Once you decide to work with us on your implementation, the process itself is simple (well, not overly simple, but more an easy set of steps to follow).
Prior to starting any major project with us, please make sure you have the following:
- Engagement and availability from ALL relevant parties to the project (this includes everyone from the PM to the data entry team). You will need help collecting information for set up, and you don’t want to do this during Sarah’s vacation, Chris’ audit, or Lacey’s end of month.
- Access to the source documentation and legacy software that you will need to collect data from. Yes, we need bank statements. No, a print out from your old software will not be acceptable to complete a bank reconciliation. We need source documentation. But we love you.
- Time. You want to allow for a minimum of a month before Go Live for most Enterprise implementations, a few weeks for the smaller projects for QuickBooks Online. Allow for troubleshooting and post Go Live corrections. PS. We live in fear of the phrase, “we left it a bit late, but we need to be Live ASAP.” You are setting us up to lose a few years of our lives from the stress, and yourself for disappointment. Plan ahead, and we will have a much better time.
- Responsiveness & Accuracy. If we request documentation and you get it back to us two weeks later after you get back from that trade show in San Antonio, that will affect the timeline (see “Engagement and Availability”). Also, if we ask for a report with splits, and you give us a random report without them, then we have to ask again. We are always happy to go over what we need exactly, or even to pull it ourselves if your legacy software will allow it.
- Budget. Most implementations will cost somewhere between 1x-3x the annual cost of your software. The average is 1.5x, and it may be much less if you are a brand new company. If you have some experience on you, allow for 2x-3x to be safe. We provide an estimate of similar projects, but there are a lot of variables that truly determine the cost of a project (hint – most of them are listed above). We can train you to complete some of the tasks our team usually handles, but in many cases we have to adjust the reports we get anyway (one of the bonuses of working with an experienced QuickBooks Solution Provider is that we have completed those same reports and import templates hundreds of times over).
Our process is simple:
- Determine a goal timeline and project plan and collect project forms. We provide this along with your estimate when we can. If it is obvious that there will be a lot of research, gophering or Discovery, we cannot provide a concrete timeline. The timeline depends on you and the factors above. Projects are launched officially once your deposit is on file, and we bill on the 15th and last day of each month, with final payment being due prior to file handoff. Autopay or prompt payment online is encouraged, because the project will halt after 24 hours if no payment is received.
- Document collection & formatting, and video library. As part of the project plan we build a list of documentation needed for implementation. Anything that requires formatting will be built while we finish collecting relevant documents. Preferences and the basic file will also be completed. While we are working behind the curtain, your team also has access to their video library, a wealth of short videos that walk through how to complete the most common tasks. We encourage clients to review these prior to training, or at the minimum review the videos applicable to their user role.
- Data import. Once the file is started and all documents are formatted and received, we start building out the QuickBooks historics, if you’ve asked for this. If we aren’t bringing in historical data, then we will enter beginning balances and list information, which will keep your project cost down quite a bit. Historical information is a major topic of discussion, and most clients either do beginning balances, the current YTD, or one year of historical information. If you go this route (actually, in all cases), you want to make sure you have an archive copy of your previous data from your old system in an easy to locate place.
- Validation. Once data is brought in, we go through a period of validation. This can be via bank reconciliation, or reviewing against the past system’s reports. We encourage our clients to jump on their review call and to provide secondary validation. It helps you feel confident in your system and makes sure there is an opportunity to ask questions prior to file hand off.
- Hand Off, Troubleshooting & Training. At this point you gain ownership of the file. File hand off takes place once final payment is received, and we will launch into final staff training. Since you’ve already seen the video library, we get to focus on the important Q&A, and we will meet for weekly check ins until you feel like you are in command of your new program. If any remaining items remain to be adjusted, we take care of that now.
- Health checks. Long term we will stay in touch, checking in monthly, then quarterly, and yearly, if you don’t reach out to us first. We’ve known many of our clients for over a decade (Katie started out as a ProAdvisor in 2006). We love to stay in touch with our clients, and to help as you need assistance down the line, for maintenance, platform switches, BPO/bookkeeping, and more.
To discuss our implementation timeline in a focused meeting, schedule a meeting with Katie here.