NEXT SUB-SECTION: The Product Catalogue -- an Essential Element of any Precision Configuration >>>
Underpinning the Cubic Business Model are a suite of highly structured taxonomies relating to the Divisions, Locations, Functions and Accounts
Each is designed from a Fundamental First Principles perspective to accurately model the business from a strategic executive perspective focused on the essence of the business and how it thrives and each uses highly structured taxonomies to ensure that the strategic focus of the Executive Team is accurately captured in the logic of the Master Chart such that the Master Chart can be rolled up typically over about five to ten levels of hierarchy permitting a highly summarized view to be instantly exploded into a highly detailed view with a strong executive strategic focus
The following diagram shows the headline summary of a Chart of Accounts for a relatively small enterprise:
Selective drill down to detail on the same chart of accounts is as follows
Note the very specific conventions in terms of indents, coding, delimiters, trailing periods, etc
Every one of these conventions has been developed and refined over a period of more than 20 years to arrive at an extremely powerful approach to configuring the General Ledger in a highly effective and powerful strategic manner with the correct facilitation
Contrast the above example with the following example of one of the worst Charts of Accounts Dr Robertson has seen
Notice the lack of logic
Account descriptions that could be Assets or Expenses
Account bins that are huge and run to huge volumes of transactions on a monthly basis
This client declined to go with JAR&A, went with a big brand Accounting Firm allied consultancy and have now shut up shop where they could potentially have been highly profitable today if they had gone with your approach
The principles that Dr Robertson has developed really are THAT fundamentally differentiated
Contact us to see how we can assist you to develop a high value Chart of Accounts James@James-A-Robertson-and-Associates.com
The headlines of the approach are as follows:
1. Proven concept since 1990
The basic principles were discovered in 1987 when building a very tightly integrated ERP solution from the ground up.
The more detailed principles of the Group Consolidation approach and the Cubic Business Model were developed during a 1,000 hour Research and Development project in 1990.
The full approach to hierarchical coding was refined and polished during a systems project in 1992.
The overall approach was applied highly successfully at V3 Consulting Engineers in 1991 / 92 – see separate white paper case study Benefits of Management Info Syst.pdf and then in a Group Consolidation Chart of Accounts for Rennies Group, see separate case study Information Architecture for FIS.pdf
The approach as currently advocated has been refined further in the last two years with clients including Foodcorp, MoreGolf, Kangra Mining, Autocast and Transport Holdings.
2. Consolidation at the “touch of a button”
The logic of the code design enables the production of a consolidated enterprise wide view of the financial data simply by loading all Trial Balances into a single database. At present there is a third party database available and we are currently extending the software to create much richer functionality with primary focus being monthly rich consolidated financial reporting and analysis – see point 7.
3. Slice and dice, drill-down and roll-up in the data
The highly structured, very precise hierarchical taxonomies that define the different dimensions of the code scheme ensure that the ability to slice and dice, drill-down and roll-up the model are inherent in the data codes themselves thus freeing resources for much more sophisticated analysis, modeling and planning than would otherwise be possible.
4. Sophisticated Cubic Model construction software
The precision of the code scheme is made possible by the use of innovative custom software, now in its third generation.
This software fully understands the logic of the Cubic Business Model and the hierarchical code schemes and provides a tool for building the model, mapping existing accounts for data warehouse transform purposes and soon to be released, functionality to maintain the code scheme precision in operation – further refinement is in the offing.
5. Strategic facilitation by highly experienced facilitator
The tool and the concept are reliant on a highly experienced facilitator. James Robertson the originator of this approach will personally facilitate any project at this stage although measures are afoot to train further facilitators and our medium term goal is to reach a point where we have a sufficiently comprehensive and intelligent tool-set that we can start to train third party implementers in the technique.
The method will always require the services of a mature and experienced business analyst in order to achieve its full potential.
6. Logic and data NOT technology
It is vital to understand that the essence of this method, while using sophisticated software as a tool, is first and foremost a logical data structuring method and not a formal technology – the essence of the solution relies on expert understanding of the method and ability to understand the business.
