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Simple steps to implement a new accounting system

As your business grows, the inevitable happens – you have to upgrade to better and more modern accounting software.

The accounting system you relied on for so long to manage finances and operations has, over the years, become a barrier to efficiency. Outdated software can lead to reliability and downtime problems, not to mention security vulnerabilities. By moving to another solution, you’ll gain time to be more strategic.

Implementing a new software for accounting is no small task. You can ensure a seamless transition from the old to the new system with proper planning, leadership, and implementation. To make the most of your accounting software, use these suggestions during the onboarding process. Moving from one software to another is a challenge.

Analyse, Plan, And Understand

First things first, review your business requirements. You don’t need a one-size-fits-all solution but a program that caters to your specific business needs. If you’re taking your company global, you don’t need a mid-sized accounting program. Consider how your business operates and take notice of the different types of software on the market. Depending on your industry, you might want to consider specialised software that’s aimed to help businesses in your niche.

Identify what’s working well and what aspects of your business might need improving. Have a plan before the implementation process starts. This way, you’ll avoid hasty decisions, make sure the right people are involved, and configure the system correctly. Incorrect implementation can result in operational downtime, which translates into lost revenue. If you want to realise the full benefits of the software for accounting, define and achieve an implementation plan.

Training before the accounting system officially goes live gives both you and your employees a chance to acclimate to new processes and work on issues before the software is implemented. Make sure you’re fully capable of leveraging the new technology. Even if accounting software is getting more intuitive and user-friendly, training is still necessary. Allocate sufficient time. Don’t organise training sessions when your accounting staff is likely to be busy.

Be Prepared to Communicate

Through the collaborative effort of people in the organisation, the accounting system implementation project becomes a success. People and their interactions are the driving force. Implementation is a shared process between finance, IT leaders, and system champions. It’s crucial to communicate effectively to achieve your goals. Have daily meetings to keep everyone in the loop. Keep employees informed about the transition. Above all, support awareness and adoption. Make sure people fully understand what’s going on and how the new change will affect them.

After the new accounting system goes live, focus on two-way communication. Have regular chats with your employees about project results, reinforce key points, and cultivate feedback. Positive and negative feedback is important because it enables your team to work more effectively towards the end goal – streamlining accounting processes. you can collect information via surveys, but hallway conversations are more effective. Make sure you have spare time on your agenda for managing issues.

Test And Play with The Accounting System Prior To Rollout

If the accounting software isn’t tested, this could lead to problems, big and small. Before you decide on software for accounting, request demons and test several options. The accounting system should have all the features and functionalities you need. Only you know what aspects of the new system are critical. Test the accounting software before rather than after. And write a test plan for switching over to a new system. Go through your past invoices, payments, journals, and so on. Make copies, sit in front of the computer, and see what happens.

Install The Software onto Your Computers

Now, you’ll have to install the accounting software onto your computers. The best time to set up the new system is at the end of the fiscal year. This way, the account balances will be available. Find and organise your most important company records – bank accounts, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. The general ledger will be the core of your accounting system, so set up the general ledger account. The setup wizard for the accounting package will walk you through the process.

Enter transaction data into the accounting system. Enter transactions for each month and set aside time to reconcile your accounts. Record payments received against invoices, enter your bills, and use vendor statements to enter finance charges. Load specific figures to support the balance amounts. Don’t go at it alone. If you need to restart the process, this may lead to incorrect data and increased costs and taxes. Since you’re not an expert in the accounting software you’re implementing, ask for help. Have an accountant assist you.

Do A Data Cleanse

Verify and record data from source documents and transactions to fix or remove incorrect, corrupted, or duplicate data. All the information contained should be accurate. It will take time to go through your balance sheet accounts and eliminate inconsistencies. But you can’t proceed to data migration without doing a full data cleanse. It might be tempting to move as much information and data as possible, but this approach often proves to be risky. If you’re making the switch to a modern cloud accounting solution, be ruthless with the data.

You may be able to keep the old system running for a while. Nonetheless, after a few months or so, it’s unlikely that anyone on the accounting staff will need access to it. By then, you’ll have imported the data. Don’t let the economic value of the old servers and software get in the way of moving to a more functional solution. Continuing to use the legacy system will result in costly consequences.

Allow time for you and your accounting staff to become familiar and confident with the new system. See if the software vendor provides free webinars or user group sessions. This should facilitate the learning process. Reach out to your accountant or find a bookkeeper and pay for an hour or two of training. Don’t waste precious time trying to figure out what to do.

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