Your 10-step Guide for Migrating to New Accounting System

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You have made a decision to move to better accounting software because your current system no longer meets all your needs. Changing accounting software is a very delicate task and can affect your business operations, so it’s important that you have a plan in place before switching.

When to switch to a new accounting system?

The ideal time to move your data to new software is usually at the end of the fiscal year. For a smooth transfer, you must also plan for a transition phase. This will begin several months before the final migration date. Even before this transition, you will need to set aside time to back up existing data. This will act as a checkpoint for you to start over if things go wayward.

It’s important to conduct several checks and determine if there are any errors in your current data. This is also a good time to clean up unwanted data and rectify glitches so that you don’t carry them forward into the new system.

These preparations take time, but sticking to a final migration date will relieve some of the stress surrounding the change and cater to long-term results.

Migrating to a new accounting software 

10 Simple Steps to Transition to New Accounting Software

So you are settled on migrating, and you have chosen a date. Now, follow the below steps to transition to a new accounting software.

1. Finalise a cutoff date 

Cutoff date is when you start using the new system and discontinue using the previous accounting system. Although you can be flexible to choose any date, it is a good practice to do bank reconciliation for end of one month and start using new software on the first day of the next month.

2. Inform your accountant

Keep your accountant updated about your decision. Their expertise may even help you choose the right package for your business. They must be comfortable using the software or at least be able to export the necessary information.

3. Research and shortlist the right fit

Know your requirements before you start looking for software. Make use of free trials and see how comfortable you are with different products. Look out for additional useful features, like cloud computing, which you might use as your business grows.

4. Audit your IT infrastructure

Software is only half of the equation. You need to check if the new software is compatible with your existing hardware. If your existing infrastructure can’t run the software you’d like, you might have to settle for the next best option or upgrade your hardware. Remember that just because software is expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best. There are better systems that work well on all browsers and don’t have specific hardware requirements.

5. Back up your data

Before you make a system shift, ensure that your data is backed up and readily available. If something goes wrong while migrating, you won’t lose important information.

6. Do a trial run

Before shifting all your data to the new system database, run a trial balance or create a balance sheet, and save it. Doing so will ensure the information is computed properly by your chosen software.

7. Define quantifiable goals

Quantifiable goals are ones that regularly track business performance. Defining these goals will help management during the planning, implementation, and control phases of the software transition. It’s an important step because it helps you decide the best data format for achieving these objectives and planning future steps.

8. Format and map your current data

Different accounting systems support different data formats when recording information. Before transfer, your data must be error-free and saved in the recommended format. A lot of businesses choose to create a backup on Excel, but the data on these spreadsheets is vulnerable to tampering and transcription errors.

Creating a data map ensures a hassle-free transfer because you know how your information will look in the new format.

9. Test imported data

You must run tests on the imported data to check if the software works optimally with minimal errors. You can also compare the reports from your old system with the new ones to check for descrepancies.

10. Train your users

Allow enough time to train and test your users before executing the new accounting system. Provide standard system procedures to learn the new software, and make sure that users comply to it. This will help you avoid major glitches caused by small issues like inaccurate data entry.

Run your business smoothly

Now that you have an accounting system migration checklist in your possession, try following it without missing any steps. Learn and understand more about the accounting software that you have shortlisted. Think about different software packages and choose the one that makes the cut. Zoho Books cloud accounting system is time-saving, safe and can help you view all your financial records in real-time. Its flexibility allows you and your accountants to make informed decisions from any place, as long as you are connected to the internet. Take our accounting software for a spin for free and learn how it can help your business.

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  1. Abdul Zameer

    Thank you for your useful information.
    I am the accounting manager in a group of companies in Afghanistan.
    let me explain what is the situation in our business:
    . they have 8 years of operation in different businesses and projects but they didn’t have an accounting system. they even have them in excel sheets.
    . I am newly hired and they want me to implement and accounting system for them which is pretty cool. but the challenge is previous years unrecorded transactions for which they didn’t maintain proper documentations.
    . there are only a few bill and some bank statements.
    . Now would you please help and guide me where to start and what to do about previous years transaction.
    thank you so much.

    • Vidhya Krishnan

      Zoho Books is a powerful accounting solution that might be suitable for your business. Using Zoho Books, you can easily keep track of your transactions, record new ones and associate them with bank statements. Kindly write to us at and we will guide you through this. In the mail, please share with us your contact details and elaborate on the challenges that you are currently facing. One of our product experts will get in touch with you.

  2. Accountants West Auckland

    This is a great addition tips blog, thank you for sharing this article. I love it how you have written the insightful, all these your 10 step guide for migrating to new accounting system is great.


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