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The process of transferring financial data from one accounting program into a different program is called data migration. The detailed steps for migrating financial data into a new accounting program are as follows:
- Pick a cut off date – a date before which you will not make any further changes
- Decide whether you want to transfer your cleared transactions, your historical data, into the new accounting program (most bookkeepers and accountants recommend that you leave the historical data in the old system or in a backup file and only transfer the uncleared transactions to the new system)
- Reconcile all of your accounts up to the cut off date
- Back up your data in your old system
- Export all uncleared transactions from your old system into a CSV file
- Create a map, a key, by matching each column in the CSV file to a specific field found in the new accounting program (data mapping). If this is done properly, the data will import quickly, and accurately into the new system
- Verify the accuracy of the data in the CSV file and remove any duplicate entries
- Upload the CSV file into the new accounting program
- Print the trial balance from the old accounting program as of the cut-off date, and use journal entries to enter the balances from each general ledger account into the new system (keep in mind that the new program may require you to enter the client trust liability accounts in a different way than you did in your old accounting program).
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