There is a reason that training is one of the most costly aspects of software implementations, namely that it’s also one of the most important aspects. When upgrading to a sophisticated accounting ERP system from introductory software such as QuickBooks, there will be a significant learning curve. This is not to say that such Tier 2 systems are all very complicated and difficult to use, but instead that the software necessary to help grow your business will require a better understanding of accounting principles and good business processes. Without this kind of knowledge it’s tough to run a successful multi-million dollar company, and this is where good training comes into play – with regard to accounting functionality, inventory management and other areas. To help you understand why training is so important, we have outlined some reasons below:
The better trained your employees are on a software system, the more productive they will be. All things being equal, when employees feel confident using software they will rely on it more in order to perform their responsibilities. This in turn can help automate previously manual processes, therefore reducing the instance of human error. This also means less time is wasted learning how to use a system every time you want to perform a task, and coming up with workarounds for managing certain processes. ERP software is designed to improve and streamline processes in order to increase efficiency and reduce costs. A good vendor will work with you to evaluate existing internal processes and explore how they can be enhanced or improved upon with the help of software.
Proper training reduces costs. This may not seem like the case initially, however in the long run proper training reduces not only the costs of on-going support, but also the costs associated with lost productivity. If you invest time and money on training up-front, employees will be better equipped to handle their daily responsibilities. This will also make it easier for employees to train new hires on the system, and to assist one another with software questions and issues. If you’re upgrading from introductory accounting software, it is important that employees understand why the system works the way it does, not just how it works. Creating a strong internal network of system experts will make the transition to new software easier for employees, which can reduce the stress associated with such change.
Proper training helps to improve processes. Training should first and foremost empower employees to continue to be productive doing their everyday tasks, and then provide additional benefits by way of new features and opportunities. Because implementing new accounting ERP software can be an overwhelming process, you may not be able to realize the benefits of additional functionality immediately. Once you and your team feel comfortable using the system for everyday tasks, reach out to your software vendor to ensure that you’re not missing additional productivity opportunities with built in functionality. You may have forgotten about some of the available system bells and whistles originally discussed during the sales cycle – even though they are available for use. Sometimes businesses miss features simply because they do not ask about them. This is why on-going training is also very important. Scheduling time with your software vendor a couple times a year to review any new features and opportunities is a great way to get the most out of your system and extend the life of the software.
Based on the above, it is easy to see why training is such an important aspect of software implementations. The right vendor will not only spend time discussing their product, but also getting to know your business and current processes to identify potential areas of improvement. Developing an on-going partnership with your software vendor, and proper and continuous training, will help you realize the full potential of an integrated system.