Top Tips for Migrating From Your Existing Accounting Software

Thinking of migrating from your current on-premise Finance Software? Here are our top tips for consideration.

You think this will be an indigestible task; a real challenge you’d sooner not face, but the question is just how long can you put up with shortfalls of your current system and the resulting impact on the performance of your organisation.

The good news is, that it’s not as bad as you think;  modern-day systems are designed to support rapid implementation and ease of migration from your current on-premise software to a next generation cloud-based services and all of its benefits.

But where or how do you start?  We’ve compiled a list of the fundamental considerations that you need to address.

 

  • Does the new implementation crew understand your existing system? If not, expect to double the length of time it takes to settle the new system in.
  • Do you wish to cleanse your data as part of the migration process? Choosing to cleanse your data prior to implementing your new service provides an opportunity to remove old and redundant clutter that has amassed over the lifetime of your existing system.
  • Is this the right time to eliminate the workarounds and various reporting fudges, that have accumulated over the years of using the system?
  • Common misconception is that you should only change your system at the year-end, whereas the reality is that for many companies, the year end is the worst time to transition to a new system, as all existing resources are already overloaded. New, cloud-based services allow seamless transition and targeting a quarter-end is often far more convenient.
  • Ensure you have the bandwidth to project manage a transition. If you don’t, make sure someone with strong project management skills – either on your team or within the implementation team – is taking charge of the project. An absence of strong project management is the most common reason for an overrun of both time and costs.
  • Your current system might not seem to be costing you very much; it’s been bought and paid for years ago along with the ‘tin’ that’s serving it up. However, there are many hidden costs with legacy software that are often not taken into account. Server costs are not just about buying a new machine every 3-4 years, but also software upgrades and onsite maintenance.  The IT landscape has changed in recent years with many other business applications migrating to the cloud, which makes the servers left behind less cost effective to manage.
  • Disaster recovery is more important than ever before.  Historically outages could be coped with for maybe a day or two, while workarounds and fixes were generated. Whereas nowadays, outages for any period of time are unacceptable.  To have effective, instant DR back-up is no longer cost effective without sourcing a cloud solution.
  • Millenials, Generation Z and working mothers are all changing the landscape of our workplace (for the better), but this means flexible working hours and locations. To ensure that you have the best pick of the talent in the recruitment pool, how will you enable multi-location working with your new system?
  • Will your new system support the existing reporting approaches, such as integration with Excel and tree views?
  • Will you be able to have the same GL structure and be able to produce reports in the same way?
  • Will you be able to see your history?
  • Will the new system provide the ability to analyse and view the data easily, from anywhere within the system?
  • Powerful searching capabilities are now way beyond anything your legacy system could have delivered at the time it was architected; ensure that your new system enables you to find anything you need, at the touch of a button.

Choosing a new system is a big decision; you will likely run your business from it for the next 7-10 years.  Modern technology now provides a world of opportunity and functionality that just wasn’t possible even 5 years ago.  Just make sure, when vetting potential new systems, that it’s not just the new functionality that grabs your attention, but also make sure the core system works the way you need it to – a good system tailors itself around the way your organisation needs to work, it doesn’t demand that your business changes the way it operates to fit in with the requirements of the software.

 

By Paul Sparkes
25 Jun, 2019


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