The right technology choice: How to introduce new technology into your accounting firm
Welcome to the second blog in our four part series to guide you through the vital process of introducing 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
The first step is to gather support and you can read how to do it here.
After you have accomplished this, we move on to today’s topic: The right technology choice.
The right technology choice
› Make an inventory of what systems and technology you currently have and what exactly you want to change.
› As we emphasised in the first chapter, it is very important that the technological investment fits within the strategy of your firm.
› The change must be necessary for example because of new legislation, or to make existing IT securer, faster or better.
Your first step is to properly map your current systems and processes.
Only after mapping can you make a proper determination of the viability of the new solution. Can you see which processes are not running efficiently? Is this user error or system inefficiency? Are all functions of the programs that you use optimal, or can improvements be made here?
If you notice that radical changes are needed, calculate the return on investment (ROI). Perhaps you should do this at the very beginning of your change process, when you conceive of new solutions, because with this information you can urge the managers in your firm to support the change.
1) Clear KPIs
To measure the success of a change, it is important to determine and use key performance indicators (KPI’s), for example, the time it takes to perform tasks, or customer satisfaction levels.
Make your KPIs clear and simple. If you collect and share statistics on the progress of the project goals, make sure that they are not too complicated and extensive. Emphasise potential time savings, more customer satisfaction, cost savings and making processes more efficient.
2) Choose carefully
The need for technological change arises when you hear about new options. You may also have a certain supplier in mind who can offer this software or technology.
However, be careful when choosing a supplier. It is wise to have at least three or four providers to compare. Involve different employees in the process who will be dealing with the new software.
You can also ask an external partner for advice on how to choose the right software. Make sure that the most important stakeholders support your choice for a certain software program before you sign the contract.
3) Define projects
You can view the entire process with all the desired changes as a large program or as a series of smaller projects.
It is easier to complete a task within small projects than within a larger and more complex program. Another advantage of a series of projects is that they can always be adapted to new insights as the implementation situation evolves. Make sure that smaller individual projects remain part of the larger strategic path for the firm.
The success of one project paves the way for the next step – ‘a plan for implementation’.
Stay tuned for the next Implementation Blog – ‘A plan for a successful implentation’
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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