Migrate from Sage to Xero

Looking to switch from Sage to Xero? Our expert team ensures a seamless migration, offering tailored support and efficient implementation.

Sage to Xero Migration

Understanding the need for migration

The world of accounting is undergoing a dramatic transformation fueled by technological advancements. Paperwork is giving way to cloud-based solutions, and manual tasks are becoming automated.

Sage Desktop works for some businesses, but it has some huge downsides:

Limited Accessibility:

  • Desktop-Bound: Sage Desktop is a traditional software program that requires installation on a physical computer. This restricts access to financial data from anywhere, anytime. Collaboration with remote team members or accountants becomes cumbersome.
  • Offline Dependence: Sage Desktop relies on local data storage, making you vulnerable to data loss due to hardware failure or theft. Regular backups are crucial but can be an extra burden for smaller businesses.

Security Concerns:

  • Outdated Software: As Sage Desktop is not a cloud-based solution, it might not receive the latest security updates as readily as cloud-based accounting software. This can expose your business to potential security breaches and data theft.
  • Data Security Measures: Ensuring data security is the sole responsibility of businesses using Sage Desktop. Establishing and upholding strong security protocols can be time-consuming and challenging, particularly for companies with limited IT resources.

Scalability Limitations:

  • Hardware Upgrades: As your business grows, your accounting needs will become more complex. Sage Desktop might require hardware upgrades to handle larger datasets, leading to additional costs.
  • Limited User Management: Sage Desktop might limit the number of users accessing the software simultaneously. This can be restrictive for businesses with growing teams or multiple locations.

Integration Issues:

  • Limited Integrations: Sage Desktop might integrate differently with other business systems like CRM, ERP, or e-commerce platforms. This can lead to data silos and manual data entry between systems, reducing efficiency.
  • Customisation Challenges: Sage Desktop might offer limited customisation options to adapt the software to your specific business needs and workflows.

While Sage Desktop might have served your business well in the past, these limitations can become significant hurdles as your business grows and the accounting landscape evolves.  Transitioning to a cloud-based solution like Xero can help you overcome these challenges and unlock a new level of efficiency, security, and accessibility for your financial data.

Xero offers significant advantages, like:

  • Accessibility: Access your financial data anywhere, anytime, on any device.
  • Real-Time Collaboration: Share data and collaborate with colleagues and accountants seamlessly.
  • Automatic Backups: Eliminate the risk of data loss with automatic backups in the cloud.
  • Scalability: Flexible subscription plans allow you to adapt to your growing business needs easily. For example, Xero has no user limit and is not charged by user licence.
Sage to Xero Migration
xero certified accountant
xero migration certified

How to move from Sage desktop to Xero

Making the switch from Sage Desktop to Xero can seem daunting, but you can do it if you’re experienced with accounting software systems. We’ve included a guide below and details on how we can help you.

Using Movemybooks
(Free for up to 24 Months of Data)

Xero partners with Movemybooks to offer a free data conversion service. Here’s how it works:

  • Set Up Xero and Movemybooks Accounts: Create a free account on both Xero and Movemybooks. Ensure your Xero organisation is empty for a smooth import.
  • Choose Data to Import: Decide how much historical data (up to 24 months are free) you want to migrate to Xero.
  • Prepare Your Sage Data: Back up your Sage data and keep the program open during conversion.
  • Initiate Conversion: On Movemybooks, select “Convert to Xero” and follow the on-screen instructions. You should download an extractor tool for Sage.
  • Data Upload and Completion: Movemybooks will securely extract and convert your Sage data for import into Xero. This process typically takes a few hours.

Benefits of Movemybooks:

  • Free for up to 24 months of historical data migration.
  • Secure and encrypted data transfer.
  • Streamlined conversion process.

Manual Migration

For a more hands-on approach, you can manually migrate your data:

  • Opening Balances: Export a trial balance report from Sage and manually enter the opening balances into your new Xero chart of accounts.
  • Chart of Accounts Mapping: Map the accounts from your Sage chart of accounts to the most corresponding ones in Xero. You should create new accounts in Xero if there’s no direct match.
  • Importing Transactions: You can manually enter unpaid invoices and bills into Xero, depending on your needs.
  • Bank Accounts: Connect your bank accounts to Xero for automatic transaction downloads.

