Are you facing challenges with your existing accounting software and seeking to explore alternative options? If you are considering transitioning to a new software system such as NetSuite, you may be wondering about the best practices to ensure a seamless migration process without compromising crucial financial data in your business. Our expert team has assisted clients across the US and we can provide insights on the process of migrating to NetSuite and offer guidance on how to safeguard the integrity of your financial records during the transition.
Changing accounting software platforms can be a labor intensive task. Not only do you need to ensure that the software platform offers the functions your business needs, but you also need to transfer all relevant data to your accounting software platform in an accurate and reliable manner.
Data migration is the process of moving data from one accounting software system to another. Within NetSuite, data migration involves transferring data from another ERP system or a variety of systems and sources into the NetSuite platform.
The NetSuite data migration process
An accurate migration process is imperative to producing reliable numbers within a business, which ensures that sound decisions can be taken swiftly and that your business remains IRS compliant.
Cleaning up the data as you migrate to a new software platform as well as extracting the appropriate data to move over; while restructuring the layout of data within your new accounting system can be a daunting task. This needs to be executed with precision to ensure accounting accuracy within your business. Working through data that may have become redundant can be challenging and requires the expertise of an accountant that understands the importance of cross-checking all records when transferring data to ensure its integrity.
Consider these tips and best practices for data migration in NetSuite.
Brief staff involved in the migration process
If your business employs an in-house accountant or bookkeeper or administrator, it is important to communicate plans of migration as early as possible. This will allow staff to be more deliberate about records as they manage transactions inside and outside of your current software. Part of this process also involves establishing clear roles in the migration process and identifying which departments are responsible for specific tasks within the data migration process. Some of the key things to consider include:
- Establishing a team responsible for technical tasks involved in the importing and data preparation and data formatting process.
- Establishing a team responsible for setting up the software in a way that adequately meets the needs of your business. NetSuite is a highly functional software with many sophisticated features, it is important to understand the functionality it offers in relation to the needs of your business and then appoint someone to take care of this software set-up process.
- Establish a project management function. Decide who will tie all the pieces together, provide feedback, make recommendations and get inputs without having too many cooks in the kitchen in this regard. It is important to have one source of truth when it comes to status updates and a way forward when embarking on a major migration.
Decide on the data your business needs
It is not uncommon for businesses to track and input every single thing that takes place within their business. While having your records all in one place is handy for audit purposes, it can also serve your business to have purposeful data. This can be achieved by establishing the data you deem essential for business operations and then to decide the level of granularity of the migration.
Decide on the NetSuite plan best suited for you
Understanding the full-service offering and making up your NetSuite package to suit the needs of your business is an essential step in your NetSuite set-up. NetSuite offers different package options that allow you to unlock features as you require them. The plan you choose also affects the pricing of the software, so it is advisable to consult with a NetSuite expert that understands both the offering of the software package options and the needs of your business and industry at large.
Prepare your data for migration
As part of the data preparation phase, it is important to validate your data by going through a record-checking and data verification process. This is crucial to ensuring accurate migration with minimal duplication and risks of a mess in accounting.
When preparing your data it is advisable to leave complex dated data behind. This may include things like dated orders and payments as your business can function quite well by moving ahead with open client accounts etc. It is however advisable to consult with an expert who can help you analyze what would work best for your business in the preparation phase of the migration. Remember, a migration can also take place in phases of data relevance.
Conduct a test migration
Once you have decided what you need from your ERP software and prepared your data for NetSuite migration, it is important to run a migration test. This is an essential step in the migration process, as it will help your business identify issues by using a subset of the data you are transferring to NetSuite. Conducting a test migration will save you time and money as it points you to the issues that may need to be teased out before embarking on the migration.
Migrating to NetSuite software will unlock a number of features and benefits for your business, but getting the migration right is fundamental to long-term software success. Taking the time to ensure that migrated data is accurate, and consistent with the source data, as well as establishing the downtime required for the migration is important to getting it right. It is also highly recommended that ERP businesses not embark on this process if they do not have a NetSuite-trained accountant on their team, or if they haven’t consulted with outsourced accountants that understand the software.
At Fusion, we handle NetSuite software implementations and develop data migration plans for businesses across different industries. We look at your software in need in relation to your current bookkeeping systems. We can help clean messy records and aid a smooth migration for your business. Consult with one of our experts today.
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