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Accounting System Implementation Checklist: Achieving Maximum Efficiency

Updated: Apr 18

Implementing an accounting system is a big challenge. From proper planning to including the required features and IT structure, businesses must carefully inspect and initiate each stage. An accurate accounting system implementation checklist will help businesses with this. 

Accounting System Implementation Checklist

Once the management finalizes the checklist for implementing their new accounting system, they can examine and implement it step-by-step. It makes the system integration effortless among finance, accounting, marketing, and management departments. 


Accounting system implementation stages include researching the needs of the business, identifying the right approach to implement the system, training the employees on it, and software installation and configuration. 


Accounting System Implementation Checklist:


New accounting system improves transparency, clarity, and account management in businesses. However, its success depends on the proper integration and implementation process, which can be achieved through a guided checklist. 


Research and Planning

If an existing accounting system exists, observe it to identify its strengths and weaknesses. This will help you find areas for improvement in the new system. The focus can be on automation, reporting, system upgrades, or better accessibility. 


For new businesses, identify the company's requirements. The account section handles the company ledger, inventory, receivable, etc. So, the new accounting system should be able to handle the following key features:


  • Accounts Payable

  • Accounts Receivable

  • General Ledger (GL)

  • Payroll

  • Inventory Management

  • Financial Reporting & Dashboards, etc. 


Focus on efficiency, automation, transparency, ease of use, and accuracy of the system. This ensures better performance and flawless implementation. 


Budget, Resource, and Timeline Management 

New accounting system implementation can be time-consuming and expensive. An initial and estimated budget will help. With the requirement list fulfilled, companies can determine what type of accounting system they need and budget for it. 


Also, a timeline with a probable duration for each stage will make the task easy. The timeline may include research, software development, checking, trial period, employee training, etc. With it, each department will know its job and when to complete it. 


Finally, resource allocation is critical. Consider how many IT employees, required items such as network and hardware, accounting team members, and training equipment will meet the demands. 


Features of the System

The success of any accounting system depends on its features, capacity, and qualities. The top features of a good accounting system include user-friendly dashboards, customization facilities, Application Programming Interface (AP), and quick configurability. 


Additionally, the system should link with different banks for cash-flow management. It also requires automated subscription billing, payment details, etc. So, the software must integrate with CRM, ERP, payroll, and banking functions. 


The system must provide accurate financial statements, performance reports, etc. Another essential function of the accounting system is multi-currency handling capacity. It must also meet regulatory compliance such as GAAP, IFRS, and tax laws. Audit functioning and vendor support are also crucial for an accounting system. 


IT Functions’ and Checklist

An accounting system is only as good as its IT functions. It should be effortless to use, with an engaging UI and UX. Also, its security and accessibility are crucial to controlling user access and protecting sensitive financial data. 


A few crucial technical checklists include appropriate authentication, encryption, permission levels, and firewall protection for better security. Reliable backup and quick recovery mechanisms will prevent data loss and ensure business continuity.


It should be able to work with the existing system to upgrade and preserve the old financial data, too. For this, cloud storage with antivirus protection is necessary. It allows different departments and branches to access the system securely worldwide. 


Software and System Installation

With everything checked and fulfilled, it’s time to install the new accounting system. It includes setting up the hardware, connecting the system with the network, and running them successfully. During software installation, follow the system design plan.


It helps integrate all functions, such as the database, security features, accessibility, transactions, POS, finance management, etc. This stage can take a few days to even months. 


Test Trial for the New System

Once the new system is integrated with the hardware, it's time to test it. During the trial period, ensure the system is straightforward to use. Check that the system can accurately perform cash flow, invoicing, expense, accounts general ledger, and reporting.


It is crucial to evaluate data import and export capacity and ease of use. Otherwise, you may find it hard to import data from the existing system. Plus, observe the performance, scalability, maximum capacity, and efficiency of the performance. 


Tests run at peak performance and observe the result, which is a great way to know the actual capacity of the accounting system. Another crucial evaluation includes looking at the financial reports, customization, and standard procedures. 


With the test run, you can quickly identify the system's capacity, performance, and flaws. It offers enough time and scope to improve the system wherever required. 


Support and Team Training 

System vendors should provide adequate support during the trial, integration, and implementation period. Key support from the vendors include sufficient documentation, training resources, and responsive customer support.


Furthermore, training the account, finance, and management team to adapt to the new system is essential. There may be new dashboards, functions, and applications. Managers and employees will need proper training, detailed user manuals, and standards to follow the procedure. 


Training will make integrating with the new system easier for the team members. It will also help the IT department collaborate successfully with other teams to implement the system easily. Team training and collaboration also improve flexibility during the integration process. 


Train the system with existing data and resources, too, for automation and scalability. This will make the accounting system ready for quick scalability whenever needed. 


Migration and Going Live

Businesses can go live with the new system when everything is ready, from test runs to employee training. However, the data from the old system must also be migrated and integrated with the new system accurately and efficiently. 


Backup the old data so that everything is safely stored during system migration. Companies often lose crucial data during software migration, so be aware of this. Moreover, ensure post-implementation support from the vendor. The vendor should respond quickly if there's any problem after going live. 


During the post-implementation period, employees, managers, the account section, and the finance team may face technical problems, too. So, keep the IT team ready to respond to such technical issues for a safe and quick installation procedure with optimum results. 


Conclusion 

Implementing a new accounting system requires time, effort, resources, a capable team, training, and collaboration. Managing these without a proper team can be challenging for smaller businesses and slow down the implementation process. 

With the checklist, businesses can meticulously integrate the accounting system. However, our skilled and expert team is always ready to help you with the implementation strategy of the new accounting system for the best results. 



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