Before you get started, it is a good idea to review what is expected of you. We recommend you create a Project Plan and a Training Plan, to help you schedule your time to complete all the tasks required.
Planning your implementation
- The amount of time you require to implement Practice Manager in your business will depend on the size of your business, the number of users, and the data you want to import.
- If you are a single user firm, you will have to do the implementing yourself, but you won’t need to spend time training up any other users.
- If you have staff, you can consider involving them in the implementation process. This will speed up the implementation and it also means that you will not be the only person in your firm who knows and understands your settings.
- The first step in your planning process is to decide on the Start Date, which is the day you want to start using Practice Manager. Usually, this is the first day of a month. Allow yourself enough time before that day to complete any setup, import and training you have planned.
Training your staff
- If you have staff members, they should complete product training while you are completing the implementation. That means, they will be ready to use the system when it goes live.
- You can use the Training Plan Template to help you allocate training modules to your staff and manage who needs to learn what.
- They can sign up for a trial account and use the user guides to learn and practice at the same time.
Migrating your data
- You can import data from another system to speed up the setup process; especially if you have many records that need to be imported. In some cases, you can edit default data that is loaded with your trial account, saving you from having to do an import.
- Importing data requires you to export the information from your current system, perform some data cleanup, change the file format to a CSV format, import and check the data imported.
- Preparing a client import file may take some time, especially if you also want to import custom fields, contact records, client relationships, and create client groups. Setting up billing groups requires a separate import file.
- Although you can also import costs and tasks, it may be easier and quicker to review and edit the default data in your trial account.
- Staff records can also be imported, but if you just have a few staff members, it may be quicker to set them up manually.
Customising your settings
- There are many practice settings that you can choose from and many decisions you will have to make when customising your settings.
- We will guide you and recommend best practices to help you make those decisions.
- It is important that you understand what each setting does, and how it affects the way data is created, managed and displayed in Practice Manager.
Converting NZ Tax
- If you are planning to use Tax in Practice Manager, then you could stagger the conversion of Practice Manager and Tax to ease the load of training and conversion on yourself and your staff.
- If you have a large amount of tax returns waiting to be filed, then also consider delaying the tax conversion until you have filed most or all of the tax returns. Since tax returns cannot be imported into Practice Manager, any unfiled returns would have to be manually entered into the system.
- If you plan to delay the tax conversion:
- Start with the implementation of Practice Manager, and once your staff is confident and settled in the application, plan your tax conversion.
- Step 3 in the implementation programme covers the steps required to set up Tax in Practice Manager. Go ahead and complete all the registrations required with your local tax authority. This means you will have all the necessary data to create a tax agent in Practice Manager, when you are ready to make the switch.
Closing off your current system
- Prior to your Practice Manager Live Date you should invoice out as much WIP in your existing system as possible. The remaining WIP can be exported, and using CSV files you can import jobs and WIP into Practice Manager.
- Prior to your Tax Live Date you should file as many tax returns in your current system as possible. Otherwise you will have to enter those returns into Practice Manager manually, as they cannot be imported.