BlackLine Blog

August 07, 2018

Your 3-Step Onramp to A Better ERP Upgrade

Modern Accounting
2 Minute Read

Shannon Maynard

Share Article

Part 2 of our Finance Transformation blog series. Read Part 1 here.

Upgrading your ERP is no small task.

To do it right, the project should begin with designing better processes that take full advantage of your new ERP system.

One approach to shifting legacy processes toward best practices is leveraging the right technology solutions to automate manual tasks. Automation will result in rapid wins for your financial close, and the efficiency gains can be used to carve out more time for your accounting and finance resources to focus on the broader ERP initiative.

But this is all much more easily said than done. Let’s dive deeper into the three ways to ensure your ERP upgrade is a success.

Achieve A Fast, Tangible Win

It makes sense to get your accounting house in order long before you begin an ERP upgrade.

Process inefficiencies and balance sheet challenges, such as a significant volume of open items, can put the brakes on an SAP upgrade down the road.

The right technology solution reduces the effort that’s needed before go-live and enhances balance sheet integrity. It also provides a fast, proven way your team can reduce your time to close, by automating much of the workload around account, intercompany, and transactional reconciliations and close management.

These time savings are invaluable any day, but especially when you’re taking on the task of an upgrade. The quick wins that process automation provides will also give accounting the time they need to be involved in the most important upgrade conversations.

Free Up Time to Focus

Without technology, the most time accounting and finance organizations can spend on an ERP upgrade ranges around 20%. For many days in the accounting period, including the close, critical accounting and finance resources are entirely unavailable.

Staff accountants and accounting managers are often the heaviest users of the ERP and most knowledgeable about pitfalls, process, and structure improvement opportunities. They are also the ones that can reap the greatest time reallocation benefits from process automation, freeing up to 50% more of their time from repetitive workloads to more value-added activities.

And after the upgrade? That means more time to focus on business partnering, analytics, and further automating the financial close.

Proactively & Continually Reduce Risk

A substantial ERP upgrade introduces enhanced financial close and reporting risk throughout the transition process. Often, specific close activities will continue to be managed in spreadsheets, require manual lookup, or perhaps be overlooked.

Technology oversight reduces this risk with preventative controls, continuous monitoring of accounts and transactions, and controls policy and task management. And with a preventative environment, a higher population of automatic controls take place in real-time at the front end of the process—instead of the back-end.

Upgrading your ERP is a major initiative. By leveraging the right technology to set yourself up for quick wins, free up time to focus, and proactively reduce risk, you will be well on your way to a highly successful upgrade.

Read this white paper to learn even more ERP upgrade strategies, and discover how to free your accounting team’s time by 50%.

About the Author


Shannon Maynard