Now that you understand why migrating to cloud accounting software is a good idea, you’re probably wondering how to do it. If your current desktop accounting software has an online option, the transition should be quick, easy, and seamless. If you’re switching to a new brand of accounting software, you may need to do some preliminary preparation to ensure a successful transition. As long as you pay attention to the details, upgrading to small business cloud accounting shouldn’t be too difficult.
Become Familiar with the New Software
Instead of immediately diving into new software, give yourself some breathing room. Before you stop using your old accounting software, spend some time watching online tutorials so you know what to expect. If the new software has a trial option, use it to learn the ropes and transition slowly, bit by bit. You can even run both accounting systems in parallel so you have time to get used to the new software risk-free. Once you’re confident that you know how to use the new cloud software properly, eliminate the old software, aligning the end of your trial period with your chosen start date.
Choose an Ideal Start Date
Select a strategic date to go live with your migration to the cloud. The first day of your company’s fiscal year is an ideal choice, but that’s not always possible, depending on your timeline. Choose a date that requires the fewest number of changes and interruptions to your data. For instance, wait until after your taxes are filed so you can make a clean break. You may also want to choose a time when business is especially slow; in addition to giving you more time to devote to the transition, you’re likely to have less data to worry about.
Prepare Your Data
If you’re staying with the same software company, this step should be a breeze. For example, if you’re switching from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online, the data is simply copied over, remaining unchanged. If you’re transitioning to a new brand of software, create a checklist of all of the data that needs to be moved so you can keep the process as organized and streamlined as possible.
Depending on your old and new software, you may need to prepare your data so it can be seamlessly integrated into the new system. For example, the new software may require different naming conventions or different arrangements of columns and rows. The new software should provide instructions to walk you through the formatting process, if it’s even necessary.
Enter Your Old Data Into Your New System
Now that you’ve performed all of the preliminary work, finalize the transition by entering your existing data into the new software. You can perform the data entry manually, or you may be able to automate some or all of the process using an app such as Business Importer. You can never be too careful when it comes to your important data, so before you get started, make sure it’s all backed up and recoverable, just in case you make an error along the way.
Depending on the amount of data you have, you may want to seek outside assistance to make the switch to cloud accounting software easier. Small business cloud accounting is a serious upgrade, but you don’t need to rush the transition. Stay organized, and take it one step at a time, and when in doubt, seek assistance from a customer support professional.