Checklist: The 6 Key Things You Absolutely Must Do To Successfully Get Your New Accounting System Running.

 

Choosing the ERP Accounting Software is daunting at best. Choosing the right ERP Accounting Software reseller is just as hard, unless... its a recommendation.



This page will go through the steps that you must absolutely must do in order to make your next business software purchase a good one.



The most frustrating part of all the installs and upgrades that we have been called in to rescue, is that all of them, every single one could have been avoided by following some very basic steps.

 

Step 1 – Write Down What You Need and Want

 

Step 2 – What are we doing, when are we doing it, who’s doing it and how much will it cost?
 
Step 3 – Teaming with the Right Reseller
 
Step 4 – Refine the Project Proposal
 
Step 5 – Agree and Do the Implementation
 
Step 6 - Support
 
 
 

Step 1 – Write Down What You Need and Want

The days of using accounting software simply for book keeping are long gone. The world is a much smaller place and unless your business has got a rock solid monopoly in place, you're now competing with every other business in your marketplace every minute of the day.

Management is crying out for more information about customers, stock, cash, etc.
In this post GFC world if you're not keeping a daily watch on your accounts receivables then you're just asking to lose money – does your ERP accounting software list, rate and trend all your receivables?



In our litigious society can your accounting system track batch numbers of each product and which customer they went to?


And the list goes on.



There’s gold in your customer data and if you're not using it then it won't be long before one of your competitors is.



So start by listing what you absolutely must have and what you’d just like to have. But if you don't know exactly what you want then you’re not alone as we’ve found not many people do. In our competitive business world most of us don’t have the luxury of time to map out our detailed wish list.



We at Logon draw on our 28+ years of experience and work with our customers to define and agree on their real-world needs and wants. And we can suggest a few neat money saving things most people don’t even think of… On to step 2.



Step 2 – What are we doing, when are we doing it, who’s doing it and how much will it cost?

Once you have a rough understanding of what you want, a simple project proposal document helps you see and understand exactly what will happen during the installation or upgrade process. 


What are we doing? – This is your needs and wants or what is more accurately called the requirements list. Before Logon works on any project, we agree and sign off the requirements so we both know what we're doing and there are no surprises at the end.

When are we doing it?– A major upgrade over end of financial year or heading into your busy season will not end well. I'm sure it’s tempting to look at a ‘big bang’ approach and cut-over for the end of year period, but experience shows this causes more problems than a staged and well planned implementation.

And, a full system implementation may take 2-4 months so it’s not as simple as the glossy brochures and slick salespeople promise us.

Who’s doing it? – It’s all good and fine for Logon to come into your business and install your new system. But you have to own, understand and use your new system. We’ve found this works best when one person from your business is the single point of contact and this person:

•   Has the time to work with us – If the key person you assign is already snowed under with day to day work, how can they pay attention to the new system coming in?
•   Has the authority to make decisions – Having to stop work and run back to a ‘stuck in meetings’
     Financial Controller for every minor configuration decision will blow out costs and delay the project.

All the smooth, on time and on budget installations we've worked on have used a single point of contact person with the time and authority to fix ‘things’ as they came up.

How much will it cost? – Remember the cost of the software is just one part of the installation. Implementation, migration, modification, additional reports and training costs will easily double or triple the base software cost.



And a new server? Just because you've got a super quick desktop machine laying around or your son says there’s a wicked fast game machine that makes a mean server doesn't mean it'll cut it as an ERP accounting software server. There is a reason we insist on using only the right hardware.

Logon gives you a quote at the start of the project with pre-agreed payment milestones. And any changes you request during the installation are quoted and signed off so there are no surprises to the project budget.



Step 3 – Teaming with the Right Reseller

As we saw at the start of this article, the people who had done it all before agreed the right reseller, or more specifically the right level of support from the reseller was their number 1 criteria for going with another accounting system.



Well, Logon has been around for 20+ years and we all know the stats on small businesses in Australia.
53% are road kill in the first 3 years.
85% bite the dust in the first 5 years.

And a whopping 90% disappear off the face of the earth by year 10.



So at 28+ years going strong with a full list of happy customers, Logon is a true Australian success story.



We provide consulting, installation, configuration and training services to make your system fly and frankly, if we weren't doing something right then we wouldn't be around after more than 20 years.



Step 4 – Refine the Project Proposal

We at Logon can’t recall anyone ever going with the first version of the project proposal.