We do NOT have to be experts in accounting or your business – your organization has those experts – we are experts in the approach, hierarchical design, coding, etc and we rely on your expertise to enable us to tailor the solution to your business requirements.
7. Supported by a leading edge future software concept
We have developed a comprehensive high level design for a suite of software that will provide XBRL tagging, financial report writing, graphical analysis, matrix enterprise analysis, attribution of revenue and overheads and budgeting and planning capability. We aim to roll these modules out in prototype form depending on our order book – the more orders we obtain the faster the development of the software will progress.
We are confident that this approach will redefine the way you look at your financial data and open the door to massive competitive advantage.
I look forward to the opportunity to discuss this offering with you -- James@James-A-Robertson-and-Associates.com
The following are the stages in the development of a Strategic Engineered Precision Chart of Accounts based on the Cubic Business Model approach:
1. First session – orientation, theory, development of headline Divisions, Locations, Functions and Accounts – a lot about the facilitator learning about the business and the business learning about the approach – this session MUST involve executives – first few sessions involve a substantial learning curve for both teams (client team and facilitator/s)
2. Flesh out the Chart of Accounts, etc with the Chief Financial Officer assisted by the Senior Financial Manager
3. Review with key operational finance personnel – demonstrate concept of hierarchy using filters on Divisions, Locations, Functions and Accounts in Excel
4. Take through to concept business model to demonstrate principles
5. Step right back, second iteration, may need to restart from scratch or perform major surgery, code and check levels on filters – Divisions, Locations, Functions and Accounts
6. Build master sub-sections for people, assets, products, customers, projects, mobile plant, sister companies, etc, as required to fully model the full complexity of the business and provide summarization logic for other modules – iterate with other modules
7. Flesh out to full detail, suffixes, flags, etc
8. Tic master chart against existing charts of accounts – may necessitate major surgery, additions, restructuring
9. Code and review filters, make sure each level or report is correct, restructure as necessary
10. Final review and approval of all lists – Divisions, Locations, Functions, Accounts – may take several iterations to get to this point
11. Commence construction of the cubic model – start with the matrix, add items as required, software is vital for this
12. Select applicable accounts for each Location – Function cell of the cubic model
13. Internal review of the accounts per cell, ensure these are exactly the accounts that the owners of each cell have management and supervisory control over – likely to be significant refinements – this is a governance model
14. Detailed mapping of existing Chart of Accounts onto the new Chart of Accounts, revisions as necessary – expect two iterations as a minimum, almost certainly will be items to add
15. Final adoption of the full Chart of Accounts at all levels of management
16. Outline full suite of standard financial reports based on standard column and row detail examples – build on the V3 reference document as a starting point
17. Refine standard report designs
18. Use software to generate a full library of standard reports with all permutations by cell, by location, by range of locations, by function, by range of functions, by division, by range of divisions at different levels of summarization by hierarchy – provide library software to track reports
19. Review and revise reports if necessary
20. Deploy GL and reports – training, etc
21. Design and build data warehouse with standard ETL, etc
22. Map history onto new logic in data warehouse in a separate set of tables so that new logic is not corrupted
23. Build standard multi-dimensional business intelligence view, drop down lists of Division, Location, Function, Account with options to select ranges according to hierarchy and a wide variety of standard views in terms of graphs, lists, matrix view, etc
24. Iterate as necessary to get models working
25. Develop more complex business intelligence economic and other models with forecasting and correlation capability – understand the business far beyond historical capability
A simple confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement which you can tailor and elaborate on as you see fit and which may vary depending on your legal jurisdiction and your attorney. I recommend that this initial document is kept simple as you want ALL persons attending the initial tender briefings to sign this
You would possibly have a much more comprehensive agreement for your short list bidders and possibly more comprehensive still for your final choice although I personally hold that very detailed documents of this sort tend to be excessive
Business Systems NOT delivering?
