Migrating to a new accounting software can be a hug job. There's no point in candy coating it. Whether you are moving from Quickbooks to Xero or Freshbooks to Zoho, it's going to take you several hours of work.
This is why we do offer conversion services.
However, if you don't want to spend the money and want to try to do this on your own, here's a rough guide to help you start thinking about the steps you need to take. 

Set up your Chart of Accounts

In your old platform, you had a chart of accounts (COA). These include your expense categories, assets and liabilities in your balance sheet and any equity you have in the company. They could also include revenue categories like "income from rental properties" or "royalties" or "Affiliate commissions".
To get your new accounting software working, you need the new one to match your previous COA.

In Billy, head to Accounting > Chart of Accounts

Review the accounts we give you by default. Start by renaming existing accounts to the language you're used to. If any accounts are missing, most likely it will be expense categories, then Create Account:

If you are adding a credit card or checking account or savings account (or Paypal) click on Create bank account. Otherwise, just click Create account.

Decide on the date Billy starts accounting for you

Decide on how far back you want Billy to start your accounting. Most people just want to include this fiscal year.

Update your settings to reflect this:
Settings > App settings > Bank syncronization settings

Important! Make sure you don't import data older than this. 


Next, update your Tax settings:

Enter your opening balances

Now you need to tell Billy what your opening balances are, otherwise, your bank balances in Billy will not reflect what's actually in your bank.

In Tax settings, click on Edit account balances

You will need to check your old accounting system for these, or your bank account, for the balance in those accounts at the date you set in the last step

Note that if you are updating balances in the Balance Sheet, then the balance sheet needs to balance. What does that mean?
In double entry accounting, your Assets = Liabilities + Owners Equity
So if you create an opening balance of $1,000 for some assets you have, maybe your Computers and some desks, then you will need to enter some kind of balancing entry either in Liabilities or Owners Equity. 

Note: if A /= L+OE then you will not be able to save that page in Billy.

If you don't know how to do this, then create a generic account called, "Historical Adjustments" in your Liabilities, and invite your accountant to help you out. Use Historical Adjustment to get your balance so you can save the page.

Import your contacts

There are three kinds of contacts in Billy

  • Customers
  • Vendors
  • Both customers and vendors

When you are uploading your list of contacts from your old system, your data might not have these distinctions. So it's advisable to set all of your contacts as Both. 

To find out what CSV format to use, first download your contacts from Billy, even if there aren't any. This will get you the headers you need:

Before you upload 100+ contacts, I advise you strongly to try just one or two with your import to make sure they are getting categorized as Both correctly. Also, be sure to de-dupe your list before importing to Billy.
It is VERY hard to make changes to large numbers of contacts. So test and get it right first. 

Import your past transactions

Note, do not attempt this until you have all your accounts, bank accounts expense accounts, assets, liabilities and contacts set up already.

You will import past transactions either by uploading them directly into your bank accounts and then Recocilling them or using the Journal.

Importing to your bank

Head to Bank accounts and select your bank or credit card for the import. Then click on Reconcile.

Billy can only import 200 records at a time into bank accounts. 

Make sure the CSV file you upload from your Bank into Billy has at least these headings:

  • Date
  • Description 
  • Amount (single column with positive and negative numbers) 

In the new bank account, you created click on Reconcile > Upload statement

Note: The date must be in US format MM/DD/YYYY and the amount fields must only be numbers, no formatting for currency. 

Then simply work your way through the list. 

  • Categorize expenses = Create bill
  • Label revenue sources = Create invoice
  • Record a transfer to another account like a CC payment  = Create another transaction

Use the Journal (Advanced)

Head to Accounting > Journal > More Import

The file you will import should be a CSV file. I suggest Exporting the file first so you can have the template. This will tell you what headers Billy needs to import your data.

Once your data is cleaned up, with the headers Billy needs, and is saved as a CSV, import the file into the Journal. From there, you can choose the account and expense and income categories.

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