If converting a manual bookkeeping system to a computerized system, the conversion will take a bit more time than just starting fresh because it needs to be sure the new system starts with information that matches the current books. The process for entering the initial data varies depending on the software chosen. To ensure that properly convert bookkeeping system, use the information that comes with the software; read through the manual, review the startup suggestions made to set up the system, and pick the methods that best match the style of operating.
The best time to convert is at the end of an accounting period. That way, don’t have to do a lot of extra work adding transactions that already occurred during a period. For example, if it decided to computerize the accounting system on March 15, it has to add all the transactions that occurred between March 1 and March 15 into the new system. It’s just easier to wait until April 1 to get started even if the software is bought on March 15. While converting to a computerized accounting system at the end of a month, the best time to do it is at the end of a calendar or fiscal year. Otherwise, we have to input data for all the months of the year that have passed.
Whenever you decide to start the computerized bookkeeping, use the data from the trial balance that used to close the books at the end of most recent accounting period. In the computerized system, enter the balances for each of the accounts in the trial balance. Asset, liability, and equity accounts should have carry-over balances, but Income and Expense accounts should have zero balances.
Of course, if starting a new business, it won’t have a previous trial balance. Then just enter any balances that might have in the cash accounts, any assets of the business may own as it starts up, and any liabilities that the business may already owe relating to startup expenses. Also add any contributions from owners that were made to get the business started in the Equity accounts.
After entering all the appropriate data, run a series of financial reports, such as an income statement and balance sheet, to be sure the data is entered and formatted the way liked. It’s a lot easier to change formatting when the system isn’t chock-full of data.
Need to be sure that entered the right numbers, so verify that the new accounting system’s financial reports match what was created manually. If the numbers are different, now’s the time to figure out why. Otherwise the reports done at the end of the accounting period will be wrong. If the numbers don’t match, don’t assume the only place an error could be is in the data entered. It may found that the error is in the reports developed manually. Of course, check the entries first, but if the income statement and balance sheet still don’t look right, double-check the trial balances …