When should the financial and accounting programme be changed? Basic issues related to the implementation of new software for accounting

14 January 2022

When should the financial and accounting programme be changed? Basic issues related to the implementation of new software for accounting

Reading time: 4 minutes.

In the article you will learn:

  • how to know that the company’s accounting programme should be changed;
  • how software can facilitate your accounting tasks;
  • what to remember when transferring accounting data.

Accounting Manager at RSM Poland

With the end of the old year and the advent of the new one, some business owners and chief accountants are considering changing the accounting software. It is a difficult decision and not only does it have serious consequences in terms of tax settlements, but also often involves high costs of purchasing a licence and implementing appropriate software. 

How to choose a financial and accounting programme for our companies, foundations, or associations? The selection process should be preceded by an analysis, which the following text may help to make.

Therefore, in order to be prudent when changing an accounting programme, you should first of all:

  • think why you are dissatisfied with the software you have used so far and discuss your doubts with the accounting department,
  • consider the possibilities of making improvements to the programme used and increasing its functionality through extension (the so-called “upgrade”) and estimate the cost of such action.

The change process should be preceded a by reflection on what a good accounting software means to us. The basic requirements that should be set for this type of software are, of course, those related to ensuring compliance with applicable tax and accounting regulations and enabling the correct fulfilment of tax settlement and financial reporting. However, it is also worth considering the functionality of a given product, its adaptation to the needs of users, as well as intuitiveness and ease of use. 

It is quite obvious that a good accounting programme is one that does not generate additional work and problems, while making it easier to perform the most common and complex tasks.

How to audit financial and accounting software?

To properly assess the change needs and the requirements for new accounting software, ask your accounting department to determine:

  • what type of errors are most often generated when entering documents and does the structure of the currently used programme have an impact on it?
  • does the current system allow for ongoing search and correction of errors made while entering data?
  • is the current system adapted to the number and types of documents processed?
  • does the current system have areas that do not meet the needs for efficient control, i.e. are ineffective and make document verification long and laborious?
  • does the current system have areas that are difficult to use and not intuitive, e.g. require actions in many places in the programme?
  • does the new employee’s training take too long to work freely on the current system?

If, with the help of accountants, you identify areas in the current system that require improvement, consider whether they are technically feasible and what would be their cost (including the costs of accounting work related to testing solutions).

Also, take a look at the internal procedures (not only in the accounting department), as they may have an impact on the efficiency of entering documents.

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What to do if the accounting programme does not meet our expectations?

If the result of the above analysis is not positive for the system used so far and the implementation of a new programme is a necessity, there is nothing else but to take decisive steps. For the entire process to run smoothly, you should:

  • check the offers of other programmes available within the planned budget and compare their packages, with particular emphasis on the solutions you care about the most,
  • develop a schedule of work related to the implementation of a new programme and consider which activities can be performed by the accounting department and which will require IT support (external and/or internal),
  • develop an hourly budget for the implementation.

Transferring accounting data to the new system

If you decide to change the accounting programme, you should consider what data will have to be transferred from the old system. Assuming the so-called “full accounting”, the following list may be helpful. The most important financial and business data will therefore be:

  • database of contractors,
  • chart of accounts,
  • the opening balance,
  • open items/settlements,
  • fixed assets,
  • VAT to be settled in the following periods and bad debt relief,
  • tax declaration part (i.e. JPK files, declarations, etc.).

The key to the implementation of the new IT accounting system is the creation of a work schedule, their hourly budget and their appropriate allocation to appropriate employees. It is also necessary to decide to use the support of an external IT professional.

It is worth considering how the accounting department will work during the transition period and take into account that perhaps for some time it will be necessary to keep accounting in both programs at the same time.

Summing up, we wish you courage in starting projects related to changes in the accounting system. In today’s complicated reality, it is not worth saving on work tools for accounting departments, as the effects of an unadjusted programme may be financially more painful than the purchase of a new system.

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Accounting Manager

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