So, your business has grown, and you’ve accepted that QuickBooks is no longer robust enough to support your organization and are evaluating a new solution. Fortunately for you, there are plenty of other options out there, but before you dive in headfirst, you’ll want to evaluate what is working, what’s not working, and what measures you need to take to ensure success with your future software implementation.
With this in mind, we’ve created a guide to help you through the process. Let’s talk about four critical things you should consider before you replace QuickBooks.
1. Identify Processing Gaps & Desired Outcomes
Before you can figure out which financial software solution is best for your organization, you need to identify processing gaps and desired outcomes across all operational areas in advance.
A gap analysis will help you understand what your company is currently doing, where you want it to go, and what the gap between those two situations looks like. By examining processing gaps and analyzing your desired outcomes, you’ll be able to elevate your organization’s performance overall.
Generally speaking, gap analysis encompasses four key elements:
- Performance (or strategic) analysis
- Market (or product) analysis
- Manpower analysis
- Profit gap analysis
Diving into each of these factors will help you determine how you can make improvements and facilitate peak potential. During your gap analysis, focus on quantifying your need using trackable key performance indicators (KPIs) so you can truly measure and understand shortfalls, needs, and opportunities. If your data isn’t quantifiable, you might end up with another solution that isn’t optimal for your organization. At the same time, be mindful that you don’t have to wait for failure to strike before you put better measures into place. When you proactively look at ways to improve your company, you’ll be on your way to jumping ahead of your competition.
2. Have a Well-Defined Data Migration Strategy
Ensuring your migrated dataset is optimized to support your business process workflow, as well as your operational and financial reporting objectives, is imperative. Make sure the product you choose offers translation and enrichment of your GL chart of account structure, item master, and customer master.
Naturally, you’ll want to be sure that all of your data is backed up, but you’ll only want to do so after you’ve validated its integrity using the proper tools. From there, you can assess what information actually needs to be brought over into your new system. During the data migration process, you’ll figure out what can be easily migrated, and which items might take additional effort to bring certain pieces of information into your new software solution. Finally, you’ll need to look at which enhancements or add-ons will be necessary to capture the data you’re currently using and get the most out of that information going forward.
The goal is to eliminate unnecessary work or data during the migration process. Clean up old, redundant, and inconsistent data in your old system before you introduce it to your new solution.
3. Get Your FULL Team Involved
Your QuickBooks was likely used by back-office accounting and bookkeeping staff, while your new ERP solution will involve input from everyone. Achieving participation and buy-in is critical to success.
Understand who the people are who will be using your new ERP platform once it’s up and running. More than likely, the majority of employees in your organization will work with it in one way or another. Getting everyone on the same page from the very beginning is an essential component to your overall implementation process. Figure out who’s impacted by your transition and how this change will affect them so you can be ready to answer questions and mitigate their fears.
Start your change management strategy by incorporating your entire organization into the process so you can hear employees’ concerns and suggestions early on. This will help you consider things you may not have otherwise thought of; it will also help you create a training plan that’s tailored to particular departments or roles. Remember, people want to feel included and heard; letting everyone in from the ground floor will help you gain early adoption of your new ERP product, thereby removing some stresses and frustrations that could otherwise come down the road if you chose to be non-transparent and non-inclusive from the outset.
Getting everyone involved will give you a barometer as to whether people are on board with the change or need a little help getting there. Don’t forget, some of the people who will be using your new ERP product every day may not have had much interaction with this type of software before, so help them embrace the change by allowing them to participate in the process. If your people don’t understand why you’re going through this change, they’re likely to check and not care; this can mean bad things down the line if you don’t nip it in the bud from the beginning.
4. Don’t Go It Alone
Although modern mid-market business management solutions are easier to use than ever, their robust nature will require a greater level of professional guidance than QuickBooks before, during, and after go-live.
Our team at MIBAR is here to help you transition from a subpar product to a solution that’s tailor-built for your organization’s unique needs. We’d love to introduce you to NetSuite or Acumatica and show you all the possibilities these ERP platforms can provide to your business. Book a demo with us today!