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Information to help with your next Chris21 payroll upgrade

The Chris21 payroll upgrade seems to have gone well and after logging in everything looks ok. Testing is underway when you receive an email from the Payroll department. Something doesn’t look right…

Having been involved in the Chris21 payroll upgrade process for many years, and given that we are at that time of year when upgrades should be underway, if not completed, I thought I would share some of my experiences on what is an ‘interesting’ time of year for many clients.

Interesting might be an understatement, as some clients will find themselves perilously close to end of year processing responsibilities, while still finalising upgrades.

While the vendor will usually endeavour to release software upgrades half way through the financial year, it will not always be possible for clients to consider upgrading at this time due to other priorities. As the end of financial year approaches and clients begin their testing in earnest, then the issues in the software are discovered.

Unfortunately, it’s very difficult for users to find out what the current issues are. I know that a lot of clients are frustrated to discover they are testing and uncovering issues that are already known to the vendor.

The problem is, effective planning goes out the window as clients become dependent on the vendor to fix Chris21 payroll upgradeissues and release updates. And of course, updates mean even more testing. Add to this the fact that an upgrade is usually mandatory and the pressure is on the client to get the upgrade completed prior to the end of the financial year.

To overcome this, some customers will request that they be exempted from the upgrade until bugs are fixed and they are provided with a stable version of the software. The vendor will resist this – all clients on the same version of the software is the ideal from the vendor’s point of view. The customer, of course will see this differently. They want to be confident that the payroll system is doing what it is supposed to without manual workarounds.

So what’s the answer to a successful, stress free upgrade? I’m not sure that there is such a thing but here are some ideas:

  • Try to start your testing as early as possible. You might not like the idea of being the guinea pig but the truth is you will get an early feel for what this particular upgrade will be like and can report issues early.
  • Talk with other organisations that use Chris21. Some may have started their upgrades, and if not, they will be keen to hear about your experiences. The chairperson of your state’s user group is also a good contact point.
  • Use Google. There’s more relevant information about Chris21 on the internet than you might think! Search for Chris21 forums or blogs, like this one.

Is there anything you could add to this list? Have you experienced problems with your upgrades? I would be interested to know your thoughts.

I’ll be putting more information in future blogs that will help Chris21 users. If you need help please don’t hesitate to contact me, tony.danher@systemlogic.com.au or call 0421 817 265. Good luck with your upgrade!