Purchasing new software can be a daunting task. Not only is it an expensive investment, but it’s a hassle to get it up and running. Knowing what you are getting into ahead of time and having a plan for successful implementation will make all the difference in the world. It’s important to have a plan and to communicate with your staff. Make sure that they feel comfortable with the change. With enough practice and support you will be up and running in no time.
Whether you have just purchased new software or just started shopping, it is never too early to think about implementation. The implementation process begins before you purchase new software. It actually starts when you are looking for a new software system. There are many different options to choose from and it takes some work to figure out which one is right for you. It’s important to do research before you decide; read about different systems, watch videos, schedule demos and talk to sales people. Make a list of the things you need and make sure to ask as many questions as you can.
Communicating with your staff through this process is crucial to the success of implementation. Make a list of everyone who will use the software on a daily basis and anyone else who will be affected by the change. Make sure that they are well informed through the whole process. Ask them what software they have used in the past, what they like and don’t like about your current software and what they are hoping for in the new system. This will give you some things to keep in mind when scheduling demos and talking to sales people.
Make sure that your IT people are involved as well, to make sure that your network can handle the new system requirements. It will save you a lot of headaches later on to get them involved early and start making the changes they need to make.
Once you have a new system in mind your training plan will make or break implementation. People don’t like change. And getting them to use a new system will be a challenge. It will be a lot smoother process if everyone involved gets the proper training before you go live. Give your staff a chance to get familiar with the new system, work out the kinks and be fully prepared for when you do go live.
The right software should come with a training plan, whether it is a self-paced video series, live video sessions or someone in the office doing training classes. You staff should be thoroughly trained to get them to adopt the right habits from the start.
How long does it usually take to implement new software? For most companies it can take from three to six months from purchase to going live, but it’s different for every company. Some important things to consider are:
The size of your company
How many modules you’re are purchasing
Are you incorporating mobile apps
Staff training time
New bookkeeping procedures
Whatever software you purchase, you will have questions from time to time and will need someone provide answers. Make sure that you have ongoing support for things that come up down the road. Your staff will need someone to turn to when they get stuck. They need helpful and responsive support when they get into a jam. It’s important that the support that is offered with your new software is available during business hours and easy to reach when you need it.
There are so many things to consider when buying new accounting software for your company. We have only talked about just a few. Any software is going to be challenging to implement but knowing what you will need before you get started will make the whole process a lot smoother.
For a more thorough list download our free guide here: Everything You Need to Know About Implementation.