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When a company is interested in implementing a new finance and accounting management system, identifying the solution can be the easiest task. When it comes to the implementation of the system, issues may arise that could have been avoided. Over the years, Sapphire Systems has asked clients to advise those who wish to implement a new solution. Below are the top eight hints and tips that our clients presented.

1 – Do your research

Before you start considering what impact a new solution will have on your company it is essential to properly research the product itself and what objectives you hope it to achieve. Advance Adaptors recommend allocating 2-3 months’ research time, making sure it is the correct product for you. Another factor to consider is testing, ensure that all aspects of the business that you are looking to change can adapt to the new system and evolve with it.

2 – Make sure you know what you are trying to achieve

Implementing a new product throughout the company requires solid knowledge of what you want to achieve. Specificity is key, identify what areas of your company require improvement and which solution is able to best eliminate the issues. The solution is just part of the battle, ensuring it doesn’t cause any more problems is key, make sure the solution is able to integrate with the other software that you already operate.

3 – Take as much time as you can considering the planning stage

Whilst you may be under pressure to integrate a new system in order to improve processes and transparency, the planning stage of identifying a new system is key. Dedicate plenty of time to your system design document (SDD). It must be realistic; the key is to keep it as simple as possible while still maintaining your objectives. Plan out the stages with your reseller to make sure everything is mapped out so you understand how long each stage will take, and what stage is next. This is critical as you will be able to prepare resources for the next stage in advance, helping you implement on time and on budget. Ensure that you have a safety margin in order to compensate for delays if there are any, as this can interfere with later processes and consulting days. It is also important that all the necessary people involved in your day-to-day business provide feedback.

4 – What modules do you need on top of the ‘off the shelf product?’

Various systems have the ‘off the shelf’ standard solution, with many different modules that you are able to add on. Work out the modules that you need from the package and identify which modules will collaborate with other systems, ensuring you don’t implement a system which results in a longer process. Make sure the reseller understands what you are trying to accomplish before the implementation starts, in order to plan the implementation efficiently.

5 – Make sure you have the right support to go with the system

The Big Bus Company stated it is only half the battle choosing the right system and modules to implement. The second half of the battle is ensuring the right support is there should anything go wrong. If your company has spent several months researching and planning the implementation, then it is unnecessary to fall down at the last hurdle.

6 – Always remember internal resources

Make sure you have enough resources to cover the implementation and training. Implementing the system may be more daunting then your company first anticipated, therefore ensure that you are able to commit the time to follow through every step of the way. Some clients assign new roles specifically for the implementation to ensure it is constantly on the move. Norkem highlights the need to get the internal staff on board with the change. Setting up training to make sure employees know how to utilise the software may also be essential.

7 – Buy cheap and buy twice

When it comes to identifying the system The Gro Company suggest that you don’t cut corners on the product, support or training. In terms of the software solution, investing more initially will benefit you in the long run. Select a solution that will grow with you, and a partner that knows the product, and offers global support to cope with any future company expansion. Horizon Hobby found that the software soon paid for itself within a year, and that included training, licenses and equipment.

8 – Ensure your data represents your business

When it comes to implementing a new finance and accounting or an enterprise resource planning solution it won’t matter how effective the product is if your internal data is incorrect. Charterhouse states that the intelligence in your accounting structure must represent your business accurately – so be sure to sort out issues with your data or account structure as much as possible before migrating it to a new system.

To find out more about how you can properly prepare for integrating a new solution contact Sapphire Systems today.

Vicki joined Sapphire in 2008, and has 19 years’ experience working with clients from a variety of industries. With a background in Project Management, Vicki has managed multiple global rollouts, and is responsible for overseeing Sapphire’s projects internationally. She currently manages the global projects team and is well placed to offer best practice advice to ensure upgrades and implementations run smoothly. Vicki is a member of a local running club, and also a keen netball player.

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