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What does Go Live really mean?

If you are in the process of selecting a new financial system, or have already selected a solution, how are you approaching your implementation plan and timeline? For many companies on a calendar fiscal year, this is now Q4. If your CFO says s/he wants to be live 1/1/2016, how do you approach this with your implementation partner? For example: 1. What really does "go live 1/1/16" mean? 2. Seeing as the Dec 2015 books won't have been closed, what do you need from the new system on the first working day/week of Jan 2016? -Could it be that you need only to bill customers, apply cash, enter vendor bills and pay them at this stage? -Can you wait until later in January to load opening balances (from 12/31/15)? 3. How do you plan to adjust for 2015 audit adjustments? 4. Isn't your January close and reporting the final stage of "go live" where you prove you have stopped using the old system? 5. How does the size and complexity of your organization influence your decision? 6. Go back to Q1 and see if you would answer it differently after Q2-5. Look forward to the debate!

Answers

Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
Company: SBAConsulting.com
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, SBAConsulting.com) |

I enter the beginning balances as the close of the last quarter.

I then enter all transactions for Quarter + month 1, 2 and finally 3. Remember, we have time compression so a month of transactions will take a fraction of the time to re-key.

But its not just "re-keying". It's proof of concept, training, quality control of processes, systems, procedures and since the month-end figures are a known, you know right a way whether you an accounting issue (this is the very short answer).

Ron Dimon
Title: Director, Analytics + Information Manage..
Company: Deloitte
LinkedIn Profile
(Director, Analytics + Information Management, Deloitte) |

And depending on the type of reports (statutory, management, variance) and complexity, you'll want to allow for a certain number of parallel cycles (usually months). So Len to your point #4, I may need to see more proof of accuracy and completeness. Some of my Fortune 500 clients (publicly traded, SOX compliant, complex consolidations and calculations) do external reporting parallels for a minimum of 3 months (some for 2 quarters) but only do forecasting parallels for 1 month.

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