1. Not enough planning

Before implementing a Financial Close solution, many companies fail to identify crucial issues with their manual, traditional accounting processes. Companies must identify and address bottlenecks well in advance to ensure results align with expectations. Solutions like Aico offer a world of flexibility to move in step with the fast-changing business environment today.

Best Practice: Map out your goals and determine the features your organisation needs ahead of your financial close investment so that adjustments can be made to arduous, inefficient, and complex processes rather than simply moving them onto a new solution.

2. Setting an unrealistic timeline

When you sign the contract to begin your journey, it is natural to want it now. However, getting a Financial Close system up and running as desired successfully takes time. If it were easy, your ERP upgrade would have resolved it. But despite spending millions on the implementation, it didn’t. It is essential to have proper expectation management and form a schedule that considers your teams’ availability.  

Best Practice: Involve end-users as early as possible to determine requirements, compare solutions, and investigate use cases to get their buy-in as well as time commitment.

3. Trying to digitise legacy processes

The month-end close process continues to be complex and fragile for many organisations. Instead of having transparent, well-documented and streamlined processes, they run their financial close the way it always has been done. Sticking to the old way of doing things stifles innovation. Avoid re-implementing old processes in your new financial close system.

Best Practice: Be open to new and possibly more efficient ways of doing things. Examine your current financial close processes and look at how you can embed internal controls and automation into them.

4. Deciding to overlook training and change management

Digital transformation does not occur without effectively managing change across the three key areas: people, processes and tools. From your employees’ perspective, a financial close system means change and a learning curve. All too often, organisations look only at technology to harmonise, automate, and simplify operations. The “human factor” needs just as much careful consideration.

Best Practice: Ignoring training and change management results in lower adoption and ultimately lower ROI. Ensure your employees understand how to use the financial close software and become familiar with it before going live.

5. Bad integration.

Financial Close software aggregates data from your entire organisation, improving visibility into your entity close process and helping you make intelligent decisions. However, incomplete, outdated, and inaccurate data won’t give you an accurate picture of your month-end close or provide value in decision-making.

Best Practice: Ensuring real-time integration needs to be a part of your plan. Periods and sub-ledgers are always reopened for late postings. Through real-time integration, get more accurate, deeper, and greater insight across the enterprise.

6. Not choosing a best-in-class solution

When choosing a financial close solution, executives often overlook that an ERP-specific best-of-breed solution accounts for your existing investments and provides more efficiency gains than ERP-agnostic solutions. Your systems integrator or ERP vendor may not suggest the best solution for your environment and needs instead of the solution on their price list for which they are incentivised.

Best Practice: While looking at financial close, take a holistic view. You understand your business and process best and need the best solution for your company to help you optimise your financial close processes

7. Approaching the implementation like any other IT project

This may be the deadliest mistake. You aren’t upgrading Windows desktops. You are implementing a system that will affect every local finance team and Shared Service Center across your company.

Best Practice: Involve your entire team by asking for their input, keeping them up to date on developments, and sharing the common end goals or KPIs – the most important of which is making their jobs easier.

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