Somebody leaving the business? A headache to update access to all the products in use?

The use of the IT spreads across all areas of a business or practice, and more and more products and services are bolted on. The products generally need user names and passwords to access them. Someone is usually an administrator who has global rights and can then add users. The administrator is generally the one that received invoices for those services, increasingly via email.

What happens though when someone leaves / retires?

Stopping access to all office systems is quite easy – they get removed as a user. However, many products are now cloud based and can be accessed direct through the software websites, so these also need to be changed.

For a general user, the administrator can mark someone as left in much the same way as adding them in the first place. But what if it is the administrator that leaves?

In some products, this is quite easy to amend, but in others the username cannot be altered at all, so the username will remain the same throughout the life of the product. Emails can generally be amended so they can go to a different email recipient in the future, but this is not always easy to do!

So, with hindsight, when setting up new products or subscriptions, it would have been quite useful to have created a generic email address – xyzsoftware@mycompany.co.uk. This could be set as an alias in the email software, so anything automatically goes to Mr X. If Mr X leaves, the alias can be diverted to another user. Easy looking back – but still a practical thought to apply in the future.

There are also issues with other software. In practice management for example, clients may have been allocated to a named partner and named manager. When either of these leave, they all need to be reallocated to a different person. This can be done manually, one at a time, which is time consuming. It may however be possible to export the information to a spreadsheet, make the necessary changes in a spreadsheet and import the updated information.

This may not work for all areas in the software though. There might be some very laborious manual changes required?

If the “best of breed” route has been adopted rather than a single central database, there will no doubt be partner/manager allocations in other products too which will need changing; personal tax software, corporation tax software, final accounts software? And what about all the other cloud products too – are there similar staff allocations there?

There are some upsides though to someone leaving – time for a bit of “database cleansing”. It provides an opportunity to review all the named users in all the products to ensure that previous leavers are not still listed as having access – some get forgotten! Similarly, it provides an opportunity to review client lists, ensuring they correctly appear and have not left or died and should have been archived.

How many databases would you need to change in the event of a personnel change – or even a new employee starting?

Anonymous