Moving to Xero

Making The Move

I’ve moved house far too many times to make mistakes – but last time I moved I did. And that got me thinking about the increasing demand by businesses who want to move to cloud accounting – but who might make mistakes along the way. Mistakes which I can help you avoid.

I’d moved to Scotland the year before and was in rented accommodation; I had some furniture in my flat, but I’d finally sold my house in Yorkshire so needed to put everything else into storage whilst I was finding somewhere to buy.

I asked for recommendations for removals and storage, got a couple of firms round – and chose the cheapest. I thought it would be OK – after all, they had been recommended by the estate agent and were a local business, so I was keen to support them. Did that come back to haunt me… put it this way, I got what I paid for!

I did all my own packing, decades of family life mount up – and on the day of the move the main theme of the day from the movers was grumbling about how much stuff I had. The guy who’d done the quote had been to my house, he had looked around so I would have expected as a professional remover that he would be able to gauge the scale of the job. My favourite grumble was ‘you’ve got so many books’ – and yup, they were all on bookcases in plain sight when he was supposedly giving me a quote!! Boxes and furniture were bundled into the van on multiple trips and taken off to the storage facility.

Less than 3 months later I had bought my new home (things move faster north of the border!) and needed to get my belongings delivered. Funnily enough it took a while to get hold of the remover – and then when I tracked him down he said he couldn’t manage the move. So I asked around again and found a local firm in Edinburgh who I engaged to move me from the rental to my new home, and also to bring everything up from Yorkshire. We got photos sent through from Yorkshire so they could see the scale of the move.

What a different experience – on the day of the move from my flat everything was wrapped, protected, loaded and delivered safely and intact to my new home.

A few days later they headed down to Yorkshire, and then the fun started. They sent me photos showing how my belongings had been thrown into the storage unit. Deep scratches in furniture – including my piano – and upholstery marked because it was not protected. Boxes piled any-how – and yes, there were breakages. As they unpacked everything into my new home it was clear that I had on this occasion employed professionals, shame I didn’t do that before…

Anyway, the moral of my tale is – go with the professionals! And the point of this blog? Well obviously it’s an analogy? (I did warn you I Iove an analogy).

When you’re moving accounting systems don’t underestimate the complexity of the task – and don’t be tempted to cut corners.

Think of your historic data as my accumulated family ‘stuff’ – precious, in need of a tidy up and de-clutter, but very much part of who you are and what you do. And there are things in there which are absolutely necessary and which you cannot afford to lose or get broken.

So how do you go about the move. You could do what I did – get someone to have a quick look at it, say ‘yeah I can do that’ – and then present you with endless problems when they find out the true scale of what they have undertaken – and charged you for!

Or you could choose someone who takes the time to scope out the job properly – someone who understands the importance and value to you of your data, and who will take the time to make sure your move is managed efficiently, effectively and with minimum disruption to you. Someone who agrees scope, timing, costs and then delivers everything ready for you to work with.

With the move to the cloud the biggest switch has been from Sage 50 to Xero, and there are tools that can do this for you – but only if you don’t fall within one of the ‘limitations’ of the migration software. Issues can arise if you’ve been using stock, or projects, or have foreign currencies – they can be overcome but it needs to be checked out first, and you need to know what your data will look like in the new system.

I have also worked with clients moving from larger ERP systems including Sage 200 and Access Dimensions. With moves of this nature it’s generally not just about the accounting data – it’s about understanding the apps which replace the operational functionality such as inventory or multi-dimensional reporting. That’s the subject for another blog – but rest assured that in these circumstances moving the accounting data should not be a blocker to making the switch. But it needs to be scoped and planned, and all potential issues flagged so they don’t result in failure further down the line.

The starting point if you are interested in moving systems is to talk to me – I’ll give you a good idea of whether it is the right move, and if it is, what will be the best way of achieving it. I promise I’ll be the second firm of removers – not the first!!

Book a discovery call and let’s start exploring how the cloud can work for you.

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