Thinking about moving finance systems? Don't lose sleep migrating to your new cloud-accounts solution. This short guide explains steps that will help keep you on the right track
For organisations finally ditching their ageing on-premise system for an intelligent cloud-accounting solution, preparing for the big move can feel like a daunting task.
Moving your reporting, receivables, payable and a thousand different financial figures from one system to another — without messing anything up — is an incredibly challenging task. Fortunately, businesses that take the time to prepare properly are more successful and experience much less stress than those that try to migrate without a solid plan.
The truth is that you simply can’t do enough preparation for a move. With that in mind, here are 6 ways to prepare for a successful migration to a new cloud-accounting solution.
1. Clean up your data: Don’t bring messy data into a nice clean system; if you do, you’re running the risk of making the same kinds of errors your spreadsheet system made. Instead, spend time to remove misspelled words, unwanted prefixes and other mistakes that are easy to fix, but take a long time and a careful eye to spot. Search for double entries, eliminate blank rows. Remember, it’s important to back up your data before trying to “fix” anything; you can never be too careful. Some third-party providers also offer data cleansing as a paid service. If your information is particularly messy, it might be a good idea to hire someone to fix it for you.
2. Think about your new chart of accounts: This is potentially one of the most important steps. Modern cloud-accounting solutions offer many ways of organising data and reporting on that data. Good news!... Your chart of accounts may not need to be as complex as you think. Analysis codes, Dimensions, and Business Intelligence (BI) offer a variety of ways to interpret financial data. First and foremost think about what you want to report on and how you would like to view that data. Are there specific revenue streams? Project costings or other crucial metrics you want to see in more detail? Once you know this it becomes easier to then decide what your core chart of accounts needs to be and how to streamline it.
3. Organise your current system: Evaluate your current workflows and internal processes and determine if they’re in order or even necessary. It’s a good idea to only import the data you actually need into your new system. Old data, such as previous customer information, may not be necessary to import into your new system.
4. Improve your existing financial processes: Any time you’re going to put your information into a financial accounting system, the best thing you can do is perform a process improvement. If you’ve done something simply because that’s the way you’ve always done it and not because it’s the best way to do it, it’s time to rethink how to best change the process. Consider workflow, information storage, permissions and backup procedures as places to evaluate and improve. Where do you store receipts? What are the requirements of your approval process? Now is the time to work out the bugs in the entire financial management process.
5. Make sure the timing for the movement is perfect: From an internal business standpoint, timing is everything. Even in the best of circumstances, a migration effort is going to be disruptive. That’s why for retailers it’s probably a good idea to avoid migrating during the busy holiday season. Businesses in the financial services industry, on the other hand, will want to stay clear from the end of the fiscal year or during tax season. Always pick a time that’s conducive to the business where the internal resources and business process owners might be more readily available. They’ll need time and mental capacity to manage the move.
6. Pick a champion: Many cloud providers have discovered the migration process goes smoother if the company has a person within the business who is responsible for the success of the migration. They’ll be the expert and a go-between for the implementation team and the business
The best way to make a successful migration is to find a solution partner that makes the transition as easy as possible. ION can help guide you through the transition from one solution to another through expert consultation and analysis of your current internal processes.
To find out more about how ION can assist your move and help you choose the best option for your business. Get in touch today.