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accountants

Choosing the Right Data Migration Method: Data Conversion vs Data Migration

Are you ready to move into the digital accounting age? QuickBooks Online Accountant innovative accounting software is here to make an accountant’s daily work life easier and more productive by managing all of your clients in one place. Converting clients to QuickBooks Online (QBO) for business owners is simple, and provides accurate and timely information for your clients.


In this article we will examine:

What is data migration?

Data migration is moving data from one system to another. For example, migrating client data from an old software system to an advanced, innovative cloud-based system such as QuickBooks Online. This is called cloud migration and is the most popular form of migration currently taking place across accounting firms.


Other types of data migration include storage migration and application migration. Storage migration involves moving data to a different or larger storage system, providing a better performance and a cost-effective solution. Application migration moves an application to a different location. This could be the application of an in-house IT system to a different location, such as the cloud.

Why is data migration important?

Data migration ensures your accounting firm is at the forefront of technical innovation, utilizing the latest software and staying up to date with best practice.


Data guides a client’s decision-making in business. The most accurate data and insightful analysis ensure that clients are fully informed to make the best decisions for their business and their stakeholders. 


Staying with old software may lead to data inaccuracies and runs the risk of encountering obsolete programs that are not up-to-date.

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Data migration vs data conversion

Data migration and data conversion both involve moving data from one place to another, such as from old accounting software to QuickBooks Online. However, the process to get to this point differs.


Migrating clients to QuickBooks is a faster process of importing data to a new system. You would move the entirety of your client’s data from an older system to a new cloud system, such as QuickBooks Online. 


Conversely, when you convert client data to QuickBooks Online, you will transform financial transactional data to a new format and then load it onto a new system. Data conversion ensures that the data is compatible with the new system and can take a longer time to complete.


Watch our video to learn more about the differences between data migration and data conversion.

How to migrate client data to QuickBooks Online

The best migration platform to use when migrating clients’ data to QuickBooks Online is MMC Convert. This is a fast and easy method to use and is supported by QuickBooks, so you can have peace of mind knowing that it is a suitable option for migrating clients to QBO.


Follow this step-by-step guide to migrating clients to QuickBooks Online:

1. MMC Convert

MMC Convert is the recommended method although this is only suitable for data consisting of one single currency.


Additionally, you must also have a paid subscription to QuickBooks, such as the QuickBooks Online Essentials plan and the QuickBooks Online Plus Plan. This cannot be performed with the Simple Start plan.

2. Choose your data

Next, choose the data you want to migrate. It is recommended that you migrate one historical set of financial year data as well as current data to provide you with a comparison.

3. Login

Login to the account and choose the options to migrate to QuickBooks Online.

4. Upload

Choose to upload the necessary files which will then be converted and migrated to QuickBooks Online. The entire process of migrating data to QuickBooks Online could take from 48 hours to 2 weeks, depending on the amount and complexity of data.

How to convert client data to QuickBooks Online

Converting clients to QBO can be completed directly through QuickBooks Online for a manual conversion or by using SAASANT Excel Importer.


Follow this guide to converting clients manually using QuickBooks Online:

1. Login

Login into QuickBooks Online and find the Tool settings option.

2. Import

Opt to import data and choose the data you want to convert first, entering balances and other data.

3. Repeat

Repeat the process as many times as required to convert all data to QuickBooks Online. Save time by training your clients to convert the data for their own accounts.

Follow these steps to convert data using SAASANT:

1. Purchase SAASANT

SAASANT Excel Importer costs $9.99 per month and offers a comprehensive import of converted data. 

2. Login

Once purchased, visit SAASANT and log in using your QuickBooks account details.

3. Import

You can import any data using SAASANT along with any type of data includes refunding invoices, purchase entries, and journal entries.

Why is data migration important for your accounting firm?

The accounting industry has used legacy software for decades, and despite updates to legacy software, it simply cannot keep up with innovative cloud accounting approaches. 


The future of accounting is digital and your accounting firm should ensure all accountants are tech savvy and can offer flexible working methods. A key way to do this is by moving clients’ books to QBO.


Ultimately, such approaches will provide your accounting firm with a competitive edge over other firms that have not yet moved away from legacy software. Your firm can unlock new streams of revenue to attract new clients and excite existing clients by converting their data to QBO, offering a more collaborative and streamlined approach to managing their finances. Ensuring your clients' data is safe will help build trust and improve client relationships.

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How can my accounting firm manage data migration?  

QuickBooks client data conversion or migration should be managed effectively in an action plan.


Here are some action points to consider when managing your data migration:

  1. Start small: Focus on migrating or converting data for a few clients. This will ensure the process is manageable and does not overwhelm your employees.
  2. Set deadlines for data migration: Set realistic deadlines, especially at the beginning of the migration, along with targets of what data and which clients require migration.
  3. Data migration training: Training employees, and in some cases clients, to migrate or convert data will ensure the migration tasks are completed effortlessly whilst developing the skills of others.
  4. Monitoring your data migration process: Ask questions like ‘How long did data migration or data conversion take’ and ‘Did any problems arise’. This will help you manage data migration in the future.


Keep in mind that your clients may be used to using Excel for their small business accounting. It is essential to educate your clients on the benefits of accounting software like QuickBooks vs spreadsheets.

Investing in a training program to educate your clients on QuickBooks Online will help your clients see the differences between QuickBooks and spreadsheets. This will help your clients understand that spreadsheets may be an effective short-term solution for their accounting needs, but automated accounting software like QuickBooks will scale with their business as they grow. 


Building an effective client communication strategy and incorporating data migration into their client onboarding will ensure they feel confident migrating to online accounting software.

How can QuickBooks Online Accountant Help?

The task of how to add client data to QuickBooks Online can be complex, particularly if your accounting firm is large. However, moving your accounting practice to a cloud-based system such as QuickBooks Online Accountant is a key way you can grow your practice and expand your offering to clients. Sign up for QuickBooks Online Accountant for free to streamline your client’s data migration today.


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