Tim Wright: How to successfully deliver a digital transformation project

21 Sep 2023 Expert insight

Head of operations at Xledger UK looks at the areas charities should consider when delivering digital transformation…


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Xledger UK and Censuswide recently surveyed 1,000 accountants and finance professionals, including those in the charity and not-for-profit sector. Intriguing insights emerged regarding the hesitance surrounding digital transformation. Of those surveyed, 30% stated outright that digital transformation causes them concern because the tools they currently have are familiar. The survey highlighted several apprehensions around the potential setbacks of digital transformation, such as project delays, backlogs, and productivity disruptions. Also, a notable finding was the prevailing lack of confidence in technology vendors to provide support throughout the transformation process, intensifying these concerns.  

Digital transformation doesn’t have to be a challenge

There are several ways for charities to achieve a successful digital transformation project. People can catch our speaker session at this year’s Charity Finance Summit (5th October) for a more in-depth discussion and real-life case study with Xledger customer, Comic Relief.

  1. Identify red flags and the need for change

In the lifecycle of every growing charity, there comes a pivotal moment when the existing finance system's capabilities fall short of meeting the organisation's evolving needs. This shortfall can impact not only financial operations but also the broader business landscape. Whether the organisation needs to have access to more reliable real-time reporting, reduce the lengthy month-end process, automate manual processes, or have reassurance of compliance with Making Tax Digital. Complete an audit of your processes and systems capabilities before heading on your search for your next finance system so you know what you are looking for.  

  1. Smart resourcing

Having a dedicated team in place to implement a new system is crucial. A system change is never a one-person job; defining individual responsibilities and roles is an important part of the process. A key driver is having a diverse project team, and allocating the correct person to the task or project so it can be done the most efficiently based on time, cost and quality. When you have a diverse project team it means you have both junior and senior members of staff involved, and it doesn’t have to be only finance members, IT employees or anyone with good IT/Excel or even good teaching techniques can be a useful part of the process. These users become advocates for the software and can empower other users around the business: a key part of change management.

Pick the right finance software partner

The only way points 1 and 2 can be successful is if you select a partner that has the right mentality. Providers should be there with you every step of the way with a team of project managers, consultants, and technical support behind you to make sure you get things right. Partner with vendors who are experts in their field and have experience implementing new systems into all types of businesses, regardless of their size and that have the resource to provide you with ongoing support and accountant management even after you go live. Those experts will advise you on the best way forward with the team you have and give you the best possible chance of success.

There are so many ways to achieve a successful digital transformation project that can help your charity thrive. Having the right processes and partner in place will guide those in your organisation to seamlessly transition to a new system.


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