ERP – Pub row gives SSA a hangover

System Software Associates, the US enterprise software specialist, has been plunged into controversy after an exceptional £8m provision at pub and hotel group Greenalls was blamed partly on an installation of SSA’s financial software, writes Nick Huber.

The dispute emerged last week after Greenalls issued a profit warning for the year to September which sent its share price tumbling, fuelling speculation that the company would become the subject of a takeover.

Greenalls blamed the profit warning on poor trading at Tavern Wholesaling, a drinks wholesaling division, which is expected to make a loss of around £3m before exceptional items in the financial year.

Greenalls said a review of accounting procedures at Tavern had forced it to make an £8m provision partly due to the implementation of the new financial system.

Tavern refused to name the software vendor but a spokeswoman said it was happy with the software and added that errors arose from the way the system was implemented.

Tavern confirmed that SSA’s BPCS application had been installed earlier this year by an SSA reseller.

The controversy surrounding the system will embarrass SSA, which has its European headquarters in Surrey, and specialises in vertical markets.

In May it issued a profit warning for the second quarter, blaming the slowdown in the business applications market.

SSA refused to comment.

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