In Pursuit of Profit
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Why? Because it requires a balance of both technical and financial knowledge to accomplish and because issues can arise during a migration that are time-consuming to fix. As a result, both apprehension and confusion typically surround the topic of migrating to a new accounting system.
So, how do you migrate accounting systems smoothly to avoid a headache? The key is in taking the right steps before, during, and after the migration to ensure a positive outcome.
(Keep in mind, even if you are only moving from one version of software to another version from the same provider, you need to have a firm process in place to guide the migration. However, this process will be even more important if you are moving from one provider to another.)
Our experts will outline the five most critical steps involved in migrating accounting systems:
1. Identify Your Goals
Before deciding where you’re going, you need to understand why you’re making a change.
Have ongoing discussions with the people who use the system most heavily and really listen to the feedback they provide. Weigh this input with deliverables and overall business goals to identify what you hope to accomplish by switching. Common reasons for migrating to a new accounting platform include:
You’ll need this reason, or combination of reasons, to guide your search for new accounting software. However, you shouldn’t just take the list of reasons why you want to look for a new platform as is without asking questions.
Dig deep to get to the root cause of what you’re experiencing. For instance, you may find that the functionality you’re looking to add is actually available on your current platform, but you don’t have staff with enough experience to understand how to implement it. In this case, what you need may not be new software, you may just need to bring in a consultant to help train your team. Or you may find that some of the inefficiencies you experience regularly are because of how your workflows are set up, not the software itself. If you determine that you have a people problem instead of a system problem, you can save yourself a lot of time and money by identifying that early on before you get down the path of moving to a new platform.
If you determine that you do, in fact, need a new accounting platform, move onto the research step.
2. Do Your Research
Do your research to find a better solution that will meet all your needs. Review top accounting software lists to get a pool of possible choices. Ask colleagues which platforms they use or enlist the help of an accounting consultant to get recommendations from real people.
Don’t let yourself get scared off by the number of options. There will be a wide variety of choices available, but you should be able to find the information needed to sort through them and find a couple that you would like to demo. Many accounting software providers offer free trials for you to test functionality related to your company’s unique business needs. During this process the most important areas to analyze are:
3. Get Ready
Once you know which platform is going to work best for your needs, prepare your books and financial records for migration. The specific activities that you undertake will depend on the system you choose and your unique business details. However, in general, a migration should only occur when your books are in good order. Take the time now to clean up your books so you can save yourself time after the migration.
4. Make the Switch
Now it’s time to migrate! Once your books are in order, closely follow the instructions given by your new provider to migrate over, paying particular attention to any reported errors or exceptions that arise during the process so that you can fix them afterwards.
5. Clean Up
Clean up any issues that arose during the migration so that you have a firm foundation to build on with subsequent business transactions. Remember, the time you put in now will set your company up for success as it grows in the future.
When you need to switch to a new accounting system, contact us. Our team of experienced accounting consultants can help you identify the right system for your needs, prepare your data for the migration, and get everything moved over and set up to equip you for success. And, after the migration if you need someone to manage your bookkeeping or accounting activities for you, we can do that too! Find out more about how our bookkeeping and accounting services help our clients run their businesses better.