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Financial System - Implementation Plan and Timeline

accounting system implementationWe are implementing a new financial software package and we need to develop an Implementation Plan and Timeline.  Wondering if anyone would be able to advise where we could get a general plan from that we can tweak so that it meets our needs.  Hoping to not have to start from scratch.  Will be implementing AR, AP, and GL. 

Answers

Patricia Hickey
Title: Chief Financial Officer
Company: CCS
(Chief Financial Officer, CCS) |

I suggest you ask the vendor that you are purchasing the new system to recommend an implementation partner. Having done system implementations in the past, unless you have someone internal that has experience in this, you cannot possibly foresee the bumps in the road you will encounter. Finding a general implementation schedule and customizing it yourself could set you up for failure. So whille at the end of the day you do get your new system in place, it could take longer, cause downtime in accounting (which never goes over well), and cost more than you planned.

Richard Wermuth
Title: Financial Systems VP
Company: Independent Consultant
(Financial Systems VP, Independent Consultant) |

Dear Anonymous Sr Controller;
.
The vendor does have a simple plan/task list primarily useful for sequencing of activities.

To determine the true time-line and milestones the plan needs metrics such as volumes and degree of difficulty for integration points, outputs (reports and data feeds to warhouses, marts, etc) and, other metrics such as configuration and tailoring of the applications in question (avoid customizations), training of project team and end-user training and other variables.
But these can all undergo appropriate estimating once identified.

In my experience, I find Financial Systems to be a recipe, with some surprises (issues) that arise and are resolved. Most ERP applications are constructed to meet best practices. With a high percentage of requirements and features captured in configuration, surprises can be minimized.

Certainly, there is more to this but at a high level this should provide some food for thought.

Carrie Roesner
Title: Controller and VP
Company: Centro
(Controller and VP, Centro) |

It depends on the complexity of your current system and the new one. We implemented NetSuite from Quickbooks 6 years ago and it took 4 months from signing the contract to being completely transitioned. Now, based on our size, additional reporting complexity and customization needed, it would likely take a year to implement something new. I would reach out to the vendor to see what's entailed and talking with a consultant/implementation specialist might not hurt depending on the complexity. Hope this helps!

Topic Expert
Barrett Peterson
Title: Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis
Company: TTX
(Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis, TTX) |

There are certainly guidelines and general configuration needs with which your vendor can assist. Your plan will depend on the size of your company, the organizational structure, transaction volumes, skills of your people, and the status of your current system. Needed system process changes should occur before configuring your new software application. My background is larger multi-facility companies where this type of project can span a year or more in some instances. I have installed a QuickBooks application and converted data is a few weeks.

(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Be sure that your GO LIVE is planned for the 1st month of Q2 or Q3. Never do a Go Live in Q1 or Q4.

Best of luck

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