Moving from QuickBooks to NetSuite? 5 Best Practices for a Successful Migration

May 9, 2023 by Kelsey Banerjee

So, you've decided to migrate from QuickBooks Online to NetSuite. And why wouldn't you? As a growing business, using an ERP that fully supports your ever-expanding team is essential.

A NetSuite migration process can feel overwhelming. While the executive team might have bought into the new NetSuite ERP, it's up to you to shift all of your data to the new platform and train your department. You'll also need to refine and adjust processes as you go and see the platform in action.

The good news is that there are things you can do to minimize downtime during the upgrade. But before we get to the essentials of a successful migration, we need to discuss what you should do before you even start using NetSuite.


Before You Migrate

Before you shift to your new ERP system from the QuickBooks software, there are a few housekeeping things you should take care of that will help ease the transition:

Make Backups

Before you do anything, you'll want to make backups of your QuickBooks operations. While your migration will likely go smoothly, having a complete record of your files for compliance and security is good practice. And given the importance of financial data, you want to avoid losing it.

To make a backup of your QuickBooks historical data, you need to do the following:

  1. Login to QuickBooks as a single user
  2. Go to the File menu
  3. Click "Back Up Company"
  4. Select "Create A Local Backup"
  5. Choose "Local Backup"
  6. Click "Options" to choose your save-location
  7. Click "Ok" and "Next"
  8. Choose "Save It Now" and click "Finish"

As we can see, there shouldn't be any code or complex roadmaps involved – just a lot of clicking.

You can save your backup anywhere. Since your backup will likely contain sensitive financial data, we recommend keeping it on an external hard drive or a secure cloud server used only for data storage.

You can also export your data as a CSV or Excel file while at it. When you migrate your systems, you must import this data later to avoid starting from scratch in NetSuite.

Notify Vendors and Customers

You'll also want to notify your vendors and customers about your new billing system. While most migrations shouldn't affect customer relations, covering all of your bases is good. Typically, you'll want to do this at least three weeks or so before you migrate.

Your email must inform your customers that you're switching to the NetSuite ERP, and billing will no longer use QuickBooks.

Organize Staff Training

Finally, you'll also want to set aside time to help your team adjust to the new software. While QuickBooks is efficient, NetSuite is incredibly robust and has several new features.

When you decide to migrate to NetSuite, you have likely mapped out how you want your new operations to run. This is the time to clue your team in on the changes. Consider creating a cheat sheet to help them remember any new processes or essential shortcuts for the first month.


Best Practices for Migrating from QuickBooks to NetSuite

Successful migration from your QuickBooks account will allow your team to hit the ground running without the hassles of reentering transactions or adding clients manually. Switching to a new ERP should boost efficiency; the last thing you want is more downtime.

That's why, now that you have your backups and have organized your staff training, it's time to import the historical data from QuickBooks and set up your new workflow.

Transfer Your Data

There are a few ways to do this. The most common way is by going to QuickBooks Settings > Tools and clicking "Export Data." We suggest exporting both reports and lists. The Excel files should be saved as a CSV. You will then go to NetSuite's Assistant and Setup > Import/Export > Import CSV Files. However, remember that when you upload this data into NetSuite, you'll need to go back and validate all of your information. NetSuite has a more complex classification system, and your data may have errors or gaps.

Another method is to use an automated plugin to sync the two platforms. This takes longer than an Excel upload but is generally more accurate.

Finally, the last way is to hire a consultant or third party to handle your data migration process. Depending on your resources, this might be the most effective solution. Since the migration is a one-time cost, you can ensure it is done correctly and have your staff focus on training or other tasks until it is complete.


Have a NetSuite Expert On Call

Whether you have a designated person on staff or a consultant, you'll want someone to help you make adjustments and answer team questions. This is especially important at the beginning of the migration process, as this will be a new ERP system for everyone.

In addition to having a NetSuite pro on deck, keeping IT up to speed on changes can be beneficial. Your IT department can ensure all other aspects of your infrastructure are working correctly and help troubleshoot potential challenges.

Know What Metrics You Want to Track

Before you make any changes, ensure you know what KPIs you want to track and how you will gauge success with the new platform. These indicators must have been available in the QuickBooks accounting software, too. For example, you may choose to track DSO, bad debts, collection effectiveness, or another account receivable metric. This results-oriented approach is essential to track progress and will make it easier to maintain buy-in from the executive team.

Define And Refine Your NetSuite Goals

You may have already planned out how you want to use NetSuite ERP going forward. But once you get your team working with the platform, you should revisit your roadmap and adjust. The longer you work with NetSuite, the more the process will become refined. It can be helpful to select a time every quarter to review how well the new ERP system is working.

Review Add-ons And Plug-ins for Optimal Efficiency

Finally, as your team begins to invoice clients with NetSuite, you may notice gaps or other parts of the process that you want to streamline. Since NetSuite has countless integrations, you will find that there will be many ways to optimize your ERP. For example, there is a legion of additional services, from AR automation to customer support, that can boost your efficiency and reduce DSO.

B2B payments and invoicing integrations are beneficial. Not only can these automated payment options help you wean vendors and customers off of check payments, but you can offer a wide variety of payment types. ACH, bank-to-bank transfers, and credit card options are all quick ways to get paid in real-time. And since these add-ons are NetSuite integrations, you can track every transaction in your ERP.

You can access most integrations from the NetSuite dashboard itself. The sooner you add these plugins to your process, the easier it will be for your team to learn the new workflow.


Optimizing Accounts Receivable in NetSuite

NetSuite itself is a powerful engine. But what sets it apart as an ERP is its versatile and comprehensive setup, supplemented with additional integrations. You'll want to automate your AR and AP operations to maximize the use of your new NetSuite program and free up time and resources.

Through Paystand, NetSuite users can digitize receivables, automate processing, reduce time-to-cash, eliminate transaction fees, and enable new revenue. While we can't speak for all NetSuite AR automation integrations, there are several services best-in-class automation software should provide, including the ability to do the following:

  • Process all major credit and debit cards, ACH, eCheck, and 0% fee bank payments
  • Access lower transaction fees with our wholesale credit card processing rates
  • Leverage built-in fee management controls like convenience fees
  • Automate cash application, revenue recognition, reporting, payment reconciliation, and collection
  • Accept partial payments
  • Allow customers to pay multiple invoices at a time

If you want to know more about how automation in NetSuite can streamline operations for your team, check out this eGuide on choosing the best application for your needs.