Considering Cloud-Based Accounting? Prepare for the Transition

January 18, 2017

If you’re moving your accounting to the cloud in 2017, you can make the change easier with some preparation.

Whether you’re currently using a manual accounting system or desktop software, you’re going to face a learning curve when you take on an online solution. QuickBooks Online helps ease this transition through a friendly user interface and navigation tools. It also makes the process of double-entry accounting as understandable as possible to small businesspeople by using simple language and familiar financial conventions.

You can help make this critical conversion run more smoothly by doing some prep work. If you’re attempting the changeover on your own, you’ll save a lot of time and frustration. And if you’re getting professional assistance, you’ll save money by minimizing the hours needed for the tasks required. Here are some suggestions.

 

Cloud-based accounting applications can automate many of your accounting tasks, but the transition to one takes time and planning.

 

Choose the best time. If your company has a predictable ebb and flow—if you’re a seasonal business, for example—it won’t be difficult to schedule the transition during one of your down times. If not, the important thing is that you schedule a “moving” period.

Can you survive for a few days without paying bills or sending invoices? Work ahead as much as you can to avoid late fees and payments. Consider bringing in a temp or cross-training employees so everything will still get done. You’ll need time for training and the initial data entry.

Decide on a cutoff date. If your company has been in existence for years, you’re probably not going to want to enter every single contact record and transaction on your new website. You may be able to import everything if you’re moving from another accounting application, but it would be a Herculean task to re-enter all your historical information from paper. Choose a date in the past and start there. You can always consult your paper documents when necessary.

Organize your records and files. Desktop accounting software is already good at this. But you’ll want to clean up your files, archiving historical information that doesn’t need to move onto the website. If your application has been running rough, you may need to use its utilities or call in a professional to clean it up. And make sure you have at least one reliable backup of your data.

Are you working on paper now? You may already be carefully separating records and forms for sales and purchases, customers and suppliers. If not, you or a staff member or temp should create such an organizational filing system.

Be prepared to use both systems simultaneously for a while. This is especially important when you’re moving from a manual system. You can work out the kinks without losing valuable financial data.

Making the transition to cloud-based accounting will obviously take time, accuracy, and possibly even expert help. We’re available to assess your company’s needs and its current financial management processes, making suggestions for changes—including online accounting—that can improve your financial workflow.

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