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The future is digital: top tips on converting desktop files

Posted 2 years ago in Advisors by Sophie Lamell
Posted by Sophie Lamell

The verdict is in: it’s time to ditch desktop accounting. Here at Xero, we’re helping people say goodbye to clunky old technology and embrace the wonders of a digitised platform – saving them plenty of time, money and mental space in the process.

For a limited period, when you convert your client’s desktop software to Xero, we’ll give you $500 cashback once you hold the Standard or Premium Xero subscription for 15 months or more*.

To help you make the most of this opportunity, we’ve pulled together our Xero Partner Advisory Council’s top tips on converting desktop files and getting up to speed with our seamless modern accounting and business platform.

  • Get acquainted with Jet Convert

Don Grgic from Business Boost Centre swears by Jet Convert for hassle free automated conversion from desktop accounting to cloud software. However, he cautions that you remember the old adage “garbage in – garbage out” and make sure the data file you are converting is up to date, reconciled and accurate.

  • Keep your files clean and up to date

In line with Don’s advice, Gabrielle Osborne of Creative Accounting recommends giving all files a tidy up before they convert. This is the perfect opportunity to make sure everything is reconciled and stale or duplicated transactions are dealt with. Suggested items for cleanup include client and supplier lists, chart of accounts, employee records, and debtors and creditors.

  • Timing is everything

It’s important to keep timings in mind, because you want to use the converting file as little as possible (if at all) while the conversion takes place. For example, Gabrielle suggests that pay run dates are best avoided. Keep in mind that any transactions that do happen in the converting/old file will need to be manually added to the new/converted file. In the new Xero file, make sure the GST registrations are correct under Financial Settings and also pay special attention to payroll as this tends to require the most additional information post-conversion.

  • Don’t forget to backup all files

Aegis Business Services’ Tori van der Donk advises not to forget making a backup of both the desktop data file and the software executable file (or CD) when converting from a desktop product to Xero. This way, if needed, you can reinstall the previous version onto your computer and access the data in the backup.

  • Revisit the conversion balances as necessary

A great tip after conversion is to always treat the conversion balances in Xero as the trial balance from the old desktop software. All you need to do is continue updating and re-locking these conversion balances if further information is provided/updated in the period prior to beginning with Xero. Along with backing-up and printing reports before converting so you can easily compare the figures are matching, Tori has found it useful to do a trial month running both software side by side. This way, you can pick up any areas of concern before getting too far into the conversion.

  • Share the timing and switchover date with your client

Communication is key – Jo Doye from Alluvia Financial encourages staying in touch with your client throughout the conversion process so you can manage all expectations and keep them up to date with key deadlines.

  • It always pays to plan ahead

When it comes to converting files, Sally Brindle from Total Accounts recommends that it’s always a good idea to plan ahead and pick a date, such as the end of a quarter or a month.

Once ‘D-Day’ is set, you can spend some time cleaning up the old file (see tip number two). Once the file is clean, a backup copy can be sent for conversion and you’ll be up and running in Xero in just a few days.

Help your clients move off desktop and embrace the future of accounting, so they’ll have more time to do beautiful business.

To find out more about our $500 cashback offer, visit our campaign page.

*Limited to first 1,000 subscriptions. You must be converting from one of the following desktop products: MYOB AccountRight Live, Standard, Plus or Premier; or Reckon Pro, Premier or Enterprise. Conversions arranged by Xero’s trusted conversion partner, Jet Convert. Terms and conditions apply.

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