Tag Archives: Cross-train

How Do You Update Your Accounting System Without Losing Data? Four Thoughts

Situation: A company has used the same accounting system for over 10 years. The current system produces information quickly and easily, and empowers management and sales to make good decisions. However, it doesn’t respond to customer information requests as well as newer packages. What are best practices for updating your accounting system without losing data?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • One option is to keep your legacy system, but migrate to a user-friendly platform designed to work with a CRM system that can better meet customers’ needs.
    • Keep both systems up live until you no longer need the old system, except as an archive of your historic data.
    • Be sure to cross-train other employees so that your current system doesn’t become worthless if your key administrator gets hit by a truck.
  • Before you decide which direction to pursue, ask what your employees like the current system.
    • What do they find most useful?
    • What accounting features do you need to support your growth plans?
    • What key functions of the current system would you have to emulate?
    • How expensive is it to maintain your current system?
  • Is your business so unique that no off the shelf alternatives exist?
    • Could you adopt an 80-90% solution and customize the rest?
    • It may be difficult to do this on your own. Look for a consultant with a background in accounting applications to analyze your needs.
  • If you feel that you must make a change, but are not ready to do so, develop your solution gradually.

How Can Private Business Help Retool the Workforce? Three Methods

Interview with Anju Bajaj, CEO, Zuna Infotech, Inc.

Situation: The US economy is slowly trying to get back on its feet, but many potential obstacles remain. In the mid-west, there is good talent with deep enterprise-level IT experience, and lots of new young talent looking for positions. How can private business help to retool the workforce and boost employment?

Advice from Anju Bajaj:

  • Working in IT services to provide end-to-end technology solutions, we have found highly skilled talent in the American Midwest. In recent years, many seasoned IT professionals have lost their jobs as Midwestern companies downsized. These individuals have deep enterprise level IT skills, but may not be up to speed with the latest technologies. There are also many brilliant young people available who have good web-based technology skills, but no experience in legacy systems or the working of complex enterprises. Our focus is on cross-training both groups as they collaborate to build IT solutions for our customers.
  • We have found that by organizing these two groups into small teams, guided by a lead who knows both web-based and legacy systems, we can leverage their individual strengths to cross-train each other. It turns out that both sets of workers are smart, capable and, in live project settings, collaborate and acquire technical skills and domain knowledge relatively quickly.
  • The bigger and more subtle challenge is teaching younger workers about business processes. Each process must fit the workflow so that a process change in one area doesn’t produce difficulties in other areas. For this, you need to have people with deep expertise in functional and domain disciplines as well as technical experts. By teaming talent, we can produce functional experts who understand all areas. We have found that in three to six months of working together, about 25% of team members reach almost guru status; while the remaining 75% have become quite skilled.
  • Like most leading service providers, we at Zuna Infotech also build capability through our Centers of Excellence.  We focus on developing practices within different industry verticals. With this comes knowledge and structure which we can then pass on through train-the-trainer programs.
  • We have been inspired by the desire to help keep US workers working while retooling their skills. The results that we’ve found to date have been very encouraging. We hope that this can provide a model for other companies.

You can contact Anju Bajaj at anju@zunainfotech.com;

Key Words: Workforce, Retool, Talent, Legacy, Web, Cross-train, Project, Business Process, Workflow, Functional, Domain, Technical, Agile