Now… the right time to update your system.
Embarking on a system upgrade can be a daunting task. Whether it is your customer-relationship management tool, your donor platform, your reporting software or your accounting system, there can be many challenges.
The responsibility of moving data, retaining important historical information and coordinating training can be a demanding undertaking for finance staff in any organisation.
However, when it comes to accounting systems, Accounting For Good can ease your stress and help you through the process, quickly and efficiently.
Why would you upgrade?
There is a range of different reasons why an organisation would choose to upgrade their accounting system.
One of the most motivating reasons is that the software provider is no longer supporting the current system in use.
This has been experienced by many MYOB users. The traditional desktop version of MYOB is no longer supported, and clients are recommended to move to a cloud environment. Understandably, MYOB encourage their clients to transition across to their platform, but the MYOB cloud system is not a true cloud product.
The software still resides on a desktop computer which has some limitations as it requires the user to choose between a Mac or Windows version and therefore reduces compatibility and ease of access.
When a client is seeking to move to a cloud solution, we always recommend Xero, as we believe it is the superior system for most organisations.
“Both Xero and MYOB have similar functionality but as far as an online platform, Xero is simply much better. By moving to cloud-based accounting software, you can easily set up many online processes that would traditionally be done on paper. The automation possibilities and add-on possibilities are good reasons for migrating to the cloud… it enables a lot of process efficiency.
Another reason that organisations explore updating their systems is to take advantage of ever-improving advancements in technology.
When you consider that you can do your own personal banking, book holidays, so many transactions on your phone… we are finding a lot of CEOs are now asking ‘Why does it take three weeks to get reports? Why do I still have to have paper documents coming across my desk to pay our suppliers and our payroll? Does it have to be this difficult?’
People are taking advantage of technology improvements in their daily personal lives, so if they are working with old paper-based systems they are thinking… ‘Surely this can be easier.’
This is often when an organisation might consider an outsourced provider. They realise their inhouse staff can’t innovate the process themselves, perhaps they don’t know how to do it or it’s too hard, the team is too busy, they don’t have the skills or the resources. It becomes easier to outsource.”
Reporting is another reason that a system upgrade can be initiated. Clunky reports or lack of functionality can frustrate a finance department and the management team.
And quantity is no substitute for quality when it comes to reporting for the Board – reports that focus on the key drivers in the organisation are critical for the Board to effectively get to grips with financial performance. Xero has a strong native reporting ability. It offers a suite of useful reports, and it is easy to build custom reports to suit an organisation’s needs.
How can Accounting For Good help you?
“Accounting For Good is a Xero Gold Partner. We can help people get to competency quickly – we have done dozens of conversions to Xero and our team works with it every day in our business.
As specialist not for profit accountants, we have developed a suite of processes and tools that perfectly suit not for profit (NFP) organisations and can shortcut the learning curve you’d expect when you start working with new software and processes. Instead of a client having to find out how the system works themselves, we can give them a plug and play solution. This enables them to be up and running straight away,” says Kirsten.
We strongly believe there are many benefits for our clients to be using Xero.
One of these benefits is the low cost of ownership. The price of the software is highly competitive. It is a month to month subscription, so you don’t have to buy a software package and annual licences, you just subscribe as a service.
As a Xero partner, Accounting For Good receives a 25% discount but we pass our partner discount on in full to our clients as the 25% NFP discount. So there’s no ‘kickback’ for us from Xero – we simply think it is a good product.
Why should you upgrade now?
Converting your MYOB or QuickBooks system to Xero can be done quickly by utilising Jet Convert. This is a tool that allows you to upload your data and convert it to a Xero file.
We use this service when we do our conversions but there are some extra elements that need to be considered to guarantee a smooth transition.
“We can review a file from Jet Convert and make sure it is set up correctly. We know how to answer the questions they ask during conversion and we reconcile the file back to the original software.
We manually set up the payroll system. Organisations have substantial compliance obligations around payroll and of course it is important to pay your employees correctly. . A key compliance obligation is reporting to the Australian Taxation Office accurately. Unless payroll is set up correctly, you won’t be able to report through Single Touch Payroll, which is mandatory for all employers from 1 July 2019.
Large organisations with more than 20 employees should have already been using Single Touch from 1 July 2018, but it is being extended to all employers this July.”
With the July deadline looming, we encourage you to move forward with your upgrade sooner rather than later. Kirsten continues,
“We find that organisations that are keen to update their systems also often take the opportunity to refresh their chart of accounts and cost centre structure to ensure it is fit for their current business and information needs. This is obviously something you need to have in place for the beginning of the new financial year, but ideally you’d have this structure determined at the time you build your new budgets.”
Accounting For Good has developed a Xero-ready version of the National Standard Chart of Accounts and can provide guidance in using Xero tracking categories to manage cost centres. Kirsten says,
“We find a lot of people don’t understand how Xero tracking categories work – we’ve nailed that and can help clients to ensure they have access to the financial reporting they need”.
How long will it take?
Depending on the size of the organisation, we can get a Xero datafile up and running in a matter of days.
When we utilise Jet Convert, we receive the conversion file within three business days. This quick turnaround means a client who is actively working in their data won’t experience major downtime. Kirsten says,
“When we plan the upgrade, we advise that most clients need approximately a week ‘hands off” their system. So, you pay all your bills, process payroll, run your reports, then we do the conversion.
Additional time is required for more complex organisations or if there are a number of people involved in the project. For example, the consultation around cost centre structure… determining what you need… assessing your current processes. We provide process documentation and train the inhouse finance team to work in Xero. We also support them to train others who are involved in finance processes.”
Don’t wait until July…
While it might seem appropriate to start a new financial year in a new system there really isn’t a compelling reason to time launching a new system when you’re about to get busy preparing for audit.
When we use Jet Convert, it brings across transactional data from the current year and past years as well. This enables the new system to retain line by line transactional data from the beginning of your financial year.
There is no need to wait to start from the beginning of the new financial year.
When converting from a larger software system, such as Attaché, it is better to start in the new year, but the implementation project will still require time for planning, the process documentation, workflow deliberation and training. This would need to be completed during May and June for a 1 July go live.
“We know that if an organisation has a June year end, July and August are very busy. The team have to close off their accounts… they send out payment summaries… there’s a lot going on. Doing the conversion during a quieter time is a better idea so that you can be up to speed and competent in preparation for the busy period.”
Contact us today to find out how we can help you with your accounting system conversion.