Call the Business Systems Specialist
Dr James A Robertson -- has been involved in the effective application of Business Information Systems, including but NOT limited to ERP, since 1987 and in the profitable and effective use of computers in Business since 1981.
Drawing on a diversity of experience, including formal military training in Quick Attack techniques at the Regimental Commander level, Dr Robertson has developed highly effective methods of investigating any sub-optimal Business Information Systems situation -- be it an established system or a stalled project or any other source of Executive frustration -- quickly and concisely diagnosing the root cause of the problem and prescribing concise practical actions that Business Executives can effectively act on see the Pulse Measurement page and also the Sample Reports page for redacted real reports.
He has also developed highly effective methods of strategically enriching systems to unlock the full potential of existing investments, see the Precision Configuration page and couples this to architecting small pieces of clever software that harness the full potential of your investment, see the Software page.
If you are having problems with your systems, your project or your IT Department, call The Business Systems Specialist
Business System Failure is RIFE -- we offer insight into why this happens AND WHAT is required to prevent it.
Failure is at epidemic levels with massive damage done to client companies -- if you are NOT aware of the extent of the problem please visit the About Failure page for a catalog of major failures running to billions of Pounds and Dollars.
All evidence indicates that the established players do NOT know how to deliver stable, reliable high value solutions that WORK.
There HAS to be a better way!
This website provides information relating to that way with a large collection of white papers, presentations, standards documents, etc that you can use to start bringing the situation under control
We also offer high level advisory services with regard to the application of the principles advocated on this website
We offer an ENGINEERING APPROACH to addressing these issues
By Engineering I mean the formal, structured, highly disciplined, highly systematic, highly practical approach that consistently delivers results in ALL areas of human endeavor where formally trained and certified engineers are the ONLY practitioners permitted to operate -- think large buildings, factories, motor vehicles, aircraft -- highly complex systems that work at a level that we take it for granted that they WILL work and where failure is all but unthinkable and, when it happens, attracts immediate public attention and rigorous investigation directed at ensuring that such failures are prevented in the future -- in fact, everything that the management consulting industry that implements complex software systems is NOT
This approach is discussed further on the Engineering Approach page.
In 2003 I undertook an in-depth analysis of all the information and experience that I had gathered with regard to the factors giving rise to Business Information System failure including ERP and general IT and classified this information into a number of categories including "The Factors Causing Failure" and "The Critical Factors for Success" based on this I developed a two day Course "The Critical Factors for Information Technology Investment Success" which is still offered today.
Based on this I wrote the book of the same name, which is available in electronic form here for download:
James has a very detailed profile on LinkedIn should you require further information about him.
You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/DrJamesARobertsonERPDoctor
James has an open networking profile -- click on "Connect" and use email address James@LinkedIn-at-JARA.com.
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There is a large body of white papers, articles and other content produced by Dr James Robertson available on this website
Please click here to visit the detailed listing of articles
About Dr James A Robertson PrEng -- The Business Systems Doctor -- and Other Topics
Catalogue of Major Business Information System Failures
About the Engineering Approach
James Robertson's Value Add
Attributes of a HIGH VALUE solution
Recognizing Business System Failure
The Critical Human Foundation
Old Software IS Viable
From South Africa
Competencies of Dr James A Robertson PrEng
About Professor Malcolm McDonald
Table of Contents
About my relationship with the Almighty Creator, Yah the Eternally Self-Existing
Comments relating to the Business Systems Industry and other topics
Testimonials and other positive material regarding James Robertson
List of Articles
Achieving High Value Business Information System outcomes
Executive Custody -- What is it and HOW do you get it?
The REAL Issues in Integrated Business Information System Success
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2 -- Mythology and Lack of Executive Custody
Part 3 – Strategic Alignment and Precision Configuration
Why your ERP is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it
IT Project Management
CEO Anthony Lee Comments on his experience of the Pulse Measurement
No Charge Guarantee on the Pulse Measurement Service
Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes
Critical questions regarding the Pulse Measurement™
The Pulse Measurement Workflow
The Critical Factors for Business System (ERP+) Investment Success in the Pulse Measurement
Indicative Pulse Measurement Durations
What is a JAR&A Pulse Measurement?
