10 Steps To a Successful Accounting Software Upgrade

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Replacing outdated accounting systems with more powerful solutions such as Microsoft Dynamics GP can reap many benefits – higher efficiency, more productivity, faster growth. In order to tackle the challenges involved in an upgrade, you first need to have a “roadmap” for success – one  which stakeholders in your organization approve and agree to follow. Several key factors for success are:

1.   Designate and empower a Project Leader.

Depending on the size of your company, an individual or a steering committee (with five to seven stakeholders) should be named Project Leader and put in charge of the needs assessment and selection process.

2.   Is an outside consultant necessary? 

For complex initiatives that are broad in scope, consultants often get involved early on and oversee the needs assessment. In other cases, many businesses successfully manage the entire assessment and selection process on their own.

3.   Take an inclusive approach.

Identify problems and bottlenecks, solicit feedback from personnel at all levels who interact with the accounting system, input financial information, or generate reports based on financial data. The more inclusive the process, the more cooperative stakeholders will be, making a successful implementation more likely.

4.   Think long term.

All potential solutions must be able to support projected long-term growth as well. Since a more robust accounting solution will facilitate faster growth, it makes sense to first find accounting software powerful enough to grow with you.

5.   What do you need in a new solution?

You need to determine what level of integration you will need in a new solution. Poorly integrated business processes and limited visibility into workflow are not only costly, but they have a considerable negative impact on organizational agility and competitiveness.

6.   Set a realistic budget.

You should allocate roughly .005% of the annual budget to a new accounting package. That covers software and implementation, including customization and training. Allocate funds to four categories:

  • New software
  • New hardware
  • Implementation and training
  • Ongoing support and product upgrades


7.   Check your Solution Partner’s experience. Choosing the right reseller is crucial, but with so many resources making similar claims, it can be confusing to sort through credentials. Ask potential partners:

  • Are they well-versed in the unique needs and “pain points” of your industry?
  • How many years have they been in business? How large is their client base?
  • Can they provide case studies of their engagements?
  • Have they worked with systems similar to yours?
  • Have they written custom reports in your industry?
  • Will they provide references of current clients?


8.   Check your Solution Partner’s methodology. The best resellers have a proven, peer-reviewed process that includes:

  • Diagnostics & Analysis – Review and document processes, define scope
  • Design – Create a plan that integrates needs, process, people and product
  • Development – Adapt existing features, create new features, migrate and test data
  • Deployment – Set up operational environment on-site


9.   Check your Solution Partner’s training and support resources. Make sure there are at least three consultants on staff, are fully certified and receive product education annually. To control the cost of training new hires, make sure the reseller has at least one resource dedicated to phone and remote support.

10.   Check your gut. To determine your comfort level with potential partners, ask yourself: Do they communicate clearly and effectively? Do they respond to requests quickly and thoroughly? Do they understand the unique demands of your industry? Can they explain and demonstrate technology in language all employees will understand? Are they open, and friendly?

By Intellitec Solutions, Microsoft Dynamics GP Partner serving Pennsylvania

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