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The market for financial software has never been in such a state of flux. At the top end, corporations are dealing with the consequences of giant installations – enterprise resource planning systems – that were introduced to facilitate re-engineering. ERP was always supposed to be more than just number-crunching, but at heart it’s still performance measurement and accounting, and as such remains a financial application. In the mid-market (the financial software industry regards any company with a turnover lower than £500m as mid-market), traditional accountancy package and vertical application vendors are feeling the pressure from the big ERP players, who are attempting to move into volume markets now that their top-tier client base is saturated. On the other hand, there is a growing realisation that if IT really is going to produce benefits for mid-sized companies, they must find ways to tie accounting solutions in with their planning, production and organisation. No wonder the ERP evangelists are trying to scale their products down. FDs want the best of both worlds: workable financial software solutions that provide them with the data to support strategic decisions, and are delivered on time and to budget. That’s a vision Financial Director supports and we hope you find this year’s Financial Software Review gives you food for thought, both now and when that darned year 2000 is over and done with.

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