For those of you that have not yet migrated to the new general ledger, you may need a little clarification about the different milestones that should be set for the project. Depending on how much you have already learned about the New GL, you would probably already have heard of the three phases – 0, 1 and 2. To summarize, Phase 0: This is the planning phase, it is when you organize the team, perform the blueprint, apply for the cockpit, test the New GL, and (perhaps) perform some initial migration testing; Phase 1: This is the phase when the migration plan is tested and executed and the data from the classic (i.e. old) G/L tables are transferred to New GL tables; Phase 2: This is the phase when you turn off classic G/L and exclusively use the New G/L.
However, there are still a few nuances that need to be understood about these phases, what activities should be done in them, and why the current information out there could be confusing.
Here are the common areas of confusion:
Migration Date: This date needs to be at the beginning of a fiscal year, and at the moment there is no wiggle room with this requirement. However, when I speak to prospective clients, I normally hear that the will not have the resources to perform a migration at the end of the year. The fact is that the migration date is NOT the date that the actual migration takes place but just a cutoff date that is to be specified in the migration plan. Basically, there are two sets of data that are to be migrated – prior year and current year balances. The migration date separates these two sets of data according to the Posting Date.
Activation Date: This is quite simply the day final day of the Migration Weekend. It is basically the day that you activate the New GL, and is also the Go-Live Date. The reason that this is confusing is because if you look at the New GL timeline diagram that is typically shown (such as the one below), it looks like the activation date is at the end of Phase 1.
Intuitively this makes sense, because if you have three phases of a project, then you would expect the activation date to be at the end of one of the phases. However, this is not the case. In fact, the real activation date is hardly ever shown in these diagrams. This is perhaps because it does not fit nicely as a start or end point of a phase in any of the diagrams depicted. The diagram should really look something like this:
What the above diagram shows is that the activation date is not at the end of Phase 1. This is because when you activate New GL you still have a period of time in Phase 1 where you are running classic and New GL in parallel. This period of should be a couple of months (to allow for month end tasks to be performed with both classic and New G/L), but I have seen it run into several months, even over a year. The longer the phase 1 period, the more parallel data is being updated in your system, which may not be beneficial to the system.
One more thing, since there is a Phase 2, it is logical to think that something happens at the end of this phase. The fact is, phase 2 goes on until infinity (or at least until a new New GL is introduced). It is quite simply, the new status quo.