Most of us have experienced the pain and agony of having to hand-key a very large, multiple line journal entry. You add G/L account number after G/L account number, debit after debit, and credit after credit. You get to the end of the very long journal entry press the save button only to find that your very long, multiple line journal entry is out of balance. So you start your quest. You go line by line comparing the numbers you keyed against your source documentation to ensure that all of the numbers have been entered correctly. If you’re lucky, you’ll find the data entry error in time so that the last thing left to eat in the cafeteria for lunch isn’t a cold grilled cheese sandwich.
One of the most difficult decisions that has to be made during a new system implementation is how much and what kind of data to migrate from your old system to the new. How many years do we bring over? Do we bring over detailed or summarized data? Is it reconciled? We will have access to old system for historical reporting purposes? These are all questions that are posed and answers that are debated during the process of making the decision.
There are, however, a few data decisions where there can be no debate. You have to bring over your Chart of Accounts. You may choose to take the opportunity to restructure your Chart of Accounts or to get rid of inactive accounts but you have to have your Chart of Accounts. The other data requirements are your Employees, Vendors and Customers. There still remains the option of do you add these records via manual entry or do you upload them. Using the manual entry method can provide the opportunity for training, since in the future, you will be adding these types of records one or just a few at a time.