When Eric Binder of Binder & Company, Inc. made the decision that the time was right to convert his firm to AgilLink, the second decision was whether to convert all clients at once or convert groups of clients in phases over weeks or months. After careful consideration Eric chose to convert all clients at once.
In the case of his firm, keeping his teams performing the same activities on the same software made sense. He felt this was the better approach instead of having some users in legacy and some in AgilLink. In addition, when accessing data in the legacy system for look-back purposes, converting all at once would guarantee the same cutoff date for all sets of books. This would make look-back easier instead of remembering “Account Manager A’s clients were converted on 8/1, but Account Manager B’s clients were converted on 10/1.”
Once the decisions were reached, making the change required careful planning from two perspectives: his team and his clients.
Regarding his team, training was the key. Ensuring that they received the knowledge well in advance of the “go live” date guaranteed that on day 1 they knew where to go and what to do. In addition, creating “test” sets of books gave them the opportunity to have a hands-on experience to master the skills they needed, which proved to be an excellent technique to reinforce the knowledge they acquired from training sessions.
Regarding his clients, communication made the difference. Eric sent advance notice announcing the upcoming change and creating excitement about the benefits. Closer to the actual day of the conversion he communicated the new login information. Finally on the “go live” date, he had scheduled appointments for each client to be walked through logging on and approving their bills.
The bottom line? A well designed approach that included action plans for everyone who would be working in AgilLink made all the difference.