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How to make migrating your finance systems 'pain free'

Transforming the finance function can be easier than you think

The pain of migration is one of the biggest roadblocks holding organisations back from transforming their finance function. With nearly 36% of organisations blaming resistance to change, migration is known to be a massive pain in the neck that just is not worth the hassle.

But it does not have to be that way.

Not only is digitally transforming your finance function a necessity, but with proper planning, it does not even have to be a headache.

This guide will help you get everything you need in place.

What do you need?

This might seem like an obvious question, but you’d be surprised how many migration plans don’t factor this in.

Are you planning to scale your business operation? Are you looking to make cost efficiencies to produce bottom line profits? What features will you want your finance software to include to help you achieve these objectives?

Put simply: Who is going to use the software and how?

If you do not ask these questions, you could end up with a finance system that isn’t fit for purpose. Think of it like forcing a square peg in a round hole. It’s a lot of work for not a lot of gain.

As a bonus, by asking these questions you can build a more informed picture of your needs, which will help you build a much more effective solution. It is really important that not only the finance team, but your executive team and other key decision makers are involved at this point. You don’t want to shell out a lot of money and time getting them a solution that won’t help them.

Where should you get it from?

Now you have figured out the kind of solution you need, you need to think about who is going to supply it to you. There is a lot of finance software providers out there, so finding the right fit for your needs can feel like a mammoth task.

To help guide your thinking, there are three key factors to consider:

  • Efficiency
  • Compliance
  • Profitability

Efficiency is about how intuitive the software is. Will setup be straightforward? How complicated is the project timeline likely to be? How easy is it to actually use the software?

Compliance is focused on data security and the risk of data loss, as well as keeping your reputation safe from noncompliance issues. Does the system have a back up process? What about an audit trail?

Profitability is about time-to-value. How much training will the new system require? Will it integrate with other systems? Will you get locked into a contract for a system that’s too complicated for your current needs?

Once you’ve selected a supplier, they’ll be able to give you more specific insights into how to best tidy up your data and how to prepare for the migration process.

OK, now you have asked plenty of questions. You have got an idea as to whether you need a new finance system, and what shape it will take if you do. You have covered all the basic questions and some advanced ones. You are confident in what you’ve got.

Let’s build a business case

A business case is your chance to get all the research you’ve done into one place and present it in a way that’s going to get everyone on board with your change.

This is a great opportunity to catch any issues that your earlier questions may not have flagged up.

Critically, a strong business case will help you get stakeholders on board. That’s one of the most important factors in having a smooth migration.

There are two stages to a good business case.

Stage one involves identifying challenges you currently face and how you are overcoming them.

For finance teams this can include:

  • Poor data quality leading to incorrect forecasting and budgeting
  • A lack of data integration, meaning time has to be spent gathering data together
  • A lack of skilled resources due to a shortage of skilled financial expertise
  • Legacy systems that aren’t compatible with the newest tools
  • A lack of automation meaning you have to stick with error-prone manual processes
  • Difficulty in effectively communicating insights due to a lack of reporting tools.

Do you face these problems? How are you dealing with them now? How much does that cost you, in money, time and effort? Does it bother your employees? These will form the basis of your business case.

Stage two involves proposing a solution. This is where you will clearly explain how you’ll use your new technology to overcome those challenges. You will want to spell out potential costs, give a clear picture of the benefits and set out how these things will be measured.

This is also where you will cover any implementation risks, which will help you make a plan for if those risks come to pass.

Final thoughts

There is no reason that migrating your finance systems from a legacy solution to something more useful and modern needs to be a pain. With a little bit of forward planning, you can see the biggest issues coming from a mile off, and head them off straight away.

Find out how MHR can help you maximise efficiency within your business .



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