Survival of the fittest – why it makes sense to measure the pulse of your business
Examples of Pulse Measurement Outcomes over 24 years
Sample Pulse Measurement Reports
Strategic Essence: The Missing Link in Business Information Systems
Strategic Essence: Overview
Strategic Essence: Part 1 -- Strategy Defined
Strategic Essence: Part 2 -- Differentiation
Strategic Essence: Part 3 -- The Essence IS Different
Strategic Essence: Part 4 -- The Essence should be the Point of Departure
Strategic Essence: Part 5 -- Discovering Strategic Essence
Strategy -- the Essence of the Business: What is it and how do you develop actionable strategic plans?
Simple Steps to Increase the Strategic Value of your ERP Investment
Free Strategic Snapshot Toolset and Manual
A strategy focused planning system beyond traditional budgeting
Tough IT and ERP Procurement and Contracting that Works
Robust Business Systems Procurement
Part 1 -- Introduction
Part 2 -- Bill of Services, Laboratory, Go-live Certificate, etc
Part 3 -- Executive Engagement, Bid Compliance, Adjudication and other matters
Guidance and Advisory Services
The Art of Project Leadership
Why Regular Communication with the CEO is Vital
The Business Simulation Laboratory
Precision Configuration and Strategic Business Information Architecture
Precision Configuration based on Strategic Engineered Precision Taxonomies
The JAR&A Cubic Business Model
Highly Structured Strategic Chart of Accounts -- a Vital Element of your Corporate Information Arsenal
The Product Catalogue -- an Essential Element of any Precision Configuration
Attributes -- answers to the questions you have NOT yet thought to ask
Case Studies of Notably Successful Projects with high value Precision Configuration
092 Doing things differently and better -- ASCO Case Study 2-- BPM Summit 2013
088 Strategic ERP Invesment -- ASCO Case Study -- Service Management Conference and Exhibition Africa
026 Information Architecture and Design of FIS for Rennies Group -- Financial Information Systems Conf
018 CRM Risk Control: Designing and Implementing an Integrated Risk Mgmt Sys -- Integrated Risk Mgmt Conf
011 V3 Consulting Eng: Benefits of MIS to Professional Practice -- SAICE 15th Ann Conf on Computers in Civil Eng
Strategically Enriching your Business Information Systems
Part 2 -- Principles of Data Engineering
Part 3 -- Steps in applying these recommendations
Simple Steps to increase the strategic information value yield from your Business Systems Investment
The Full JAR&A Taxonomy Manual
Part 1: Introduction, Problem Statement, Definitions and Examples
Part 2: Why Use JAR&A, Required Knowledge and Experience, Cubic Business Model and Chart of Accounts and Taxonomy Software
Part 3: How to do it, Case Studies and White Papers and other References
Example General Ledger Manual
Business Process -- Irrelevant, Distracting and Dangerous
The RIGHT Approach
Custom Strategic Software Design and Oversight of Construction
Standards for Custom Software Specification
What IS Software?
Critical Factors for I.T. Success
A Moral and Ethical Dilemma -- Systems that Fail
Case Studies examining Business Information System failures
The BBC Digital Media Initiative Debacle
The Bridgestone -- IBM Conflict
Speaking and Training
Showcase of Conference Presentations
Most Viewed Presentations
Briefings and Seminars
Why your ERP/BIS is NOT delivering and HOW to FIX it
ERP and IT Procurement that Delivers Results
The Critical Factors for IT and ERP Investment Success
Conferences and Public Presentations
Conferences 80 to 99 -- 2009 to Present
Conferences 60 to 79 -- 2005 to 2009
Conferences 40 to 59 -- 1996 to 2005
Conferences 20 to 39 -- 1994 to 1996
Conferences 01 to 19 -- 1989 to 1994
On-Line Seminars (Webinars)
Webinar on Preparing and Presenting Webinars
Contacting James A Robertson and Associates Limited