Of all the upgrades you may plan to implement for your business this coming year, one of the most logical ones to prioritize is an accounting system upgrade. Due to factors like its growing size and volume of transactions, your company may already be due to onboard a computerized accounting system (CAS) for managing its finances. If your company can already be categorized as a large taxpayer under the Philippines’ Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) Revenue Regulations No. 1-1998 directive, your transition into a BIR CAS-compliant system should already be underway.
All the same, even if you already know how beneficial a new accounting system will be to your company, the process of onboarding one won’t be without friction. Every major technology upgrade will come with its growing pains, and a new CAS is no different. Without proper planning and oversight, it may take a long time for you and your employees to fully incorporate your new accounting system into your workflow and to enjoy its full range of advantages.
Planning ahead and being strategic about your implementation is the key to reducing friction and achieving greater satisfaction with your CAS upon its adoption. To that end, here are a few tips for making the CAS upgrade experience a smoother one for you and the rest of your accounting and finance team.
Revisit Your Current Accounting System and Make a Roadmap for Adapting to a New One
First, remember that upgrading to a new accounting system doesn’t necessarily involve chucking away every single process or document that you used in your previous accounting workflow. It serves your best interest to revisit the strengths of your old accounting system and find ways to integrate your most productive accounting approaches into your new system.
Before you make any hard decisions about what accounting software product to onboard and which software vendor to ink a contract with, consult with your accounting and finance team and discuss which aspects of your old accounting approach you’d like to retain. Compile old assets, like your company’s chart of accounts (COA), and prepare them for integration into your BIR-compliant CAS.
Find a Reputable Technology Partner for Your Accounting System Upgrade
For a tech upgrade that’s as significant and complex as a CAS upgrade, your choice of tech partner can make all the difference. A CAS vendor who doesn’t know their way around the BIR’s evolving guidelines, or who seems to offer a blanket implementation approach that doesn’t suit the needs of your organization or industry, can turn a CAS onboarding experience into an unproductive money drain or an earnest nightmare.
Save yourself the pain of dealing with an inexperienced or unscrupulous vendor and find one with an excellent track record for implementing CAS upgrades, especially to your peers in the industry. Say yes to a vendor who’s confident not only about the products in their portfolio, but their strategy for helping your company check off on its business goals with the CAS.
Orient Yourself and Your Team Members with Your New Accounting System’s Features
Once you’ve narrowed down your choice of vendor and product, take the time to orient yourself with your new CAS’s functionalities. It may come with features that are a little more sophisticated than what you and your team members are used to. Moreover, you may need to learn how to execute key accounting processes in a certain way, such as after your new CAS has been integrated with your existing point of sale (POS) system.
Even technologies that will one day become like second nature for you to use will require you to follow a certain learning curve. Be open to learning, ask a lot of questions about your new CAS, and work out the kinks with your software provider in the first stages of your CAS implementation. It’s good to settle your queries early and to be forthright about the knowledge or tech-savvy that you and your staff may be lacking, rather than assuming you won’t have a hard time with the CAS at all and struggling when you’re already under pressure.
Run a Technology Audit Before You Implement Your New System
It’s also a good idea to run a preliminary technology audit, or a rundown of your business’s current IT infrastructure and IT policies, before you roll out your new CAS. After all, your new accounting software won’t work in isolation. You should be able to understand how it works alongside other technologies you possess, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, before you start using it in earnest.
A technology audit should also give you some perspective on the CAS implementation gaps you can anticipate due to outdated software, insufficient hardware, or lack of technical knowledge among your staff. This will give you the opportunity to address these gaps beforehand and make the actual implementation process a lot less troublesome.
Don’t forget to give your company sufficient time to acclimatize to the new CAS and to monitor how well you’re doing with your system on a monthly or quarterly basis. You may not be able to completely transform your accounting approach overnight, but if you are careful and purposeful about your CAS implementation strategy, it won’t be long before you start to see improvements to the efficiency of your accounting operations—and, ultimately, to your company’s bottom line.