Tips for Financial System Upgrades

While updating financial systems may seem like a never-ending and arduous endeavor, keep in mind that financial system upgrades are an opportunity to eliminate mundane tasks, helping your team be more productive. Optimizing performance and enhancing security are the top reasons that many company’s plan financial systems upgrades.

Following these steps can help you to set up the financial system upgrade project for success:

Define Your Needs

A system update shouldn’t just be about embracing the hottest new technology.  To ensure you make an astute upgrade of your financial systems, conduct a pre-process analysis of your business objectives. Starting with clear objectives allows you to make informed decisions about financial system upgrades.

  • Is there a definite business need to improve financial system performance?
  • Define the requirements needed to achieve and maintain digital maturity.
  • What vulnerabilities will a financial system upgrade address?
  • Is there is a requirement for better data capture and reporting?

Team Assessment

Analyze whether your current employees have the needed expertise to carry out a financial system upgrade.  You need experts capable of mapping-out the existing process, identifying areas that the change will impact and keeping the technical disruption to a minimum.

Training and support Consider your technical training needs before the new system goes live. Have technical experts available to deal with any post-implementation issues.

Collaboration

Cross departmental collaboration among the CFO, CIO, CMO and Human Resources will promote a smoother financial system upgrade.

Stay in Control

Change managers will want to focus on these areas:

Keep a constant flow of open communication with the entire upgrade team. Hold regular meetings, send email briefings and provide updates on shared project files. Over communication is not a bad thing when it comes to a financial system upgrade.

Chart the existing workflow, then map out the post-upgrade process. These documents will serve as the basis for training.

Training

Ongoing training and support are important, especially in the following areas:

Transition process — The initial training, which should take place before the go-live date, should thoroughly explain how current processes will work with the new system.

Security and compliance — Users need to know the specific data safeguards of the upgraded software. This can also be an opportunity to review current guidelines and best practices. Be sure to update any online training modules or classroom sessions with features of the new system.

Financial system upgrades are rarely simple or quick.  However, it is an opportunity to learn, develop and streamline processes.

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