January 28, 2015

The Best Practices for a Successful AMS Data Migration

The Best Practices for a Successful AMS Data Migration

If you're looking for a new association management software (AMS) system, the time will come to give your prospective vendors the data so they can quote the price for your data migration. Ideally a backup of your database is what would be best so that the vendor can know the number of tables, the table structures, and the row counts of your data. This will help give an accurate quote.

Your vendor can easily accept a SQL Server backup, MYSQL backup, or MS Access Databases. If those are not available they can also accept MS Excel spreadsheets, CSV files, or delimited text files. In order to be prepared to bring data into the new system, you should be able to answer a few questions about your data. Keep in mind: terminology between systems may not be the same, so understanding what fields represent is very important as well.

Know your data!

Here are the Best Practices for a Successful AMS Data Migration

For Membership:

  • What date determines a renewal?
  • What date determines expiration? Is it different for termination?
  • How is revenue recognition determined for a membership?
  • What date is used for revenue recognition?
  • Do you use membership flow down?

For Financials and Orders:

  • Which accounting method is used?
  • Do you use deferred revenue? Do all products use the same deferral?
  • How do you plan on use historical financial transactions? Is a record of a financial transaction enough? How far back do you need to track financial data?
  • Do you require Open Orders and Invoices to be carried forward into your new AMS? If so, is there a cut-off date for this?
  • Will an audit be performed in the first 12 months of using the new system?

Key Points to Remember for Financial Data & Data Migration

  • Do not import General Ledger Transactions. It is too difficult to balance out and import accurately. Your new AMS should have the ability to assign GL codes.
  • You should import your recent and historical financial data including fields such as Order, Invoice, Payment, but there might not be new customized fields in your new AMS, so fields to import are limited.
  • Understand there are differences from your legacy system, so there might not be an exact match for fields in the new AMS financial system. The vendor should help you manage this change with best practices.
  • The AMS should have fields used for “Historical Transactions” for storing older data.

For more information, read more on the best practices for upgrading your AMS.


Ana Loden

Ana Loden is the Business Development Manager at MemberSuite. As an expert in communication, she spends her work days speaking and presenting to hundreds of associations. When she’s not selling new clients, she can be found listening to live music and rooting for Auburn University's football team.

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