Implementing a new financial management software system can be a game-changer for businesses, offering increased productivity, streamlined processes, and enhanced data accuracy and security. However, the road to successful implementation is not without its challenges and, if managed poorly, an implementation project may do more harm than good.
In this two-part blog post, we’ll look at the common pitfalls organisations face during this crucial phase and explore strategies to help you avoid them. From understanding the complexity of data migration to assembling the right team and securing stakeholder buy-in, we’ll guide you through the key steps to ensure a smooth and successful implementation.
- 1. Invest Time to Find the Perfect Solution for Your Business
- 2. Explore SaaS and On-Premise Options to Find the Best Fit
- 3. Decode the Challenges of Data Migration
- 4. Build a Cohesive Implementation Team
- 5. Educate Yourself and Your Team to Manage Change and Maximise Benefits
- 6. Set Clear Goals and Ground Your Expectations
- 7. Secure the Necessary Human Resources
- 8. Continuously Evaluate and Improve
8 Strategies to Sidestep the Most Common Pitfalls in Financial Software Implementation
Invest Time to Find the Perfect Solution for Your Business
Before embarking on the implementation of a new financial management system, it is crucial to conduct a thorough needs assessment. Rushing into such a significant decision without careful consideration can lead to wasted time and resources.
By taking the time to define your organisation’s specific financial needs and meticulously comparing them to the features offered by potential software solutions, you can ensure a harmonious alignment between the chosen system and your business structure and goals. This thoughtful analysis sets the stage for long-term benefits and success in your financial management endeavours.
It’s best to steer clear of one-size-fits-all solutions as every business has its own unique needs as well as available resources. Instead, choose a customisable product that can adapt to your evolving requirements and offer scalability to support your desired growth. Investing time and resources in finding the right fit will save you from future frustrations and wasted resources.
Explore SaaS and On-Premise Options to Find the Best Fit
When it comes to selecting the ideal financial management software for your business, the choice between Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and on-premise solutions requires careful deliberation.
On-premise solutions offer several advantages, including software ownership; the ability to implement changes quickly; lower short-term maintenance costs; and control over development. However, they may require a large ICT unit and hire additional staff. With on-premise options, you bear all the costs and risks associated with the project.
SaaS solutions have their own set of advantages, such as scalability; accessibility from anywhere with an internet connection; retaining ownership of the software source code; your vendor sharing risks and costs with you and offering ongoing support; robust security measures provided by specialised data centres; reduced environmental impact; and reduced need for additional staff or a robust ICT unit. However, they often require maintenance service contracts and can create vendor dependency.
Considering factors such as control, scalability, security, accessibility, user adoption, support, and sustainability. Analyse long-term financial implications, evaluating recurring subscription costs against upfront investment. Ultimately, selecting between SaaS and on-premise depends on aligning the solution with your business objectives, available resources, and growth strategy.
Carefully weighing these factors will allow you to make an informed decision that best suits your business needs, ensuring a seamless financial management system implementation.
Decode the Challenges of Data Migration
Data migration is a critical aspect of implementing a new financial management solution. It involves transferring existing data from legacy systems to the new software.
It is not only a costly endeavour, but statistics1 indicate that a mere 36% of data migration projects remain within the initial budget, while only 46% are completed within the planned timeframe. Underestimating the complexity of data migration when implementing a new solution can lead to data integrity issues and delays.
One common pitfall in data migration projects is the inclination to migrate all transactional data, which can risk the integrity and performance of the overall project. Finding the right approach requires striking a balance between the need for accurate performance measurement and analysis, and the potential risks and costs of importing poor-quality data.
Instead of migrating all data, carefully evaluate and modify transactional data to ensure a streamlined system free from invalid or duplicative information. By prioritising the migration of master data and conducting thorough evaluations, organisations can avoid overwhelming their new solution with unnecessary data.
Conduct data profiling to assess the quality and structure of your existing data, identify data sources through comprehensive source discovery, and evaluate any gaps or dependencies. Additionally, thoroughly assess your chosen vendor’s solution to ensure its compatibility with your data migration needs. By taking a meticulous approach to data migration, you lay a solid foundation for a seamless transition.
Build a Cohesive Implementation Team
A successful implementation requires a balanced and structured team that includes both technical and business stakeholders. Define roles and responsibilities upfront and allocate data and source ownership to ensure accountability.
Assembling a well-rounded team allows you to leverage diverse expertise and ensure that the implementation aligns with both technical requirements and business objectives while fostering collaboration between technical and business experts will ensure effective communication, problem-solving, and decision-making throughout the implementation journey.
Additionally, assemble a core team who will be responsible for change management. Have them communicate the benefits of the new management system and keep staff informed about the timeline of implementation, training, strategic goals, and the impact of the new software on roles and responsibilities.
Have your communications team available to support the implementation process by listening to and addressing concerns as they arise.
To discover more about the common pitfalls of financial management system implementation and how to avoid them, check out part 2 of this blog series by clicking here.
Please click here to read Part 2 of the series.
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1. McDowell, S. (2021) ‘Overcoming The Challenges Of Data Migration’, Forbes, 15 March. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/moorinsights/2021/03/15/overcoming-the-challenges-of-data-migration/?sh=20c8e9be427c (Accessed: 14 June 2023).