Changing accounting systems – Traps and Tricks

Considering changing your accounting system?

Before jumping in feet first or hitching yourself on the latest bandwagon, there are a number of things you should consider to make the process as straight forward and streamlined as possible and ensure that any change is made at the optimal time.

 

Rationale

The first step should be to confirm whether you really need to change the existing system at all and whether any change would be beneficial to your organisation.  This should involve a detailed review of the reasons that change is being considered, the potential benefits of the new system and cost-benefit ratios.

 

Timing

The next step is to determine the best timeframe for implementation.  The best time for the actual changeover to occur is at the end of the financial reporting period; however, forward planning and trials are required prior to this to ensure a smooth process.

 

Implementation

It is recommended that any implementation be preceded by a trial phase where the existing system and the new system are run concurrently.  While this involves slightly more work at the outset (data entry), it will enable you to compare data, ensure that the reports are reflecting the information you require and that correct information is being recorded in the relevant sections and thus on financial statements.

 

Establishing the framework first

Prior to any data entry, you need to consider the set-up of your chart of accounts and ensure the framework has been established correctly.   This will ensure all data is being captured accurately in the correct fields/accounts and will save many headaches down the track.

 

Seeking professional help for the set-up

It is strongly recommended that you consider obtaining professional help for the changeover – using someone who has assisted other businesses with changing accounting systems and has a good understanding of the potential pitfalls and all of the factors that need to be considered is likely to be a very worthwhile investment.  This may involve providing basic advice and recommendations about the areas to address through to implementing the change involving the physical setup and data entry (tailored to your business’ needs).

 

 

Assistance available

Don’t forget that your auditor can also assist you with this process, discussing your current systems, any gaps or areas requiring further attention (based on the outcome of previous audit processes) and making suggestions regarding the timing and factors that need to be considered when implementing a changeover of systems.

 

CB Audit staff members are available to assist you with determining the best solutions for your business needs after considering relevant information and your setup.   Please contact us to discuss any queries on 1300 CBAUDIT.

 

If you are not a current client and would like more information on our services, please contact Matt Williams through [email protected].