The 8 Essential Conversion Questions

Every successful move to Xero starts and ends with the business. Before you start your conversion it is recommended that you scope out your needs in advance so we can discuss the best service to for you.

Following are some areas you could consider when you plan the move to Xero.

  1. Do you want to move completely away from your old software and be able to reference past history at a detailed level in Xero?
  2. Do you like to track performance (e.g. sales, costs) over time? Do you need a good baseline to start with in Xero?
  3. Do you just want a simple and cheap start in Xero?
  4. Do you just want a basic, clean set up and leave the legacy transactional data behind?
  5. What is the state of your Chart of Accounts, does it need a tidy up? Or do you want to take advantage of report codes?
  6. Do you have payroll? How up to date is it? Are there a variety of pay schedules and items to consider? (Australia only)
  7. Do you have jobs/classes?
  8. If you have inventory – do you use tracking or just have items set up?

All of these questions will assist you to determine what will work best for the business.

1. Do you want to move completely away from your old software and be able to reference past history at a detailed level in Xero?

If you need to be able to access history at a transactional level then you should consider how far back you want to go.  For example, if you use old invoices to create new invoices, then transactional history is useful.

The Standard package provides transactions for the current plus previous financial year. So you will receive from 12 – 23 months of transactions in Xero.

If you have a need to retain a longer history period for business or legal reasons, the Accelerate package will provide the maximum amount of transactional history available from us – current financial year and up to 4 additional financial years.

Warning for MYOB files – because of the roll and purge function in MYOB we cannot convert transactional history beyond the financial year that the MYOB file is set to. Unfortunately once rolled you cannot roll it back again so please don’t roll your MYOB file in order to preserve the maximum amount of history possible.

2. Do you like to track performance (e.g. sales, costs) over time? Do you need a good baseline to start with in Xero?

We find that full history is sometimes chosen for the ability to run comparative reports.  Monthly comparative balances are sufficient for this.

It can also be used for MYOB files that have been rolled to receive additional reporting information in the form of monthly comparatives.

The Insight and Accelerate packages both include monthly comparatives back as far as we can read the data.


You get accurate monthly balances for all accounts (profit & loss as well as balance sheet accounts) so that reporting for any monthly time period can be run.

3. Do you just want a simple and cheap start in Xero?

The Standard package is the most cost effective, and in some countries it is fully subsidised by Xero so that it is free of charge to you. If unsure email solutions@jetconvert.com to check availability in your country.

You have a choice of different amounts of history with this package.

Our software will always default to the maximum amount of history possible for the file that you have supplied. Simply change to a more recent start date if you want to receive less history in Xero.

4. Do you just want a basic, clean set up and leave the legacy transactional data behind?

If you just want to get going in Xero with little to no transactions, then one of the following options will be the best choice. It gives you every contact, item, and account. Australian files also receive payroll setup.

$0 balances (MYOB, QB & Reckon)
All the conversion balances in Xero are set as 0 so they can be added into Xero following conversion.

History Current Month (MYOB only)
The transactions in Xero start as of the first day of the current month and conversion balances are set as of the last day of the previous month.

Balances (QB & Reckon only)
Balances are set as of the last day of the previous month. No transactions will be imported though you will receive open invoices & bills.

Using one of these options means you have eliminated the mundane tasks associated with a Xero set up and can focus on starting with a clean organisation that has all the basic details.

The added bonus is that these conversions usually go through a lot more quickly than the usual turnaround time (large files excepted).

5. What is the state of your Chart of Accounts, does it need a tidy up? Or do you want to take advantage of report codes?

Please note that this is only open to Xero Advisors as part of our Partner Program.

The other important consideration during a conversion is the possibility to clean up. If you are already using Xero report templates and report codes, you have the option to import your standard chart of accounts and map your client’s data into it as part of the custom Chart of Accounts service available to Jet Convert Partners.

It means in Xero, whatever history you bring in (details or comparative balances) will use your clean chart of accounts.

We use an artificial intelligence algorithm to pre-match the old chart of accounts with the new one that makes sure all required account types are honored. In a simple drag and drop operation, you can then map the remaining ones (or choose to add them).

At the conclusion of the conversion you will receive a report showing the Chart of Accounts as it was originally and then how it now appears in Xero. A huge time saver for you and an opportunity to clean up a Chart of Accounts that has gotten out of hand and leverage the ability to run the same reports across your all of your Xero orgs.

If you are interested about how the custom Chart of Accounts service works you can read more here.

6. Do you have payroll? How up to date is it? Are there a variety of pay schedules and items to consider?

Please note that payroll is only available for Australian conversions.

If there is one thing out of date in a source software file it is inevitably payroll.

With the move to Xero it is a chance to make a clean start and get your payruns 100% accurate from the start. This means work for you in Xero following conversion which you should take into account when quoting your client.

Even if you do not receive a payroll conversion from us we have a handy blog post of payroll items to check and update before doing the first payrun.

For those of you who do get payroll converted through us, please also refer to this blog post to make sure that the reporting for the first quarter/ first month after conversion provides you with the correct figures for earnings, PAYG and Super.

7. Do you have jobs/classes?

It is worth checking how many jobs/classes there are in the source software, and also the way jobs/classes are being used. Quite often businesses use jobs incorrectly and can improve the way jobs/classes are managed moving forward in Xero.

If there are lots of jobs/classes the business may need to consider an add-on as Xero do not recommend having over 100.

Side note – we converted a file once with thousands of jobs which proved such a headache in Xero for the bookkeepers that we introduced a limit of 500 afterwards! So yes our limit is 500 jobs/classes, and if under 100 they are covered by the Standard package.

If you are interested about how jobs/classes convert you can read more here.

Please also note that we convert into tracking categories and not ‘Projects’.  If your client uses ‘Projects’ in Xero they may need some additional guidance on how to set this up.

8. If you have inventory – do you use tracking or just have items set up?

Inventory is another area where you need to decide whether to run in Xero or use an add-on. Complicated inventory management may well require an add-on. If you are not familiar with the options available there are many cloud integrators expert in inventory add-ons that can assist.

Our conversions do bring across the accounting information associated with inventory but not tracked inventory. We suggest that when you do the conversion it is also a great time to do a stock-take and add the up-to-date stock information into Xero.

Here is how you can update tracked Inventory in Xero post conversion.

There are other things you should be aware of as to how we convert inventory which you can read about on our FAQs website.

Hopefully the above information assists when coming to do your conversion with us. Feel free to contact us discuss requirements ahead of time.

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