Cloud Computing implementation – a case study

Project Summary

A new client wanted us to act for them in connection with the monthly processing of management accounts and preparation of annual statutory accounts. As a large (and growing) group of companies, the brief required us to not only dealwith the current situation but look down the road and plan for projected future expansion and development.

Pitch

When making the original pitch we’d suggested using E-conomic our online accounting system and on demonstration, the clients felt all their requirements would be well-met.

As this particular project ably demonstrates – one of the principal advantages of an online system is that teams working together ie the client and us – have mutual and instant access to real-time live data. Even the initial factor of the data not having to be re-keyed, cuts down on the human error factor as well as on staff time and costs. The mutual access enables straightforward communication with both parties seeing the same thing at the same time and able to discuss issues and agree changes, again, eliminating the bugbear of misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

Process

1. As well as processing current material, the client wanted 3 years worth of historical data brought in, giving a full transactional record on the one accounting system.

2. The client had been using Sage and the chart of accounts was approx 600 lines – where they had been using individual nominal accounts for each P&L analysis detail. A priority therefore, we felt, was to come up with a COA of more manageable proportions. Our team met with the client finance personnel and over a number of planning sessions, a new and improved COA was developed cutting the number of individual codes down to about 120 lines.

3. Any further required analysis was to be provided by tag descriptions to act as a suffix to the text field in an entry. A nominal ledger drill-down and extract could then be further analysed by use of the tag descriptor.
The setup teams also looked at the other features E-conomic offered, including departmental analysis and fixed asset register, and collaborated as to the planning and implementation of these features.

Historical Data Transfer

1. The import of the historical data involved the transfer of some 20,000 transactions from Sage into E-conomic. However E-conomic’s efficient and relatively simple to use import facility (a main consideration when making them our online system of choice) enables files of data in csv format to be mapped and imported.
To optimise efficiency, the Sage data was sorted by transaction type and the Sage codes were mapped to the new E-conomic ones by use of vlookup functionality.

2. At each stage the original Sage TB’s were compared with the E-conomic TB’s and any variances resolved.The data import process was completed in approx 4 hours. So what potentially could have been a bit of a nightmare in fact ran like a dream.

3. Once the data was imported, the two systems were run in parallel to iron out any further variances or differences that might have occurred.

Summary

The key to the success of the whole process was the preliminary planning and close liaison between the client setup teams and ourselves – facilitated by the ability to review data simultaneously.

The new system is now setup and ready to go live. Most importantly, we have a client whose expectations have been met and exceeded.

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One Response

  1. I’m glad to hear it went so well. If only everything was that easy.

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