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How an Interim CFO can assist in your ERP Installation!


Installing an ERP system is a big investment and one that you want to ensure runs as smoothly as possible… without damaging ‘business as usual’.  You also want to ensure that you get maximum benefit from your new system.  One aspect of an ERP Installation that gets sadly neglected is the actual integration into the organisation.  If this is neglected the whole investment can end up being a very costly mistake.


One of our Interim CFOs has provided the following checklist to give an idea of what’s involved in a successful ERP Installation.


Generally ERP installations involve:

  1. Design – which should be an interactive process between the external implementation consultant (EIC) and the company.
  2. Build/Develop the particular solution designed (EIC)
  3. User Acceptance Testing – primarily by company staff with guidance by the EIC
  4. Implementation/Deployment – primarily by company staff with guidance by the EIC
  5. Post Implementation issues resolution – documented by staff and resolved by EIC


Where an Interim CFO can assist:

  • Ensures there is a clearly defined and understood scope of work that covers the tasks of both the EIC and internal staff.
  • Design meetings – manages sessions which should be in person with EIC rather than a ‘form filling’ exercise.
  • Communicates with internal people who are shown exactly what is required of them.
  • Work with the permanent CFO/Finance Team to review the Chart of Accounts
  • Works with EIC and CFO/Finance team to understand importance of sub accounts and sub ledgers and how they interact with the General Ledger.
  • ‘Tidying up’ accounts pre change over.
  • Develops an internal project plan, which complements the EIC plan – so those involved can dedicate time to the implementation.
  • Coordinates the efforts of internal people.
  • Holds regular meetings of internal people as well as with EIC – documents any issues that need to be addressed and by whom.
  • Sets milestones as part of the plan.
  • Follow through to ensure EIC build based on the agreed design.
  • Work closely with the team on the User Acceptance Testing (UAT)  – documenting issues and working with EIC to fix issues.
  • Meet EIC people regularly as well as internal meetings.
  • Keeping track of agreed costs – understand variances – keep budget on track (it’s easy to go over without realising it).
  • Managing inevitable process changes – in the UAT phase capturing these and documenting new processes with people doing the work i.e. not imposing it on them.  Involving users along the way so they take ownership.  Potentially an effective team building exercise.
  • Having a finance person in the role helps with structure, tidying up etc.
  • Maximising all benefits available from the new system.
  • Has the same level of knowledge as the CFO – will work with a permanent CFO – helps them to crystallise what they want from the system and potentially brings some distinct experience and perspective to the table.
  • Acts as the CFO’s proxy through the implementation.


As you can see from the above, installing a new system is a lot of extra work on top of ‘business as usual’ for your CFO/Finance Team.  To ease the load, whilst ensuring your implementation is a success an Interim CFO can help.

If you’d like to discuss your ERP installation and how an Interim CFO can help please get in touch below.



By Sue Hirst Co-Founder CFO On-Call

Sue was managing an accounting practice when she co-founded the business in 1991. She has expertise in financial management, product and service development and human resource management.

Sue is passionate about explaining accounting concepts in clear English so business owners can make sense of their own numbers.

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