Following best practices for accounting software implementation and selection ensures maximum ROI and eradication of problems or bottlenecks in the system for better and efficient working. Like ERP and other software of similar magnitude accounting software too need a planned approach for a proper selection and smooth operation at later stages, any flaw or omission may throw the whole effort in vain.
Before selecting any particular accounting software preparation of RFP will prove more than handy as it becomes an important document to guide and set a benchmark for short listing the most suitable software according to the needs of the company. Another benefit of this document is that during its preparation the management discovers all the problem areas and changes that may be required after the installation of new system.
Always short list 2-3 software and invite them for demonstration designed according to the RFP. Involve all the concerned people from executives to senior accountants of the company to take part and watch the demonstration and identify which software caters to the needs of the company in the best way. This is also one of the best practices to build trust of the employees in the accounting software and gives them a very good chance to get acquainted with its capabilities and shortcomings.
Avoiding too much customization is the best practice which is ignored many times by the buyers due to lesser purchase price of particular accounting software. Most of the time such a selection leads to a wrong decision as too much customization can prove costly and may disturb the functionality of the main software to create run time errors and problems.
Determining the budget before going for implementation and after the selection of accounting software is another best practice as it avoids situations like lack of funds or compromising quality due to under estimation of cost. Include each and every activity involved in the implementation from purchase of software to training, implementation, infrastructure, consulting and customization.
Selection of most suitable implementation strategy is an important decision to make as a wrong strategy can create mistrust amongst the employees and can make the new system unpopular to cause a failure. Study of the present system while making RFP can help in correct selection as it gives complete idea about the problem areas and the magnitude of changes the new system will bring in. This knowledge helps in choosing correct implementation strategy.
Creation of project team for the implementation process is another best practice if project team represents all the areas of the company which will be affected by the new accounting software. This team may also conduct a dry run of the project on a test data before going for actual implementation and get the results tested and approved by all the concerned departments for preventing any chances of minor faults and omissions in the software or the process.
Project team shall also ensure that sufficient importance is given to the mostly neglected part in the implementation process but a very crucial one, training. Sufficient training about handling the new system, differences in it with old system, ways to handle the situations and best practices to avoid incorrect entries or incorrect module selection shall be given before handing over the new accounting software to the users.
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