14 Feb 5 Steps To Move to a New Financial System
When keeping your current financial system in place is just not an option, it is time to move your company to a new financial business platform. However, this can seem like a massive undertaking and a misstep can lead to interrupted payment of invoices or even employee pay.
Reasons to move to a new financial platform
- Your current system may have high maintenance costs and may not integrate well with key business operations. If your financial office is spending too much time correcting problems than balancing out the accounts, it may be time to switch. By moving to a new financial system, you can provide the necessary tools for your finance team to excel without wasting time on fixing errors. In 2013, The Telegraph reported that “poor spreadsheet protocols” were primarily to blame for an estimated $5.8 billion in trading losses that JP Morgan racked up in 2012 from credit default swaps. And according to CNBC, a study by U.K. financial advisory firm F1F9 found that 88 percent of all spreadsheets have errors in them — including many spreadsheets used by large organizations that ought to know better.
- Recent acquisitions give you an opportunity to review current systems for efficiency and prevent duplication. As your company grows, take the time to look at past systems and see where you can streamline operations, creating a workflow pattern that keeps your personnel budget and your operating budget in balance. Finding an effective Enterprise Resource Planning software can save in production costs. Studies have shown that companies spend $1,200 in training per year, but with the self tutorials offered by most ERP software systems, that training budget can see a significant reduction.
- Launching new products provides an adequate testing ground to upgrade your current financial system. Whenever you are expanding or providing new products, you are presented with an opportunity to test out new systems. A new financial platform may be the perfect testing ground to see if your company can handle the growth from new products. ERP systems are classified into tiers based on the size and complexity of business services required.
There are 5 steps to insure a positive result as you transition to a new financial system.
1. Strategic Planning
The first step is to look at the plan or strategy in making this move. Your financial officer could be asking “Why should we make this move?” This change to a new financial system should provide agility for adaptation and growth. Adapting to changes in your business will keep your services from becoming stagnant. You can see developmental growth in your business if you plan strategically.
Cindy Jutras, president of Mint Jutras, based in Windham, N.H., recently heard a manufacturer lament a whirlwind six-week implementation of cloud-based ERP software that ended with problems. “We did it too fast. We didn’t understand all that we were doing. You can’t just jump in blindly,” Jutras said.
ERP systems are designed to meet the needs of their clients, but it must be strategically planned out to get the biggest impact. You need to approach the planning slowly and methodically, or you will hit a wall and damage your business systems.
2. Design Mapping
Map out the touchpoints of your business systems. This will show what elements will be affected by this change and what the potential pitfalls lay ahead while making this transition. Creating the design map is critical piece for your company. Whether your new financial system is built by your in-house team or outsourced, the design map will ensure that all requirements will be met and allow for future plans to be implemented. “This exercise of defining how the business and systems will process transactions is called business process mapping. These mappings show the work tasks – performed by people, systems and machines – that are required to push a transaction through the organization,” says Jonathan Gross of Pemeco Consulting. This creates the map which the ERP will be designed for maximum efficiency.
3. Development Advisory
Create a stakeholder team that ensures the process runs smoothly. All of the company’s teams, including Information Technology, Sales and Marketing, Operations, Customer Service, Production, and Employee Relations, should know how the new financial platform will impact their departments.
Prior to implementation, make sure that processes have been tested and verified. Ensure that you have systems in place if complication arise. Coordinated with all major teams early in the planning stages so you know that you team is ready to make the process run smoothly. You have done all the research and design. The stakeholders have been given a key role in creating a system that will ensure operations will run smoother than before. All systems are a go. But make sure you double check before launch. Here are some tips to review before deploying your ERP.
5. Post Launch
Finally! Your new financial platform has been implemented and operations are back to normal. Take time to review the process. Note what failed and what was a success. Did you make sure all stakeholders were able to participate in the process?
By taking the time to review the 5 steps to implement a new financial system, you can ensure that your business will be able to transition to a more productive process without too much disruption in daily operations.
Contact Karen Curione for a review of your current financial system. Your business may be ready for a new financial platform.