10 Tips for Implementing New Accounting Software
After finding the right accounting software, the implementation process begins. System success often depends on a business’s ability to manage the technical implementation, rollout, and employee expectations. Set your business up for success with best practices for software implementation. To gain the most value from your accounting software, use these tips during the on boarding process:
- Get your champion on board. All business projects need a champion – a trustworthy team member who constantly pushes the ideals of the project. This person (or people) will act as an influencer and motivator within the organization.
- Market the system internally. Outside marketing activities bring you revenue, but inside marketing activities promote productivity. Before rolling out any new technology system, conduct a few marketing campaigns targeted at system end users. Use emails, verbal communication, and small gifts to point out current system faults and highlight the benefits of transitioning to a new approach.
- Vet system architecture before the rollout. Architecture provides the software foundation for usability. Ensure that system architecture will support your business’s and end users’ needs prior to giving employees access to the solution.
- Test and optimize before the rollout. Project team members should test and “play” in the system prior to any rollout to make sure the software fits the business’ needs. Check for usability, customer service response times, and data accuracy. Great accounting software tests for errors and enables user-friendly fixes.
- Create a pilot group. Avoid rolling out software to every user at one time. In the event of a malfunction, an enterprise-wide rollout may diminish morale. Instead, find a group of technology early adopters willing to play with the system and act as secondary champions. Include some sales team members to breakdown departmental silos. Work through initial problems with this group before pushing the system to other users.
- Set measurable objectives. Start with big picture goals and create KPIs that match those objectives. Modern technology enables businesses to pinpoint actionable insights and take advantage of data-driven opportunities. Develop benchmarks for success along the implementation process to inspire motivation and turn your investment into a valuable return. Objectives for accounting software implementations may include minimizing payroll errors, optimizing tax planning activities, and/or securing sensitive accounting data.
- Work through security and access control scenarios. Conduct vulnerability testing and penetration testing activities prior to rollout to ensure security. Review all access review protocols to ensure only specific users can access sensitive information within the system. Popular products are often popular because they live up to scrutiny in the face of security and usability questions.
- Rollout the system in phases. Prevent technical and employee adoption challenges with a phased rollout. Give each group an opportunity to learn the system before moving on to another group.
- Give employees ample training opportunities. Provide interactive trainings, reading materials, and interactive tutorials (if available) during the implementation period. Expedient user adoption is critical to accounting software success. Documentation should facilitate the learning process.
- Identify system limitations. Point out any limitations that you notice during the implementation process. Work with vendors to develop customizations that fit business needs.
Implementing cloud-based or onsite accounting software requires internal support, motivation, and a willingness to change. Use these tips to build a culture of change and enjoy the benefits of advanced and user friendly software systems. At DSD Business Systems, our team members support businesses throughout the selection and implementation phases of an accounting system transition. Get in touch with your local office for more information.
Written by DSD Business Systems