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How to successfully implement a change of Accounting Systems

Your accounting system effectively documents all the activity in your business and provides critical information to make good business decisions. If you’ve outgrown your accounting system and you’re moving to a new and improved model (like MYOB Exo!), it’s absolutely necessary that the transition is as seamless as possible so no information falls through the cracks.

To successfully transition to a new accounting system, you need to consider these factors:

CHANGE MANAGEMENT

A smooth transition starts with preparing your staff for change and guiding them through the process. First, communicate why your firm is moving to a new accounting software system. While the transition might require a lot of work on behalf of some key staff members, explain that your business will benefit from the new system in the long run.

Once you’ve explained why you’re making the transition, train your staff to implement the change. Schedule some time and verify that your current accounting procedures are documented. Work with your software provider to create a plan of conversion. Ensure that all stakeholders (accounting and finance staff, operations, senior management and even sales if your accounting system is linked to your inventory or job costing functions) are involved in planning the conversion.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR UNIQUE BUSINESS

Your company has processes that are unique to its particular industry. A retailer, for example, accounts for inventory. On the other hand, a manufacturer must account for raw materials and work in progress. You need to consider your unique business processes and how they link to your accounting structure in order to implement a smooth software conversion.

TEST YOUR NEW SYSTEM

Ideally you should have a transition period in order to test the new system is tracking data in the same way as the old system and avoid missing anything out. Run a set of transactions concurrently through your current and new system and review the results to ensure they are accurate.

Consider a denim jeans manufacturer for example. They decide to run transactions through their new system, at the same time, they process data through their existing (live) system. If their new software is operating properly, they should get the same accounting results as their current system produces. In this case, that means that the same dollar amount of denim is moved into production using both accounting systems. Both programs also post the same number of units, the same sales intake, same profit figure etc.

A FINAL SET OF TRANSACTIONS

Before you implement your new system, generate a set of adjusted financial statements at the end of a particular period. That “clean” set of financials will be your starting point for a new system. At the end of October, for example, you print a trial balance and post your accounting adjustments. Once you’re satisfied with your adjusted trial balance, you generate October financial statements (balance sheet, income statement, etc.).

GOING LIVE

Say you decide to go live with your new accounting software on November 1st. You’ve communicated the November conversion data to your staff. Each person in the organisation has provided his or her input on the implementation process. Your staff has a new operations manual and has trained on the new software.

At various points after software implementation, you analyse the results that are generated by the new software. You use your October 31st accounting data to ensure that November accounting activity is posted correctly.

These tips can help you have a smooth transition to your new accounting system.

WORK WITH AN EXPERT

Consider working with an accounting software expert to help you with the implementation process. We are available to talk through your particular situation with you and provide advice to help make your software switchover seamless. Contact us at (08) 9328 1678 or via our contact form and we’ll get in touch!