After you've had time to look at it, think about it and talk to other people in your business…. Well, things will change.



People will start asking about things such as remote access, multi-currency functions and exactly what reports they can get.



Logon can do additional product demos, or even proof of concepts to answer all your questions.

This is the time for everyone in your business to be 100% happy with the proposal.


That is everyone from the book keeper to the CFO and business owner. If you’re not happy with the proposal at this stage there’s no way you'll be happy with the end result.



It will be frustrating to go through several reviews and updates on the proposal. And that’s fine. Everyone’s keen to get going and have the new system in and humming.



But we’ve found it’s cheaper, less stressful and far quicker to get the proposal 100% right than it is to make changes once we’ve started work.



Step 5 – Agree and Do the Implementation

Logon’s implementation methodology follows a few keys steps. We’ve used it and proven it hundreds of times and we’ve found these key steps work.

Define the Scope and Plan (what, when, who, how much)
Here we’ll formally agree what was documented in the proposal. The needs and wants are covered, the proposal’s been refined and you've had the system demonstrated.
This step is to formally sign off that proposal.

Brief the Management
We at Logon like to meet and present briefly to your management team. This is just a quick overview of who we are and what we’ll be doing.



There’s nothing more embarrassing to Logon than having the ‘big boss’ ask “Who are these people wondering around our offices?”



And there’s nothing more embarrassing to you than having the ‘big boss’ ask “What new system – I didn’t know this!”

Review the Design
Check all the cabling, workstations, operating systems, other applications, printers, size of data files, security setup, etc. It’s about triple checking the details to make this a successful implementation and Logon goes through all of this.

Check and assess the risks of the implementation
It may be as simple as identifying when key people are on leave or it may be as obvious as not starting the week before your major stock take cycle.


Logon has seen installations grind to a halt just because no one had a look around at the ‘big picture’ in the business and we are here to make sure it does not happen to you.

Map out the customizations and additional reports you’ll need.
Logon now lists all the customizations and reports we’ve agreed to develop. This may be a simple step or it may take many hours.

Installation and conversion is the next step
We find when we’ve done the planning and leg work the installation time is anti-climatic. We know the network, hardware, 3rd party applications and printers so things roll along on plan, on time, on budget and stress free.

The Test Run
This is when we find out how close we got it. At this stage, we test the setup, converted data, reports, printing and any other new systems. Once Logon and you are happy that all this works we’re ready to go live.



But first, we’ve found one more thing makes the difference between your staff having elevated stress levels and smooth sailing. And that is…

Training
No matter how good your people, no matter how smart your people and no matter how easy the system – the benefits of the right training for your people are jaw-droppingly stunning.



The key word here is the right training. It most definitely is not a case of one size fits all.



As we go through our consulting and proposal stage, Logon will identify your key people and tailor training for your people.



Please, please do not skimp on the training as this one single thing makes or breaks how your new accounting system will work in your business.



Just think about it.



You can have the worlds fastest race car but a learner driver behind the wheel will give you a slow car and probably a damaged car.



The best kitchen in the world with the finest stoves and pots are pretty useless in the hands of someone just learning to cook.

Finally we’re ready to go live
We’ve done the hard work, it’s been what seems like a fair time coming and we’re both happy the system is up and running and working and we’re ready to go.



It’d be rare that we don’t find something needing attention on the day. But as long as you know to expect something, as long as your people are trained and as long as we have your support plans and agreements in place – well that something becomes just another working day and not a reason to panic.



Which leads us to the last step…



Step 6 - Support

Support is like your health insurance and annual physical.



Some people smoke like a chimney, drink like a fish and never have a sick day in their lives. However, they are very, very few and far between.



Most of us visit the dentist, update to new glasses and get sick. And then we’re glad we’ve got our health insurance in place.



Support is like super health insurance for your new system.



It gives you access to upgrades and patches, like new accounting laws when the government releases them.



And a maintenance plan means you have got access to Logon's specialists when you strike a problem. We are here to fix your problems and get you back to doing your business as soon as possible.



And a maintenance plan means you get a lower charge out rate than for ad-hoc phone calls.



Summary

A new business accounting software package can either be the most stressful thing you’ll do in your business or the stress free key to unlocking the hidden gold in your customer list.


We hope this checklist helps you see that with a little bit of planning – and the right reseller partner with decades of experience – you can see huge business results just ready to be unleashed.​


Please contact Logon Accounting Software Australia for Australian Accounting Software in Melbourne.