Streamline the Leap from Legacy to Cloud Accounting With These Simple Steps

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If you currently utilize traditional accounting systems, you’re likely dedicating far too much time to generating important financial reports, goods and services tax returns, and more. Worse, you’re hunting down information hidden in outdated software – and that’s time you could be spending in pursuit of much more valuable endeavors designed to help grow your business. In addition, most legacy systems have limited availability, preventing you or your management team from obtaining easy access to your pertinent data.

Today, however, a much better option exists – cloud accounting. With cloud accounting software, a single, innovative platform allows you to access your business’s information anywhere and at any time. You’re no longer tied to your company’s hard drive while making your most important decisions.

How to Make the Move

Deciding to make the move to cloud accounting is a relatively major leap forward for your business and as such, requires proper planning and preparation to happen without a hitch. These steps can help you overcome potential roadblocks so you can get right to the good part – enjoying the ease and accessibility of cloud accounting:

  1. Ensure your decision to switch is firm. While some decisions regarding your business services can be made tentatively, making the leap to cloud-based accounting is not one of them. You’ll need your leadership team, staff, and all systems on board before beginning the process. Anything less can cost you valuable time, resources, and money long-term.

  2. Assess your legacy accounting system. Over time, many business’s accounting systems become a jumbled accumulation of services, patchworked together as you’ve found – and addressed – accounting shortcomings. As a result, your business may not have a cohesive accounting strategy but instead, a semi-functioning network of separate parts. Now is the time to perform a thorough assessment of the hardware, software, and other systems that comprise your legacy accounting system.

  3. Involve your team. As you begin to map and assess your legacy accounting system, make sure to include the essential team members you’ve brought on board in your mission. While this team will certainly include accounting and IT professionals to perform the necessary deep questioning for a proper legacy assessment, don’t stop there. Anyone who accesses the accounting system for any reason should be able to provide insight regarding your current system’s shortcomings as well as the necessary components for a future cloud-based system.

  4. Ask the right questions. Where is your current data? Is your documentation and reporting up to date? Which functions and performance details are missing? How can your current system become more cohesive? These questions are crucial questions to ask yourself and your team before you proceed.

  5. Define your goals. After you assess your legacy accounting software and identify your team’s most critical points of contention with the current system, you’ll need to build a set of goals for your new, cloud-based system. These goals don’t need to be overly complex; they exist to define what you’ll see as success for cloud accounting. Then, you can present your definition of success to your cloud accounting partner so you’ll know early on that you’re both working toward the same goal.

  6. Find the right partner. You’ve done your homework, assessed our current situation, and developed goals – now you’re finally ready to find the right partner to help you transition to cloud-based accounting. An ideal cloud provider will help you build on the efforts you’ve already made, while identifying any points of weakness. From there, you’ll be able to work together to develop the right mix of features and strategies for your business.

  7. Build in time for implementation. Just as with any other major change in your business, you’ll need to allow yourself and your team adequate time to adjust to the differences provided by your new cloud-based accounting system. First and foremost, create time in your team’s schedule to perform the migration. Then, allow time to learn new processes and software.

  8. Set targets for migration, learning and reporting. Key in keeping your team moving to complete adoption of your new accounting system is providing goals to work towards. Work with your accounting and IT teams to develop a series of goals for full implementation of the system, as well as set date targets for reporting any faults. Learning about shortcomings and key features early on will help you assess and optimize your productivity for future success.

  9. Establish open communication with your staff. While you identified pitfalls and shortcomings with your legacy accounting system, your new cloud-based system is not a cure-all. You’ll need insight from your team as well as every other employee who accesses the new system to continue to improve your efficiency. During this process, it’s important to realize that the migration may be intimidating and unfamiliar to some; ensuring you effectively communicate that your door – as well as those for key IT and accounting staff – remains open for concerns and questions is an important step towards full implementation.

Keep open communication with your cloud partner. Your cloud partner should be present for much more than simple implementation questions regarding your new software. Keep open communication and tap into your partner’s expertise regarding migration, particularly when performing internal PR as your employees onboard. Ideally, you and your cloud partner can communicate with your team together to provide unparalleled expertise and a personal touch to the software migration process

Whether you’re a small business, a medium sized firm, or a large corporation, converting from a legacy accounting system to a cloud-based system offers a host of advantages. Avelera’s series of cloud-based productivity and ERP services flow seamlessly with the best in cloud accounting. Contact us today to discuss implementation and the benefits you stand to see by incorporating your data into a single, cloud-based management system.

Sources
accountingtoday.com/opinion/4-crucial-steps-to-take-before-moving-to-the-cloud
xero.com/us/resources/accountant-bookkeeper-resources/pacesetters/your-seven-step-guide-to-adopting-a-cloud-based-accounting-system/
xero.com/us/resources/small-business-guides/cloud-accounting/cloud-accounting-business/

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