Mistakes to avoid when building a new IT system

Most people would rather have a long, slow root canal performed on them than make an type of IT transition. But, it has to be done and there are things to consider before you do it.

During a session at a recent American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) conference, panelists suggested you need to consider data conversion, the financial chart of accounts, change management and system integration.

Data Conversion

• Determining how many years of transactional detail data to convert • Tips and traps for generating Form 1099’s for the year of conversion
Process Improvement
• Retooling your business processes to take advantage of the full benefits available in your new system

Chart of Accounts and other “dimensions”

• Creating an account structure that streamlines your chart of accounts and also captures all information you need for reporting purposes
• Using custom fields to track projects, grants, endowments and other specialized information; and what not to do.

Change Management

• Proper involvement of your user departments in the planning process
• Developing tools for rolling out your new system for your Finance staff as well as user departments

System Integration

• Integrating your new system with other systems such as development/fundraising, payroll and budgeting.