BBC accounting system under fire

German software company SAP, which last week announced a doubling of third-quarter pre-tax profit, is providing the accounting system as part of the corporation’s Apollo programme.

Because of the complexity of the custom-built SAP system, BBC staff claim that training has been difficult. Thousands of people are currently participating in a mammoth training programme at four locations across London laid on by training provider DA Consulting.

One BBC programme maker told the Sunday Business: ‘This system is difficult to use…you almost need to be a qualified accountant and this is being reflected in the training, which a lot of people are finding very hard.’

But a project insider rebuffed the claim, telling that the training was well paced and that staff ought not to find it hard going.

The project team working to implement the software has been working around the clock to ensure the 25 November deadline for the system is met.

When the Apollo programme was piloted in Scotland more than a year ago, the implementation suffered from delays. It is believed project staff are under pressure to implement the London scheme on time from BBC director-general Greg Dyke, who is a major advocate of the system.

Last month BBC finance director John Smith told sister title Financial Director that SAP was worth hassle.

‘Everyone knows what SAP is like to introduce: very difficult. But I have absolutely no hesitation that it’s the right thing to do,’ said Smith.


Interview: BBC FD John Smith

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