How to switch accounting software system

This is brief conceptual generic guide for moving data from one accounting system to another.

Once you have decided to move from your existing accounting system and chosen the next one, following steps can help you streamline the shift. It applies to all sort of accounting systems.

Steps to move from one book keeping system to another at your preferred cut off point for example 30th June 2018

  1. First thing first, make sure you have full detailed backup of existing system

  2. From existing system export followings in CSV format dated your cut off point i.e. 30/06/2018 in this example case
    1. Chart of accounts (COA)
    2. List of customers with contact details and outstanding balances as at cut off point.
    3. List of creditors with contact details and outstanding balances as at cut off point.
    4. Trial balance (TB)
    5. Profit and loss account (P&L)
    6. Balance sheet (BS)

  3. Now start importing above to new accounting system and before that review old chart of accounts and new system’s chart of accounts. If you feel it is essential to import old COA then go ahead and import that and if additional mapping required to new system’s P&L and BS, make sure it’s done else you won’t see certain old COA codes in new system’s P&L and BS. A good system would not let you import COA without proper mapping anyway. As a security check you can always check P&L and BS under new system after all imports done, balances should agree to old system.

  4. Import Customers listing from old system to new one. New system will record closing customer balances from old system as one figure i.e. say you have a customer A with 3 invoices outstanding for £250, £350 and £400, opening balance for new system will be £1000. There is no need to import or re-enter outstanding invoices again as such. Important thing to note here is that new system would do a double entry at the background for you as Dr Sales ledger and Cr to either Sales account or suspense account. Please make note of this credit aspect, you would need to contra this at TB import stage.

  5. Similar exercise for creditors. New system with workout double entry behind the scene and record Cr to Creditors control a/c and Dr to purchases or suspense. Again make note of it to deal with Dr Entry at TB import stage.

  6. Now time to import TB, if new COA is imported and mapped , TB import should work easily, all you have to do is balances on Debtors control accounts on TB need to be coded to accounts taking credit side of entry in step 3 above i.e. either sales account or suspense. Basically it will negate the credit aspect of entry due to earlier recording of debtors listing, without it your TB wont balance.

  7. Same thing for creditors balance on TB, that should be coded to negate the Dr Aspect on entry in step 4 by using the code noted above.

  8. If you are not importing COA and entering TB manually, same concept should be applied for debtors and creditors coding while entering TB on new system.

  9. Now quickly run P&L and BS reports on new system, ignoring the presentational difference bottom line figures for both statement should match old system

Things to do after import

  1. Receiving money from old debtors after cutoff date and moved to new system should be logged against opening debtor balances.

  2. Similar thing for creditors’ payments made after moving to new system should be logged to opening creditors balance.

  3. Any vat liability / refund or PAYE due should be logged against opening BS balances for respective accounts which was imported with TB


If you require any further professional help, we can assist you with accounting system move at agreed price. Please feel free to contact us.

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