Many organizations who have invested in modernizing their financial management system might face specific challenges in setting up their new software. Many of these companies may think that having to move to cloud accounting software, for example, is more trouble than it’s worth. But for organizations to enjoy the full benefits of their new software and minimize process hiccups, they must get their financial software implementation right the first time.
This article will look into the best practices that these organizations should do to set up their FP&A software correctly.
Check your time and skill resources
Often, organizations set up a specific timeline of when they want a project completed, which is correct. However, it is crucial to understand that just because you say it should finish in 3 months doesn´t mean it will.
Be realistic about assessing how much time and resources your team has in setting this up. Look into who will be part of the implementing team from your side and check if they have the time and necessary knowledge or authority to make specific configuration decisions. Once you have identified people with authority and expertise, and have a solid understanding of their time commitment, put in extra time to estimate the project for potential issues that may come up.
Another crucial aspect is skill – make sure you use seasoned consultants, especially during the software setup’s critical stages such as installation, organizational mapping, security access setup, business rules mapping, sample report creation, etc.
Most software implementations fail because CFOs or finance managers tend to overestimate their time commitment and their staff’s skills in setting up the solution. It is more cost-efficient to use seasoned consultants, in conjunction with your team, for the critical steps to ensure there are fewer hiccups as you go deeper into the implementation. Cheaping out on the critical stages by trying to do this yourself will be more time and resource costly in the long run when problems start to surface.
Check if your solution is Real-time
The financial management system is the backbone to better performance, improved compliance, and accurate reporting. But for your financial management software to be empowered to achieve this, it needs to have the right foundation to ensure it can perform critical functions as it should.
The reality is that not all solutions offer real-time access to data. For most, there are inevitable delays. It can take, say, 2-3 hours for the data to update and fully sync. Be aware of this so when it is time to test your data, you know if it is the expected delay or if something is not running right. Most of the time, there are buttons within solutions that you can press to force untimed sync so ask ahead about this.
Break Down Siloes and Make a Decision on Systems Integration
A company’s financial data should first become easy to share across different departments to improve financial visibility. When relevant departments and systems have access to crucial financial information, it is easier for them to gain additional insights to identify process bottlenecks in the business. The only way to achieve this is by seamlessly integrating your accounting and ERP system with other critical operational systems.
Therefore, before even taking on the implementation project, you should have already identified all systems and processes that need to come together. Which of these systems must be integrated, and which ones are just “nice to integrate” but aren´t mandatory? Knowing this will allow you to estimate better the time and resources you´d need for the project. It will also avoid going over the project´s scope, which may add significant costs.
Which Reports should be created, and Who should have access to these Reports?
Organizations will also need to find FP&A software that empowers different departments with targeted and accurate reporting that can be used to improve decision-making. It’s often difficult to set this up, so finding the right FP&A software with advanced reporting capabilities on the get-go can make things easier.
Before starting the implementation project, it is vital that you have identified which financial reports should be created in the system, how many, and who should have access to it. This is so your implementing or training team can help you set these up or create templates that will be easy to use.
Most often, consultants don´t set up all of your reports unless you pay them to, but they will teach you how to set-up some necessary reports so you can set-up the rest yourselves. Pay attention to how to set-up reports during training.
Be Forward-Looking & Foster an Environment that Embraces Change
When it comes to adopting any software, it is easier to implement when you have prepared your organization ahead and have made your team members understand the benefits of shifting to a new system. Therefore, organizations should continually assess their current approach to identify how it can be improved to make business processes more effective.
If they find that their current system can no longer support the organization’s growth, they should be the time they explore implementing a more advanced finance accounting software. For example, before moving financial processes to the cloud, organizations should first do a risk assessment and a benefits analysis of whether it would be a good fit for their current needs.
Scaling Up with Performance Canvas
With most businesses facing an extremely volatile market, today’s organizations can’t afford to go through lengthy implementation times to improve their current system. Organizations need a finance software that is easy to adopt, which requires minimal to zero training.
Cloud PCF fits the bill because it is easy to set up with a whole new set of integrated budgeting, planning, forecasting, and reporting features. It’s great for organizations transitioning their old systems as it works both with cloud ERP systems and on-premises ERP systems. It also has robust integration capabilities, making it easy for finance teams to automate their data imports and extracts to on-premise or cloud applications.
Sign up for a free demo today and see how Cloud PCF can work for your business.