The challenges of migrating finance systems

A short while ago, a Linkedin feed enthralled me. It was an invitation to share the challenges of migrating finance systems. Deja vu, I do come across such situations now and then.

We have delivered approximately 20 plus large and small, simple and complex ERP implementation projects in the past six years. Each implementation has been unique and has had its challenges. Majority of the time, the finance function had their quirks.

It is vital to conduct a thorough “As is” vs “To be” state assessment to reduce the risks of failure. Here are some of the key aspects, based on our experience, that could be crucial in the migration of financial systems: 

1. Management reports: The needs of the board must be understood. The board needs fast and impactful financial insights to make the transformational business decisions and use the indicators to drive the chart of accounts across the organisation. We term this as the “top-down approach”.

2. Organisation structure: It is critical to understand the implications that each department or business function has on the profitability of the business. Management can only leverage this insight if they have this real-time and are made aware of it. It becomes complex, when the current financial system is flat, whereas a new software system must be hierarchical and organised. However, in the long term, this new structure would provide critical insights.

3. Products and Services: Whether you are a manufacturer, distributor or a professional services entity, the products or services you sell form the backbone of your business. Effective organising of the product/services family could prove to be of immense benefits. Key performance indicators such as top-performing items, slow-moving ranges, lead times, margins could be vital in making strategic and operational business decisions.

After such a needs analysis, conducting a gap analysis can answer a few questions such as

  • What does the current system offer?
  • What would the new system offer?
  • Would the new software be able to offer what is needed?

Besides, never underestimate the significance of the RAID log. A feasibility study can confirm if the new software system has mechanisms in place to migrate the necessary structure and volume of data.

In our experience, there have been failures and successes. Every project has been unique and has offered great learnings. There is no one-size-fits-all template. However, with the right intentions, integrity and commitment, success can be achieved.

If you would like us to perform a complimentary half-day assessment of your business to determine the business readiness to migrate, please get in touch with us, and we would be happy to help.

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