accounting system selection

How to Select a New Accounting/ERP System – Part 4

ACCOUNTING SYSTEM SELECTION

In Part 3, we discussed how to prepare for and conduct software demonstrations. In Part 4, we will look at how to finalize the selection of the ERP system and suggestions for a successful implementation of the new solution.

Finalize Your System Selection

After you wrap up all the ERP demos, your job isn’t quite finished. The future of your company’s technology assets, level of success, and performance now lies in the hands of you and your software selection team. Take your time and avoid feeling pressured into making a fast decision.

The selection team should meet and allow each member to give their pro’s and con’s of each system and share which system they think is the best fit for the company.  Hopefully a general consensus will be gained on the system that is the best fit for the needs you have outlined.

Ultimately, you will want to finalize the cost and timeline, including the annual ongoing maintenance costs, hardware, training, implementation, and software in order to fully understand how much of your resources, including your budget and team, you will need to commit to the system.

Implement the New Solution

Implementing a new ERP system for your company can be both a challenging transition and a rewarding change. Here is a six-step framework that walks you through what you can expect from the first day of planning all the way through go live.

1) Get Ready for Change

Implementing new ERP software can be a significant change for any company large or small, especially if this is your first time using this type of system. Therefore, it’s important to stay transparent with your employees about the coming weeks and months, engaging them whenever you can. Keep in mind that ERP transitions are as much about changing process and procedure as they are about changing the technology you use.

2) Prepare Your Data

Avoid assuming that all of your data can easily be converted into the new system. Evaluate your current data to determine which pieces must be converted prior to the implementation. After you export your data from your existing system(s), typically via a spreadsheet, you must then clean it up by weeding out any unnecessary information such as former customers or those who are no longer in business. Maintaining the integrity of your data is one of the most important components of a successful ERP system implementation.

3) Configure the ERP

After completing the first two steps, you’re ready  to implement the new system. Make sure your ERP consultants have mapped out a specific plan of how to install, configure, and optimize the software for your specific company. Remember that plans are bound to change, even slightly, during the implementation process, so always keep your end goals and major needs in mind.

4) Train and Educate

After you configure your system, train your employees on how to use the software. Some companies train the trainer and others hold specific functionality training that affects targeted user groups. Walk through actual examples of purchase orders, invoices, etc. from start to finish to make sure the system is setup to operate the way it was intended.

5) Test the System

While the integrity and performance of ERP systems have come a long way since they were first introduced in the 90’s, don’t assume the process will go smoothly. For this reason, user acceptance and system testing are key phases of the implementation process.

6) Go Live

Once your system is configured and tested and your employees are trained in the software, it’s time to go live and receive the benefits of and achieve the goals of selecting the system in the first place.  If you have setup the system properly, imported your data and tested thoroughly, your go live should go smoothly.

Unfortunately, installing a new ERP system doesn’t mean you never touch it again. Software implementations require attention and time beyond the initial installation, including general maintenance, additional functionality and routine upgrades to the system. Continue to stay up-to-date on all things related to your system, and your company will benefit for years to come.

Chortek LLP’s Technology Business Software Consulting Group can provide you with a clear understanding of the strategies for system selection for your business enterprise.

budget 690x215

How to Select a New Accounting/ERP System – Part 3

In Part 2, we discussed how to research possible ERP solutions and how to create a request for information (RFI). In Part 3, we will look at preparing for and conducting software demonstrations.

The software demonstration is a crucial component of choosing a new ERP system. When handled properly, the demonstration will provide you with critical information on whether the system will best fit your needs allowing you the opportunity to compare different ERP software systems in order to make the best decision possible. If handled incorrectly, the demonstration will turn into a cheerleading exercise for the vendor, nearly devoid of all useful information. Read More >

erp_web

How to Select a New Accounting/ERP System – Part 2

RFI (Request For Information)

In Part 1, we discussed creating a selection committee and document your company’s ERP needs. In Part 2, we will look at researching various ERP solutions as well as developing the request for information.

