As your company grows and wins more complex government contracts, you want to make sure your accounting software can grow with you. Whether you’ve outgrown your current system, it lacks the functionality to automate your business processes, or you need a system that will track projects and their profitability, it may be time to consider upgrading to an ERP that can support your government contracting business.
An upgrade is a valuable commitment that can help your team regain countless hours of productivity, provides assurances the software vendor will continue to enhance and support your system, and allows you to track and report the data you need to meet federal regulations. However, upgrading to a new accounting software system involves more than just changing your technology. In order to ensure a successful implementation, you must commit to its success across your entire organization.
A successful software implementation means that your entire company, from company owners and senior management on down, commits to investing the time and resources needed. This means business owners and senior management actively participate in the implementation by attending status meetings, making timely decisions, and insuring the team is meeting the required milestones.
A Flexible Schedule
It’s neither productive nor wise to schedule an arbitrary go-live date without first factoring in the time to design, implement, test and train your employees on the new system. An implementation plan should take into account a company’s closing calendar, employee vacations, holidays and other company initiatives, which are important aspects of determining a go live date. So it’s essential to plan for sufficient time for each step, and then build in some extra time in case things don’t go as planned.
The adage “Garbage in, garbage out” applies to software upgrades and implementations. Before beginning the changeover, we ask all clients to reconcile the following:
- Open Accounts Payable to the General Ledger
- Accounts Receivable Aging to the General Ledger
- Project Status Reports at a Summary Level
- Unbilled Accounts Receivable
- Cumulative Balances on the Last Customer Invoice to the Project Ledger
- Statement of Indirect Rates to the Income Statement
Failure to do so can result in lost time and productivity as well as additional implementation costs.
Upgrading your accounting system requires more than merely installing a new software program and expecting your team to adapt. Depending on the system you used before, your team may need to adjust some of your business processes or workflows. Unfortunately, training is one of the areas that companies frequently attempt to cut costs, with disastrous results. The entire team must be on board with necessary changes, otherwise, the implementation may not be successful. Whether training takes place one-on-one, via whole-team workshops, or a mix thereof, committing to understanding the new methodology will save time, money, and help your team overcome any resistance to change.
Understand the Full Scope of Change
Perhaps surprisingly, implementing a new system can lead to significant organizational change at all levels of the company, including your company culture.
There may be some emotional pushback within your team, and you must be prepared to help your employees work through it. By leaving behind the old way of doing things, new workflows and processes frequently lead to increased professionalism and efficiency, both internally and in terms of improving your clients’ experience.
Work with Experts
Businesses typically change accounting systems once every ten to fifteen years. Many companies want to take short cuts to save time and money, the reality is typically the opposite. Businesses discover they don’t fully understand the scope of the requirements and don’t have dedicated implementation resources on staff or have an unrealistic budget or timeline in place. In fact, we find that most companies who do not comprehend the cost of changing accounting systems and who attempt to cut costs, pay for it later with higher costs related to:
- Bringing in experts after the implementation to provide the needed training
- Bringing in experts to reconfigure their system and facilitate changes after all
- Lost time and productivity
- Stress to team members at all organizational levels
Moreover, you benefit by working with a team of experts who specialize in accounting software upgrades, implementation, and organizational change management so you won’t miss critical steps or waste precious time.
Ready, Set, Implement
By committing to an upgrade, your company must adapt to changes and be willing to allocate adequate time to train everyone on the new system. To set a realistic budget and schedule, we recommend working with a team of professionals who can guide you through the process and ensure a successful system implementation.
WiJiT frequently partners with clients to help them upgrade their accounting software. We are software agnostic and work to find the government contracting ERP that best suits their needs. The bottom line; we have the expertise and experience with accounting and accounting systems to successfully upgrade and implement the ERP solution that’s right for your business, and we would love to help you.
Contact us today.