Data Migration for Law Firms

Data Migration for Law Firms -- sounds scary doesn't it?  Especially when you are talking about trust accounts and multiple years of data needing to be migrated over.Some data migrations are more complex than others and it’s also probably safe to say that a law firm migration will usually lean towards being at least moderately hefty, (if not a full-on King Kong kinda scenario...NOW we're talking!) If this isn’t sounding familiar to you yet, your lawyerly work is probably more immediately related to the clients your firm serves. BUT with a little hard work and diligence, you’ll eventually be graduated to the fine task of reorganizing data, cleaning up lists and finding new systems that work for the business. “Sounds like a cake-walk” you say? “Think I’ll go for a bit of a walk that day” you guess??  

WAIT...there’s MORE! (‘Achkkk,’ just when you were getting into the groove of your “future side gig at the firm!”)

Well, I hope I can make your job a little easier with today’s tips on how to have a successful migration.

TIP #1 - Get the particulars of your data

When searching for a better legal management system, you’ll want to know what/who you’re working with, large scale. For starters, that will be clients, matter files, vendors, employees, special documents, email folders, calendars, specific workflows, and events. This will keep you from being blindsided when the time comes to categorize even further, into sub-groups. “Why would I want sub-groups”? You say? There are all sorts of reasons, including analytics, (key performance indicators (KPI), referral sources, case life cycles, and follow-up marketing to a specific client demographic.  Note, if you have decided QuickBooks Online Advanced is your accounting platform because of the multiple features, look to LeanLaw for the attorney billing piece.  It is by far the BEST combination!  

TIP #2 - Learn the pattern

Learn the pattern of your data so you and your partners can be aware of any required flow that needs to remain consistent.   It is all about the end game.  What are you looking to see in reports?  What data are you needing the metrics?  Marketing? How is your accounts receivable?  How is your utilization rate? How about your realization rate? Does this all sound Greek to you?  Maybe it's time to hire a pro!  Laying the groundwork for the new system is the key to success when you get to the reporting piece.

TIP #3 - Choose a migration end date

To the best of your ability, choose a date to end the migration and start in the new accounting platform. Undoubtedly, you'll have to take steps to fully learn your new software, train others and be functioning as a business, and that should be done in a crossover month. Often in migrations, you’ll need to convert your data to another format in order to use the new application. Hey! Do you remember what Goofy looked like when he couldn't find something he was looking for? It was always in front of him, but juuuust out of arm's reach. LOL! Unless you’re looking for yet another “gig”, I suggest the aforementioned "wrap up" target date.

TIP #4 - Quality Control check

Have a clean move. Review all lists, names, vendors and figures before totally scrubbing the old system. Get rid of typos and duplicates. Clean up those trust accounts!  Secure your data from any accidental losses or errors while in the middle of a move. 

Even if you are able and decide to have a backup of the old system, it’s worth noting that implosions do happen from time to time and a total loss is the result.

If you are an attorney looking for help with moving to the cloud or help with your trust accounting, please call us! 239-349-2004.  Check out our Data Migration page for more details!

If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper and need more guidance, please join our Facebook group QB Community Live! It’s a safe place to ask any question. I co-admin group, and I’m here to help. Our motto is, Together We All Succeed! #TWA$

Lynda Artesani

Lynda Artesani is the president of Artesani Bookkeeping where she uses her expertise and organizational skills to help her clients thrive and become profitable. Lynda is a member of the Intuit Trainer Writer Network. She is an alumni member of the Intuit Advisory Board. Additionally, she is the first Expert Columnist for the QB Community forum. She is also a co-founder in a Facebook group called QB Community Live!