Researching Possible Solutions

Currently, there are a number of software products that are dominating the general marketplace such as:

  • Intuit (QuickBooks)
  • Microsoft Business Solutions (Dynamics AX, NV, and GP)
  • Sage 100 (MAS 90/200)
  • Sage X3
  • Sage 300 (ACCPAC)
  • Sage 50 (Peachtree)

However, you may need to look at specific, or vertical, solutions for services, retail, manufacturing, and construction from Epicor, Infor, Viewpoint, etc. Keep in mind that SaaS/Cloud solutions such as NetSuite, Intacct, and Acumatica should also be included as ERP solutions to evaluate. If you are bewildered by the claims flooding the market and every company touting itself as the most reliable, the most trusted, and the best in the industry, there are five keywords to keep in mind that will help you separate the real from the pretenders: Read More >

erp selection committee

Selecting a New Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System – Part 1

The Importance of Building an ERP Selection Committee and Identifying Your Needs

First and foremost, it is imperative to create a selection committee made up of individuals throughout the organization. This committee will be responsible for moving the company through a successful selection by representing its functional area, defining the software requirements, evaluating and comparing different products based on those requirements, and advocating for the product chosen. Building a selection committee has been shown to be more successful than one person in IT services, finance, or production running the project themselves.

Selecting a new ERP system can be a humbling challenge and defining proper roles and responsibilities for your internal team cannot be stressed enough. While ERP implementation teams can vary in terms of size (number of people), there are several main roles that are needed no matter the size of the company. Read More >

financial budgeting web

The Real Cost of Doing Nothing

ERP Solutions

When considering a particular plan of action for your business and its operations, you may be concerned about issues of the cost of implementing ERP solutions and related integrations. While the return on your investment is an important component in your decision-making process, other factors can be just as important. In some cases, failure to act could cost you far more than the expenses involved in putting your business plans into action. Chortek LLP’s Technology Consulting Group can provide you with a clear picture of the costs of implementing or failing to implement strategies for your business enterprises. Read More >

supply chain

Is there a weak link in your supply chain?

Supply Chain Risks to Your Business

In an increasingly global economy, keeping a close eye on your supply chain is imperative. Even if your company operates only locally or nationally, your suppliers could be affected by wider economic conditions and developments. So, make sure you’re regularly assessing where weak links in your supply chain may lie. Read More >

wifi router vpnfilter attack

Have Russian hackers broken into your home? VPNFilter attack!

VPNFilter attack –

Main stream media has been heavily covering the recent threat of Russian hackers taking over home Internet routers using an attack named “VPNFilter”.  Here is an article which lists the affected routers: “Is Your Router Vulnerable to VPNFilter Malware?

Time for a WiFi upgrade! –

As outlined in the article above, updating the router may eliminate this threat while rebooting the router may reduce the risk, if only temporarily.  If any businesses are using the routers on the list, the router should not simply be updated, but should be replaced with a business-class solution.  Routers are what connect your network to the Internet, and as such, they should be providing strong firewall and cybersecurity features for businesses. Read More >

Question mark on computer monitor

Ask the right questions about your IT strategy

IT STRATEGY

Most businesses approach technology as an evolving challenge. You don’t want to overspend on bells and whistles you’ll never fully use, but you also don’t want to get left behind as competitors use the latest tech tools to operate more nimbly.

To refine your IT strategy over time, you’ve got to regularly reassess your operations and ask the right questions. Here are a few to consider:

Are we bogged down by outdated tech? More advanced analytical software can eliminate many time-consuming, repeatable tasks. Systems based on paper files and handwritten notes are obviously ripe for an upgrade, but even traditional digital spreadsheets aren’t as powerful as they used to be. Read More >

fraudulent email in business

Are Spammers Forging Email From Your Company?

Fraudulent Email in Business

Have you ever been contacted by a customer, vendor or other business associate asking the question “Did you send me this email?”  As a cybersecurity professional, I applaud people who take this step to verify fraudulent emails before acting on them.

Do not be alarmed, upset, or embarrassed if you receive such a question.  Email is inherently forgeable.  Anyone can register an email address and fake the sender’s name.  For example, anyone can set up an email address “joker123@gmail.com” or something similar, and fill out the new user form stating their name is “Bill Gates”, even when it is not their name.

Once a forged email address is set up, one simply has to craft an email that tricks the recipient into disclosing information or clicking on a malicious web site link.  If the fraudster has even one copy of a legitimate email from Bill Gates, in this example, the faked email can be made all the more convincing, complete with email signature and fonts that match legitimate email. Read More >

Inventory Managment

Can your inventory management policy be transformed?

What if your inventory management policy could be transformed by a simple change? It’s no secret that companies that own inventory struggle to balance competing interests. On the one hand, the finance folks want to minimize the cash tied up in inventory, while the sales team never wants to run out, which can delay or lose a sale! In fact, recent studies have indicated that 42% of inventory-based firms consider excess inventory to be their biggest concern, while 37% list stock-outs as the biggest problem. And a third concern is the amount of time it takes for inventory planners to manage these issues. Read More >