A completely smooth transition to a new system or software? A pipe dream. That’s okay — there’s a lot to learn from ghosts of implementations past.
Before you delve into an accounting system conversion, look back to any undertakings in the past that may not have had the outcome you were after.
A few common traps to watch for:
- Too much time and money spent trying to customize, and
- Shifting plans “midstream” to accommodate multiple upgrades at the same time.
Those are easy traps to fall into — especially when you have software vendors and/or consultants suggesting upgrades or corrections in the middle of your project.
Your best chance of getting the right fit the first go-around: Look at your existing procedures and processes before you undertake an upgrade.
Informal procedures or ad hoc decision making won’t lend themselves to the more standardized systems that new software will require. If you have too many exceptions to your credit approval or purchase approval processes, for example, it will be nearly impossible to automate.
Write first, do later
A great workaround: Use the software documentation as a way to standardize your procedures and get a jump on training.
Most finance shops document after the new system’s up and running. By writing down a roadmap to the new system before it’s rolled out, it’s a lot easier for everyone to see where they fit in the big picture.
Changing your system to fit the software instead of the other way around may just bring your conversion in on time and under budget.
And you won’t fall into those old traps.