As your company grows and grows, you’ll come to the point where you’ve surpassed the accounting software that started you off and you’re ready for a solution with all the capabilities that your growing company requires. If you are looking to borrow funds from an institution, or your business is seeking Series A or seed investors, you should upgrade to accounting software.
The right accounting software is essential however it’s only the beginning. Now, you need to make sure that you implement the right way. These 9 tips can help you achieve success with your accounting software implementation.
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1. Set Clear Expectations
When you pick a new accounting* software the likelihood is that you’ll be focusing on features that are more advanced or added. There’s a tendency to forget about what your current system does well , and what the new one can do. This could cause you to be dissatisfied with the system you’ve just purchased.
While your brand-new and old systems may not work in the same way, you must let your vendor know the most important features or functions you are searching for in your accounting* software.
2. It’s written
Your business will certainly have certain requirements for brand-new accounting software. What kinds of reports and other data outputs do you typically utilize in your company? Do you have the ability to provide investors and other members of the public with data visualizations that can be used in a way that is more practical than infinite rows of numbers?
If you’ve created an RFP in the selection process for software this will put you ahead of the game in documenting your requirements. If you didn’t, it’s critical to state those requirements in writing before the implementation begins. This will help ensure that you and your vendor can agree on the services you’re getting.
(But try to avoid any customizations that are too extensive, as they drive up costs and make system maintenance tougher. You may need to reconsider the choice you made about an option if you’re in need of numerous customizations.
3. Designate a project champion or working group
Implementing new software is an interdependent effort that affects everyone within the company. You’ll need an individual or a small group to serve as the project’s champion. The project champion is the one who leads the team and ensures that the project remains on track and gets everyone’s support.
The project’s leader is an individual or a group, ensure you choose team members who have demonstrated the ability to work in a cross-functional manner and have the authority to make decisions about the software’s implementation and the capacity to manage to track the project’s progress against the plan, and the willingness to engage in constant communication regarding the project both internally and with the vendor of the software.
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4. Develop an agreed Project Plan
A well-developed project plan is vital to the success of an accounting software implementation. It’s your guide to ensuring the software is put into place correctly in time and on budget.
While the vendor can take the lead on developing an outline of the plan, however, you should include your team’s input into the plan to ensure you agree on what constitutes “success.” For example, when you require certain dashboards created, but your plan doesn’t include it as a project step, you’ll end up adhering to a plan that will lead you down the wrong path.
Even if the final product is a spreadsheet the plan for your project must outline the deadlines, milestones, and deliverables. It should also assign tasks to people. All participants must be informed about the roles and responsibilities of each once the plan has been agreed upon. The vendor and you must keep the plan up-to-date and monitor your development.
5. Create a strategy to keep the day-to-day work going
It’s typical for businesses to delegate the task of managing an accounting* system implementation to the people who are already handling the daily accounting* work. After all, they’re your best subject matter experts for the task! However, the implementation of a system can be long-lasting, making it challenging for your team to keep up with their daily accounting obligations.
It’s the reason why some companies have their accounting tasks outsourced to a trusted third party and the internal team is focused on the implementation and getting trained on new features and features. This helps ensure that accounting work is done precisely and on time, as well as removing some anxiety of your employees.
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6. Making Your Books for the Transition
When a new accounting software introduction is on the horizon in the near future, it’s tempting to focus less on making sure that your daily tasks are running smoothly as you devote your time and energy towards the new accounting system. You don’t want to transfer bad data to the new accounting software.
You want clean, scrubbed records to begin with. However, trying to do this while you manage the daily accounting* work and oversee the software’s implementation could be a challenge.
Make sure your accounting records are current and complete before making the transition. It will be easier to begin the transition process to new software with clear records if your books are in good order.
7. Give Enough Time to Test
The closer you get to the finish line, the more appealing it may be to go through the remaining steps quickly, especially if there have been problems and are eager to get onto the new accounting* software. It will be a mistake later on when you hurry through the testing.
Every user of the system should be involved in the test of the new accounting* software. This includes checking the functions and features you’ll be using and also ones you might want to use later. It’s a long and tedious process but one you can’t afford to rush through.
8. Don’t rsh through the training
It’s not enough simply to teach accounting software. You have to be able to use it in a manner that your company uses it. It’s not very helpful if your team is trained only on one method to create a purchase order (PO) and there are customers who have unique specifications for purchase orders.
Before beginning your training, take the time to determine the types of scenarios and combinations that your team expected to learn about. It is important to ensure that the training program includes practical, hands-on training sessions and useful tools that your users can review at their own pace. Video tutorials are particularly beneficial because they enable you to interact to the system visually and emotionally. It is best to have the training conducted by an accountant*, not an engineer.
The accounting software you train your employees on should be simple to comprehend and utilize. Long written documents aren’t as effective or useful as content that is presented in bite-sized chunks, contains visuals, is easy to navigate, and easy for people who don’t have technical skills to understand.
9. Plan for Post-Implementation
A robust post-go live plan is just as important as your initial planning for the implementation. This is where you address any issues that are still unclear or not addressed during the initial planning. This is also a chance to examine your current processes and determine whether you’ll need to redesign them so you can best use the software as intended and make the most of its features and capabilities (as opposed to creating systems workarounds).
Planning for post-implementation ahead of time–both with your internal team and your accounting software vendor – puts everyone on the same page. They are in agreement that the system won’t be perfect, but you have a solution-focused group willing to solve any problems. A plan for post-implementation assistance can lessen staff frustration and ease their worries.
If it’s time for your business to change to a more robust accounting system, Scrubbed can assist! We’ve helped countless businesses identify their needs for their accounting systems as well as evaluate solutions for software and ensure that the software will work in tandem with your current processes as well as other systems.