10 Tips to Prepare for a Successful Financial System Implementation
At ProcurePro we have implemented a number of financial systems (FinSys) for our mid-sized clients as either a stand-alone system or combined with other modules in an enterprise resource planning system (ERP). Last year we wrote an article on Implementing an ERP System – 10 Things to Consider First which we hope you found useful. An ERP system includes multiple systems such as Finance, HR, Payroll, Inventory, Purchasing etc. For this particular article let’s narrow that down to just the implementation of a financial system … how hard can that be? In our experience, if your organization does not do the appropriate preparation ahead of time, it can be a very long, arduous process that may end up costing your organization thousands in time and money!
So, you’ve chosen your financial system, how can you prepare for the implementation? What are the things you and your team must do before the implementation team even hits the ground … well, let us tell you!
1. Establish the Executive Sponsor & Their Role
The Executive Sponsor should be a senior financial executive, ideally the Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The more senior the more likely they will be able to prioritize project activities over other conflicting priorities within the organization. The Executive Sponsor needs to be able to commit their time to the project and will be the person who updates, gains buy-in and support from the C-level executives within the company. The Executive Sponsor should be the final decision maker and can ensure that the project and Core team remain on track and can adjust other priorities and activities of the team members if needed. For the sake of the implementation we recommend that your Core team members report to this individual.
2. Assign or hire a dedicated Project Manager
Someone MUST be assigned and dedicated to lead the overall project for your company and to liaise with the vendor. This can be someone who has a project management background from your finance or IT teams, if you have one. If not, hire a Project Manager (PM) from a company who has sufficient and proven experience implementing Finance Systems such as ProcurePro Consulting. The PM should report directly to the Executive Sponsor, oversee the entire project, assist in coordinating company resources, actions, priorities, identifying risks, issues and documenting decisions. They should also act as the primary contact and advocate for your company with the vendor.
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