Accounting software in the cloud is quickly becoming a common choice for many businesses. According to Gartner Research, the majority of companies plan to implement a cloud-first strategy by 2025.
Changing a company’s financial management and business systems to the cloud may seem like a daunting task. Numerous organizations have concerns about whether they have the right combination of personnel, skills, and technology available to put this type of digital transformation in place.
If you are in the process of selecting new business management software, download our E-Book, Thinking About ERP.
The following steps will assist you in moving to cloud accounting. When taking on a significant project of this kind, it’s crucial to divide it into manageable steps to make the processes more manageable.
Digital Transformation Steps to Cloud Accounting
Moving your accounting to the cloud will take time, effort, and research. Here are the basic steps to the project. It’s also helpful to engage the right consultant to assist your company through the steps of shifting accounting to the cloud.
- Select your Team: Although at first you may think only people from IT should be part of the software selection process, it’s important that the project team includes representatives from all major departments who will use the system. This includes accounting and finance but also marketing, sales, and operations, as well as IT.
- Include an Executive Sponsor: An executive sponsor is someone on the executive team who will support and push for things your team needs among the other executives. They will also help secure the budget for the eventual chosen cloud accounting system.
- Schedule Time for the Project: Ensure the people chosen for the selection team have enough time to work on the project. You may need to shift some of their work duties, so they have plenty of time to work together gathering requirements, interviewing vendors, attending demos, and more.
- Make a Project Wish List: Make a list of all the items you would like to include in your new cloud accounting system. This list may include everything from standard general ledger, AP and AR functions to automation that streamlines reporting or reimbursements.
- Brainstorm Ideas: When you’re creating your wish list, don’t limit your wishes to what you have in your current system. If you’re unsure what newer cloud accounting systems offer, explore various systems, and speak with colleagues at other companies to see what’s out there. A common mistake is choosing a cloud-based system that mirrors your existing system; this is the time when you can update and upgrade your system, not limit yourself to what you have.
- Consider your Computer System Requirements: This is where your IT team’s support is invaluable. They can help evaluate and understand any system requirements, such as compatibility with existing office productivity software or other systems that must interact with the new cloud accounting system.
- Assess Reporting Functionality: It’s also important to assess the type of reports you’ll need and determine whether the new system can support reporting requirements. If not, and you have custom requirements, some accounting systems can be customized easily with add-on software that builds custom reports or enables users to build reports as needed.
- Understand Security Options: Cloud software platforms offer exceptional security, but you may need to understand the security options and prepare explanations for others in your company before they green light the new software.
- Schedule Training Sessions: Set aside training time for everyone using the new system to get used to the new features. Ensure that someone who understands the software, either a team member or someone from the implementation company, is available to troubleshoot, teach, and answer questions as needed.
- Switch to the Cloud: When you switch to new software, do so completely. Do not have two systems running simultaneously during the transition. Doing so is a recipe for disaster as the systems can quickly go out of sync, with potentially redundant or missing data. Cleaning it up is a worse pain than preventing it in the first place.
Moving to a cloud accounting system is both exciting and daunting. However, with the right support, you’ll find that once you begin using the new system, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Making a digital transformation to a cloud accounting system is an exciting process for your business. PositiveVision has been proudly serving the Greater Chicago, IL business community for over three decades. We take the time to focus on each customer’s individual needs to ensure they are fully supported when undergoing a digital transformation to a cloud accounting system. Contact us to speak to one of our product experts today.