Accounting is the backbone of the company and accounting systems are set up by companies to organize their financial information in the most accurate manner. A good accounting system enables companies to set business goals, evaluate their performance, manage their cash flow, and meet their deadlines.
That being said there are many accounting software readily available in the market and companies need to select the one that best suits their needs. Over the years of their operations, companies grow in size resulting in the availability of a lot of data available at its end that requires processing for its current needs like reporting, decision making, various statutory compliance requirements, etc. Such a growing need requires companies to either change or upgrade themselves to a better accounting system. However, when moving to a new system the biggest challenge faced by the companies is the amount of data that needs to be transferred into the new system.
I. So why would companies migrate to a new accounting system:
Companies need the right systems in place so that data is readily available in the right manner to provide the best customer experience. A company has to answer a lot many questions before migrating into new systems. Does the entire system need to be changed? or will partial migration of systems be enough? or does the company need to migrate into a new one? A company usually decides to migrate when it has spent considerable years of business operations and is due for an upgrade because:
1. It is still using manual spreadsheets:
If the company uses manual spreadsheets to produce reports because its accounting system cannot generate them, then it’s time to migrate. The use of manual spreadsheets takes time and can be prone to human error. Migrating into a new system saves time by producing error-free reports automatically.
2. The current system is not customized to the company’s operations:
Every business is unique and hence systems should be easily customizable, the one-size-fits-all system is not flexible and it becomes difficult to customize data, reports, and invoices with the company’s business need as it evolves and grows.
3. Its current system is too complex:
Accounting systems should be easy to use, complex accounting systems make it difficult for the employees to use the current system and they would require regular training. Using complex and expensive systems does not provide the desired results; it is important that the system should be easy to use.
4. Its current system is not integrated with all its processes:
We live in a time where businesses are customer-driven and companies need to have a total overview of their operations including customer accounts and their service. To be competitive the company has to know what’s going on in all aspects of its business. If the current system does not allow integration then it’s time to upgrade.
Once the company has decided to migrate into a new system it needs to make a comprehensive plan so that its current operations are not disrupted. Thus, companies can use a checklist that can help them to get the new system in place with minimum disruptions.
II. An accounting system’s migration checklist should involve the following points:
1. Decide on a cut-off date:
It is important to decide on a particular date to discontinue the use of the previous system and begin using the new one. A company is free to decide any date but ideally, companies usually select the month-end, quarter-end, year-end, or the start of a new financial year or a new month. Deciding a cut-off date also helps firms to easily compare data once the transfer is complete.
2. Data Backup:
It is very important to have a backup of all the data before considering the shift. This backup ensures that data is protected especially in case of a migration failure such backup will ensure that information is not lost.
3. Identify Reporting Needs:
This is a very important step because once the company identifies its reporting needs it will be easier to map the income, expenses, assets, and liabilities on your profit & loss statement and your balance sheet. It is important to discuss this with your accountants, bookkeeping experts, and financial advisors and make a proper chart of accounts to get a clear picture of business functioning.
4. Format and Mapping Data:
Every accounting software has different formatting requirements and hence previous data needs to be formatted to avoid issues while migrating to a new system. The formatted data should properly pass from one system to the other. This can be done by specifying exactly where each data needs to move.
5. Test Imported Data:
It is important to do trial runs on imported data to check if the new software is functioning well with minimum errors.
6. Run Old System Parallel:
Before fully migrating into the new system it’s important to run both old and new system parallel for a certain period of time, doing this will highlight any major differences if any that need to be incorporated into the new system.
7. Training the Users:
A company has to allocate enough time to train the users before implementing the new system; modern accounting systems are intelligent and very easy to learn. They also offer standard systems procedures that can be followed by the users and support teams of the company. The more the users learn to use the system the better benefits the business will derive from it.
The above steps are a guide that will make migrating to a new system fairly easy. In case if you have any trouble Diligen is here to help you because that is what we do.
We provide a wide range of services for system migration right from researching, testing up to the implementation of the same ensuring easy transition without any problem. Our teams of experts are here to help you at every step; And provide the right assistance by suggesting required modifications if any. We help our clients leverage the right system tools and create the best customer experience. Our dedicated team of professionals has very good knowledge and understanding of the new systems. It helps clients to rise above the cut and accelerate growth by getting the most of your new accounting system.