Why does an accounting or bookkeeping professional need to know data migration?
I have been doing bookkeeping and accounting work for over 20 years now. Years ago, we spent our days doing data entry. Technology has taken a front seat in today's world, and thanks to bank feed, bank rules, and outside software, we no longer have to do the tasks I used to spend my days typing.
As artificial intelligence and technology advance, there will be even less manual entry. If you think these advances in technology won't affect you, you will miss an opportunity for growth.
As an example, I work with the legal industry - yes, lawyers and trust accounting and compliance. Attorneys are notoriously behind in technology and moving off of their desktop products and segmented workflows just don't happen when they should. They are so busy working "in" their business they forget the importance of working "on" their business. They don't know that some advancements and workflows can improve their data collection and save them time.
My firm helps mid-market larger firms with multiple partners. Because they have multiple partners, we have to explain the advantages of upgrading their systems to multiple individuals. Recently, we met with a firm where we met with strong resistance. We were moving his firm off of PC Law to the cloud-based system of QuickBooks Online Advanced and LeanLaw. One of the partners had his arms folded throughout the meeting, and you could tell he was not on board with the sweeping changes we would make. He was confident this whole project would fail.
As part of moving the firm to new solutions, we had to do move a lot of data, rebuild many things and manage a lot of open accounts receivable. The resistant partner was stuck on one data field that was a deal-breaker if we could not make it happen in the new workflow.
Well, custom fields to the rescue! This partner was not only pleased to see his file number appear in the new data set but was thrilled at how easy the new system was to implement. There was even more joy when we showed him how we had some tailored reports that tracked attorney profitability, one of several customized reports he did not have in PC Law.
Incredibly, most attorneys do understand "time is money," yet they stay stagnant in old systems that require many clicks, are disjointed, and come with a heavy price tag. They are lacking where we, as knowledgeable bookkeepers and accountants, can shine!
Understanding how to effectively migrate data allows us to keep our own practices relevant with current technology but also helps our clients stay relevant!
I started to specialize in my accounting firm in 2016 and have not looked back. Specialization is the next chess move for accounting professionals to survive in the future.
The ability to set an app stack that works fluidly for your chosen industry and then help your clients out of systems that don't work is how you can elevate your practice. You learn the clunky systems and processes your clients are using and assist them in moving to an accounting platform and app suite that works efficiently.
There is power in knowing how to lay out the data for import. There is power in validating the data, which may lend itself to cleaning up the current data set, reorganizing, and so much more.
When the migration is completed, the best "perk" of knowing how to do this work. You can look at clean data and provide the client with metrics they have maybe not even considered.
To have your client say, "I didn't even know I could track that," always brings a smile to our faces, and we are typically are asked to be that ongoing support staff and financial advisor.
So, why should you consider learning about data migration?
To survive the future of bookkeeping and accounting, stay ahead of technology, remain relevant, and grow! And by the way, it's such a rewarding experience.