03rd December 2012
Disruption now the biggest detractor for changing systems
Whilst the financial investment required by a construction business to change accounting systems remains a key consideration, it’s the perceived disruption caused by the change which is now the largest reason businesses avoid a change to their accounting system.
Perhaps not a surprise when you consider that accounts teams’ in the construction industry have been shrunk back to bare minimum in the past few years, and it is undeniable that changing any business system won’t cause some level of day to day disruption.
There are however a number of procedures put in place by construction accounting software providers such as Integrity Software, which help to make this process a lot less scary and disruptive than you’d perhaps imagine.
Thorough implementation planning
Sounds simple, but a planning session with an experienced project manager and key members of staff to map out exactly what will be happening when, and with who at the start of the process goes a long way.
This is a time to plan a realistic go live date and for the project manager to share the details of key milestones which make your implementation pain-free. Most businesses we talk to use this time to discuss their data migration and the best structure for their new system, alongside deciding when and who will be required for particular training.
Colin Smith, Professional Services Manager at Integrity Software comments, “Despite the benefits they can foresee in the new system, many directors I meet with feel anxious initially about the process of changing systems and training staff. However by the end of the Project Kick off meeting, they can visualise a very structured and supported road ahead of them”.
Easily overlooked but essential to successful implementations is providing users with training documentation. Notes to reference back to in the ‘heat of the moment’ is a perfect way of limiting day to day business disruption to an accounts team. Whether it’s creating a purchase order, raising an invoice or completing month end procedures, training documentation supported by online resources such as recorded webinars, make a real difference.
Go-Live & Month End hand holding
The training went well, the system appears to be set up and working correctly, but until the first month end is complete, employees have been paid correctly and the management reports are run, the threat to business disruption is not over. Having someone on site to support businesses through key milestones such as these provides that extra bit of comfort for the accounts and commercial teams.
Limiting the disruption to your business
It is certainly not uncommon for businesses to research a new system and plan the functionality required alongside new processes, only to stall at the final hurdle when a threat is posed to the business operation as ‘normal’.
However as a software provider the most important thing we can do is to recognise the threat of this disruption and support businesses through a change to ultimately help them experience all the benefits they’ve identified as the reasons for changing systems in the first place.
If you are considering a change of your accounting system, put Integrity Software to the test and let us show you how easy we can make the implementation of your new construction accounting system.
You didn’t take the decision to upgrade your accounting software lightly – but you’ve decided to take the plunge and upgrade your old system now that it’s begun to show signs of age.
It took you some time to search through your options and collect recommendations from friends in the industry, but you’ve finally chosen your new software provider and you’re looking forward to the upgrade.
However, there’s a final hurdle to overcome before you can start seeing your software’s benefits: the implementation stage. This crucial period defines how successful the switch is: will it go smoothly and without a hitch, or turn into a disaster that damages your business?
These tips will help you achieve the first outcome.