How You Can Reduce Implementation Risk

Are you in an out-of-date accounting solution that is costly, inefficient, makes running your organization a chore, and causes staff daily frustration? If so, you know you must do something, but thinking about implementing a new ERP accounting solution is keeping you awake at night.  That’s understandable. Implementing an ERP solution is a big undertaking. It is costly, can disrupt business and, if done poorly, can cause staff to run for the hills.

The question you are probably asking “is the risk worth it”?

The better question is how can you reduce the risk of implementation to make the change worth it?

Here are a few commonly identified risks and how to avoid them:

  1. Choosing the wrong partner: You are the expert in your organization. Your partner should be an expert in implementing your new solution. Find a partner who has a strong track record in implementations. One who will take the time to understand your needs and wants. A partner should have experience in your industry or with your organization.
  • Selecting a partner because they are the cheapest or fastest is a common risk factor for failure.
  1. Doing too much: A common point of failure is overwhelming your team with too much to do. It is best to create a project plan and implement it in phases. Assign tasks, set deadlines, and check in frequently. Communication is the key to success.
  2. Inadequate Resources: Establish a project lead who will act as the point of contact for your consultants and internal team. This person should have knowledge of your internal practices or know who does and have the authority to make decisions. Having one point of contact as a conduit for the flow of information will reduce the risk of something falling by the wayside.
  3. Moving too quickly: A successful implementation takes time. Make sure your project manager and the rest of your implementation team can devote adequate time and are committed to doing it right. From documenting processes, exporting data, importing data, training, and testing to deployment this is a journey. By thoroughly documenting all processes, and following a plan, you will ensure that nothing is overlooked. Having regular meetings with the team and your consultants will help things progress in an orderly manner and make the transition a smooth one.
  4. Poor practices: Just because you’ve done something a certain way for years, doesn’t make it the best way. Now is the perfect opportunity to evaluate processes and procedures and adopt new methods. Likewise, not all data is good data. Consider taking the extra time to review master files, purge old and outdated accounts, vendors, and customers and start with clean data. Resist the urge to recreate practices that may be outdated.
  5. Resistance to change: Not all employees will embrace the new software. Some will find change difficult to embrace. Timely training is crucial. Schedule time in the project to test data, processes, and workflows. Involvement leads to ownership. Give thoughtful consideration to concerns and suggestions from staff. Then fine-tune as needed. By thinking of an implementation like onboarding a new hire, you can set clear expectations, celebrate milestones, and provide your team adequate time to embrace the new software and processes.

If you are needing to investigate a better accounting solution, we can help. At Kernutt Stokes, we provide a free consultation to learn more about your needs and wants. With over thirty years of experience in implementing mid-market accounting solutions and our industry experts, we will recommend the solution that is right for you. Feel free to reach out to us.