Accounting software

Implementation checklist for new accounting package

Guide

There are many approaches to setting up a new accounting package and making it work for your business. Most begin with careful planning and analysis of critical steps that you need to carry out for a successful implementation of the package.

Accounting software implementation checklist

Your implementation plan should consider the following:-

Step 1: Package installation

This will usually be in the form of a CD-Rom, or via internet if hosted in the cloud, and may require you to register the package with the supplier so it is fully licensed and works correctly. Depending on the complexity of the package, the supplier may install it for you.

Step 2: Initial company setup

You will need to enter details of your business including the year-end date, the form of VAT accounting you use and other details. Your accounts package may have several different Charts of Accounts - ie the headings you use in your accounts - so you can choose to suit your type of business. However, you may need to tailor this to your requirements. Your accountant should be able to advise you on this work, or undertake it for you. See how to choose and work with an accountant.

Step 3: Parallel running

You may find it useful to run your old accounts and the new package alongside each other for a while to ensure that you are getting the correct results. However, it is difficult to maintain parallel running for very long because of the duplication of effort.

Step 4: Training

The staff who will work with the accounts package on a day-to-day basis should ideally have some formal training. You should time this training so that it is done shortly before the installation of the software.

Step 5: Support

It is a good idea to purchase a support agreement from your supplier for your new accounts package, at least for the first year of operation so that you have a readily available contact to help sort out queries and problems. Many small businesses find that a support agreement is a good investment even after this initial period.

For more best practice tips, see also software installation and maintenance.