Converting to MoneyWorks

Converting to MoneyWorks is not hard, but it does need to be done correctly. In essence you want a snapshot of your existing business at a point in time, and it is this snapshot that you take into MoneyWorks. If you are a new business with no history, this is almost trivial. But if you are switching from another system, it is slightly more complicated. The hardest bit can be getting the appropriate data for the snapshot out of your legacy system.

The first thing to do is to decide on a swap-over date. The end of the financial year is often good (because you have to have that snapshot for your end-of-year financials), but in fact you can switch over at any point, normally the end of a trading month. In fact given that there are often other issues that you need to address at year-end, changing part way through a year can be simpler. If you are not on a monthly GST/VAT/HST/Tax cycle, then it is a good idea to coordinate the swap-over with the end of your tax cycle. Note however that it is quite feasible (and not that uncommon) for users to switch mid month — the steps are exactly the same.

The aim is to ensure that closing balances from the old system match the opening balances in MoneyWorks. This is for both the general ledger and things like receivables, payables, inventory levels and valuations. If your old system is in a real mess with unreliable values, then you might just want to start afresh, but you will need to account for the differences to keep the tax people happy, so you should talk to your accountant about this.

What you need from your old system

  • Your customer and supplier details, and their balances as at the swap-over date
  • If you sell items, your item list and pricing
  • If you run inventory, your stock count and value
  • If you do manufacturing, your bills of material
  • A list of your unpresented payments and receipts
  • If you do order processing, your outstanding orders and quotes
  • Your general ledger accounts list and balances

How and if and in what form you can extract this information depends entirely on your existing system (and in most cases we can’t help you). But assuming you can get the information out, and from some “accounting systems” that is by no means a given), here’s what you need do.

Customer/Supplier information and balances

Your customer and supplier list (names, addresses etc) probably form the bulk of your data. In the absolute worst case scenario, if you are moving from a really decrepit system, you might have to print this out and rekey it into MoneyWorks. Hopefully though you will be able to export it and get it into a spreadsheet, where you can manipulate it and then import or just paste into MoneyWorks.

Most accounting systems (and MoneyWorks is no exception) require a code to uniquely identify a customer or supplier. If you are using one that doesn’t (and MYOB is one, which is one reason why MYOB users get so many duplicated customer entries), you can define a column in your spreadsheet and enter your code, or have MoneyWorks generate one automatically when you import the data.

In terms of your spreadsheet, it should be well formed (i.e. the same sort of data in every column and every row, with no gaps or report column headings appearing part way through the rows). In effect you need a column per datum (e.g. customer name, customer address line 1, customer postcode, and so on), and a row per record (so each customer is contained within one row).

Because of timing differences, you might not have the customer and supplier balances available when you set up the customer/supplier list in MoneyWorks. It is a good idea to get the customer/supplier list into MoneyWorks before the swap-over date, but you won’t know your customer/supplier balances until some time later. The balances need to be entered as invoices (check the Getting Started section of the MoneyWorks Manual for reasons for this).

If you can export your receivables/payables data as a report (for example, an Aged Receivables report), then you should be able to that information into MoneyWorks using the free OpenARAP script.

Product/Item Information

Your product list (if you have one, not everyone deals with products) can also be substantial; tradesmen for example routinely deal with over 50,000 items. Hopefully you can export it from your old system and get it into a spreadsheet, where once again you can manipulate it and then import (or copy/paste) into MoneyWorks.

If you are running inventory, then you need to bring the inventory counts and valuations as recorded in your old system into MoneyWorks. It may not be possible to export this information directly, but you should be able to run some sort of stock valuation report. If you can get the information out in a structured form, you should be able to get the product details, stock count and value into MoneyWorks using the free OpenStock script.

Bills of Material

Your bill of materials is essentially a list of components and quantities (including potentially labour) that are used to assemble/manufacture an item. If you have this list, you can use this handy script to import it into MoneyWorks (after the product information has been imported).

Unpresented items

These are cheques you have sent that have not yet been cleared by the bank (normally because the recipient hasn’t got around to banking it), plus any funds that you have received that you haven’t got around to banking. These need to be entered in part because at some point they will be presented, and its easier to have them there ready to tick off, but also for accounting reasons. These unpresented items are coded differently to normally deposits, as outlined in the Getting Started section of the MoneyWorks Manual.

Outstanding Orders and Quotes

If you have any outstanding orders or quotes, you will need these in MoneyWorks so they can be followed up. Although you can import these, it is probably easier just to re-key them into MoneyWorks.

General Ledger Accounts and Balances

The chart of accounts and general ledger is the heart of any accounting system. MoneyWorks has a very powerful, free-form chart of accounts structure, so you can probably just use whatever your coding structure was in your old system (or you might just adopt one of the built-in templates that are in MoneyWorks). If you can export your accounts list from your old system, you can import it into MoneyWorks, but it does need to be in a specific structure (described in the Exporting and Importing chapter of the MoneyWorks Manual), so you will have to massage it in a spreadsheet.

The actual general ledger balances as at the swap over date might not be available for some time, especially if you are waiting for the final year-end results from your accountant. This doesn’t matter, as you can enter them months or even years later. It is normally easiest just to journal these in—again this is covered in the Getting Started section of the manual.

In summary, conversion is not hard but you do need to be methodical and well organised. A lot depends on the quality and accessibility of the data in your old accounting system. If you have some skills with manipulating data in a spreadsheet, that can be helpful. Also remember that you can get your accountant or a MoneyWorks consultant to assist.

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