We achieve success by sharing the responsibility of the implementation with each of our clients and providing whatever level of services or support is required to ensure a successful outcome.
Services would usually include project management, implementation planning, data transfer, training, report writing and software support. The very high success rate we have achieved in terms of ‘live’ implementations is proof of the effectiveness of this approach.
Most implementations of a new practice management system involve a degree of re-engineering of the business process, with everything that implies in terms of new procedures and cultural change.The practice concerned is usually looking for added value, whether this is in terms of:
Working in partnership with its clients Star can advise on ‘Best Practice’ approaches to the many issues that concern firms wherever they are located, such as:
• Time recorded accurately
• Getting time entered on time
• Expense submission and approval
• Implementing a consistent firm wide approach to budgeting and scheduling
• Setting realistic budgets
• Dealing with provisions/reserves
• Bill approval workflows
• Getting jobs billed promptly
• Improving recovery/realization
Nearly all new client projects will involve migrating data from one or more legacy systems. Star has proven experience in migrating data from a wide range of legacy applications, including:
We have also converted data from custom systems, UNIX and other legacy platforms
Usually we would expect to convert:
We would expect to advise on how to map legacy data to the fields in Star and to help firms identify and clean up poor data in the legacy records.
We would normally do a number of test data conversions prior to going live, providing time to clean up data, use real data for consulting and training purposes, and improving the conversion scripts for a quicker turnaround at Go-Live.
Many accounting firms cite poor reporting as a key reason for change from their legacy system. Some of the functionality built into the Star software helps overcome some of the fundamentals that can cause reporting issues, such as remembering when the ownership of a client or job on a client changed so we can offer reporting by both current and historic dimensions.
Star also provides a comprehensive library of standard reports in MS SQL Reporting Services (SSRS), with up to five levels of sorting available. Any of these standard reports can be copied and adapted to give firms a unique version that meets their specific needs. Likewise any of the 300+ standard views available in Dashboard can be copied and modified for a firm. Additionally entirely new SSRS Reports, Dashboard views and TaskCentre alerts can be written to meet a specific requirement, such as emulating a key report that the firm has used for years and wants to keep using. A difference here though might be that what once took hours every month to compile in Excel is now a real time view in Dashboard.
Star can also train people within a CPA firm on the database structure of Star and report writing, so a client can become as self-sufficient as they wish to be in this regard.
CPA firms will often carry out their own internal training for certain ‘end user’ functions, with Star directly training the more ‘specialist’ users or ‘super-users’ such as system administrators, accounts and finance staff as well as those who will be training others on the ‘end user’ functions.
Star can also provide on-going training any time after go live where new staff are replacing those trained by Star. Most training is done face to face but can also be undertaken remotely. Most projects consist of a mix of the two.
A successful Go-Live is critical as it is a time that can shape opinions on the system long afterwards. Star recommends having one or more staff on-site at time of Go-Live, as often questions will arise that the firm’s own staff are not yet experienced enough to answer. This speedy resolution of questions helps to ensure that this critical point in the project is viewed as a success by the firm as a whole. Star can also be present when the firm is doing its first month-end when more questions can arise. Star can also provide technical training for report writers, internal support desk staff etc.
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Our support locations offer unrestricted telephone access plus Internet support in order to ensure that all clients receive a first class service, wherever they may be located.
The Star Americas User Group is a free to join association managed by a committee staffed by members of client firms and is for all clients located in the Americas and islands close to it. It meets twice a year and all new Americas clients are provided with details about the Group.
For access to the Star Americas User Group SharePoint site click here (password required).
The EMEA User group is also free to join and is currently managed by Star with the aim of being managed by members of client firms in the future. It meets once a year and all new EMEA clients are provided with details about the Group.
For access to the EMEA User Group SharePoint site click here (password required).
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