Optimal use: How to introduce new technology into your accounting firm
Welcome to the final blog in our four-part blog series covering the important process of introducing new technology into your firm.
Whether or not your accounting firm is successful, future-proofing is becoming increasingly dependent on the extent to which you know how to use the right technology.
The introduction of new technology can be a fraught process with serious repercussions if not handled correctly.
In this four part blog series, we’ll discuss all the steps you can take to introduce new technology to your future practice. We will be following the four stages:
- Gather support
- The right technology choice
- A plan for a successful implementation
- Optimal use
After you have accomplished these first three steps, you can move on to the final topic in this series: optimal use.
A plan for successful implementation
› Ensure that the most important problems or complaints are reported and that all functions of the new technology are used.
We already mentioned super users in the previous blog ‘A plan for successful implementation’. These super users can also collect complaints from their colleagues and report problems that occur after implementation. They can then again inform the project leader and management. That is a lot more financially attractive than having to hire external consultants for this.
The super users will spend a lot of time helping their colleagues with the new system, so make sure that they have relief from regular duties in the first week or so after implementation or that additional staff are recruited to support them. Ensure your super users are from the IT team and other departments that will predominantly deal with the new technology.
1) IT support
There must be sufficient and appropriate IT support during this period. If you are a smaller accountancy firm, you may have to bring this support in from an external player. Also keep an eye on what kind of guidance or support you can expect from your new supplier. For example, think of a help desk that your employees can call with questions.
Managers, the project manager, super users and perhaps also your HR department can collect information about the use of the new system by the team members. When managers collect complaints and feedback, they can determine which are the most important problems and how they should be solved. Make sure that all employees know where they are with their complaints or comments.
Employees may need to be trained to make optimum use of the new system. Make sure that these training sessions do not become too intensive or too long. Continue to explain why the change is necessary. Get buy in.
Make sure you do not lose sight of your KPI’s after the implementation and make progress statistics. Measure the progress of the implementation, such as how many employees have already received training.
But don’t forget that the whole change is ultimately aimed at improving business processes, working more efficiently, saving money or making your product or service better. These were the main reasons for purchasing new technology or software, so make sure you monitor these benefits carefully. It is important to keep this in mind that these benefits will probably not be immediately visible once you have introduced the new solution, but that this will take time.
Only as soon as everyone in your firm can handle the new possibilities, will you find that work runs more smoothly, your service improves, and your practice is ready for the future again.
This concludes our four-part blog series on ‘How to introduce new technology into your accounting firm’. We hope you found it useful in evaluating important technology choices within your firm.
To find out more about APS software, visit www.aps-software.com.
APS is a division of Reckon, an ASX listed company. We develop the software used by the best Accounting Firms in Australia and New Zealand to run their business’ and advise their clients.
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