The Secret to Simplifying When You Migrate Accounting SystemsNovember 13, 2023
When you have outgrown your initial accounting application, the reasons to migrate to a more extensive cloud-based accounting solution abound. Reducing time wasted on consolidations, enabling third party integration, and scaling up to real-time reporting for data-driven decisions are enticing to any growing company.
The switch is inevitable when your hands are tied by a solution that has become limited and cumbersome. But system migrations can be daunting even when the benefits on the other side are exponential.
You can simplify the transition to a more robust accounting system by attending to two key factors: timing and readiness.
First, timing is the most overlooked hack to simplifying your migration.
If you are looking for the best time for a systems migration, consider the end of the year (yes, as in now) and the beginning of the year. There are merits to each.
A fourth quarter move puts you in the position to go live on a new system on January 1st. An end-of-year cutoff is always ideal. It’s clean, simple and positions you for strong financial reporting for the entirety of the year, while allowing for consistency in subsequent full year-over-year comps.
But if the thought of mixing a migration with the holiday hustle puts you on edge, there’s good reason to go for it early in the new year.
Migrating early in the year can save you time and money. For example, if you are going to be migrating transactions at a general ledger level, there will be less year-to-date transactions that need to be carried over to the new system. Bottom line, you will spend less time and money if you pursue the migration sooner rather than later in the year.
If you can’t pull off a Q4 or Q1 implementation, then ensure you are flipping systems on and off at the end of a month or quarter. Whatever you do, don’t attempt a mid-month conversion.
Second, increase your migration readiness.
The burden of a cumbersome system that isn’t meeting your needs faced by the burden of a necessary migration can lead you to a stuck point.
Cheer up: there’s a path out of the stuckness.
If your books are current and reconciliations are up to date, then you are a step ahead of many. Bad data in can be exponentially bad data out. If your books need attention, then consider that your starting point.
Your next step for migration readiness is to consider how you want to report on your business going forward and revisit your chart of accounts (COA) to ensure it aligns with your desired reporting approach. Pro tip: It is important to get the chart of accounts right because it can be a costly mistake otherwise.
Remember: Your goal is to automate reporting throughout. Determine how you intend to manage your business and align the chart of accounts and corresponding reporting efforts accordingly.
Updating your books and aligning your chart of accounts with your go-forward reporting will minimize the migration mishaps and the unnecessary dollars that it takes to fix those.
Final Word: Don’t Go It Alone
All the signs are there: Your decision-making is outpacing your reporting efforts. The manual consolidations, the countless spreadsheets and the lack of functionality are holding back your growth. You have known it is time to retire your QuickBooks or Xero application, but it is never convenient.
As with many things in life, a system migration is not something to attempt alone. Implementations come with surprises, especially when you’ve never done it before. Entrusting the implementation to a third party that has financial expertise along with technical knowledge of how to get you from System A (e.g. QuickBooks Online) to System B (e.g. Intaact) will save you time, money and stress.
When you are migrating to a more sophisticated solution, simplifying the process is the way forward. With strategic timing, notable readiness and an experienced guide, you will make it to the other side and never look back.