If you have moved your home in the last few years then the pain of making the move is probably still fresh in your mind. For some, it is so painful that they pledge to never go through the process again. For others, the memories die away, and the reality of the next move is a hard reality check.

For most business owners and accounting professionals, the thought of switching from one accounting system to another is just as daunting. However, if you look at the entire system implementation process from the same standpoint as a move, with a focus on the end result, you will find the workload and to be a little easier to manage.

When moving to a new house, you need to go through the process of understand what you have now and what will fit in the new space. Some house moves are downsizing, where you will not have as much data (household stuff) and features (think of granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances). Other moves involve moving to a larger, more feature rich space. In either case, you need to figure out whether all of your data (belongings) will fit in the new system, and what will need to be archived (thrown away or donated to charity). In some cases you may need to clean up your data because you have duplicate records, incomplete data or want to remap data to different fields.

This is all very much like moving to a new house. The same thought process must occur, and the same work needs to be done. Careful planning in both cases leads to a much better system implementation, and a smoother house move.

Once you have figured out what data needs to be converted to the new system, you need to figure out where it needs to go in the new system, and how you are going to get it there. In some cases you will have to export your data into a different file format like Excel, and then import it into the new system. In other cases a programmer will do all of the work for you, and you will just have to test the data once it is converted to make sure it was converted correctly.

This process is very similar to moving. You must pack your things into boxes, or prepare it for transport. You will move it yourself, or hire a moving company to move it for you. If you hire the wrong moving company, some of your things will be broken. The level of organization that you use to plan where things are going to go in the new house, pack and mark the boxes to indicate what room they go in will determine how easy it is to unpack, and find what you are looking for once you are moved in.

Once you are in your new house, the boxes are unpacked and you are getting settled, there will be a period of discomfort when you can’t find what you are looking for. You may not even know how to work all of the new appliances and other aspects of the new house, or will need help finding the local vendors to do business with!

The point here is that you have done this before. While you can eliminate most of the difficulty of implementing a new system, there will be problems along the way and you should expect them! No house move, or wedding for that matter, goes along without a hitch.

By carefully planning the process of your data conversion, hiring the right consultants (movers) to help you with this project, and get the training you need to be prepared to go-live on your new system, the more you can minimize problems and setbacks along the way.

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