An overview of financial professionals' view about the IT environment and the benefits that IT can enable can be found in a report that was created a few months ago by KPMG and ACCA with the title "Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting - An eye on the future". The view is that IT and the cloud is extremely important for businesses and it seems different from the view a few years ago in that only things such as, CRM, etc., can deliver long term value.
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