Things to Consider with Manual Migration:

  • Requires a good understanding of accounting principles.
  • Time-consuming, especially for large datasets.
  • Increased risk of errors during manual data entry.

Choosing the Right Method:

  • If you value your time and want a seamless transition, Movemybooks is the recommended option.
  • The manual approach might be suitable if you’re comfortable with accounting tasks and prefer more control over the migration process.

By following these steps and considering the available resources, you can successfully migrate from Sage Desktop to Xero and start enjoying the benefits of cloud-based accounting.

There are some potential issues you might encounter during the migration from Sage Desktop to Xero:

Data Inconsistencies:

  • Dirty Data: If your Sage data contains errors or inconsistencies (e.g., unmatched payments, duplicate entries), these issues might carry over to Xero during migration. Cleaning up your Sage data before migration can help avoid this.
  • Mapping Mismatches: When manually mapping accounts between Sage and Xero, perfect matches may not always be found. This can cause confusion and errors during data entry.

Migration Issues:

  • Movemybooks Limitations: The free Movemybooks service only migrates 24 months of historical data. You’ll need to pay extra or use the manual method for older data.
  • Technical Glitches: During the data conversion process, there’s a slight chance of technical glitches that might cause data loss or errors. It’s essential to back up your Sage data beforehand.

Post-Migration Challenges:

  • Learning Curve: Xero has a different interface and functionalities from Sage Desktop. Adapting to the new system might involve some learning for you and your team.
  • Ongoing Data Entry: Migrating historical data is just one step. To maintain accurate records, you’ll need to enter new transactions and reconcile accounts in Xero consistently.

Here are some tips to mitigate these risks:

  • Clean Up Your Sage Data: Before migration, ensure your Sage data is accurate and error-free. Reconcile accounts, fix inconsistencies, and remove duplicates.
  • Test Your Migration (Movemybooks): Movemybooks offers a test migration for a limited data set. Use this to identify any potential mapping issues before migrating everything.
  • Take Your Time (Manual Migration): Take your time with the manual migration process. Double-check your data entry for accuracy to minimise errors.

By being prepared for these potential challenges and taking the necessary precautions, you can ensure a smooth and successful migration to Xero.

Benefits of Migrating from Sage to Xero with us

We are Xero migration certified and have managed hundreds of conversions over the past few years. We’d recommend asking us to help, particularly if:

  • You have a large amount of historical data to migrate.
  • Your Sage data requires significant cleanup before migration.
  • You need to familiarise yourself with Xero.
  • You want peace of mind and a smooth, error-free migration process.
  • You’d like to explore opportunities to improve your accounting practices.

While Movemybooks offers a free and convenient solution, an accountant can provide a more personalised and secure migration experience, especially for businesses with complex financial needs.


There are several benefits to us helping you with your migration process:

Expertise and Efficiency:

  • Streamlined Migration: We are familiar with Sage and Xero, so we can handle the migration efficiently, saving you valuable time and minimising disruption to your workflow.
  • Data Accuracy: We have the expertise to identify and address any inconsistencies in your Sage data before migration, ensuring accurate records in Xero.
  • Mapping Guidance: We can expertly map your accounts from Sage to the most appropriate ones in Xero, preventing confusion and errors.
  • Training: We can provide you and your team with training and ongoing support.

Reduced Risk and Peace of Mind:

  • Minimise Errors: We can minimise the risk of errors during data conversion and manual entry, protecting the integrity of your financial data.
  • Technical Expertise: We can handle any technical glitches that arise during the migration process, ensuring a smooth transition.
  • Ongoing Support: Even after the migration, we can provide ongoing support and guidance on using Xero’s functionalities effectively.

Additional Advantages:

  • Identify Opportunities: During the migration process, we might identify areas for improvement in your accounting practices or uncover tax optimisation opportunities within your data.
  • Compliance & Security: We can ensure your Xero setup adheres to relevant accounting standards and data security best practices.
  • Long-Term Benefits: We can become a valuable partner in maintaining your Xero system, providing ongoing bookkeeping, tax preparation, and financial analysis services.

Implement new accounting software for your business

Equipping your business with the best accounting software is crucial. Migrating to a cloud-based system like Xero not only streamlines your financial processes but also provides real-time insights, enhanced security, and cost savings. With MNE Accounting, a certified Xero Migration partner since 2011, your switch will be seamless, efficient, and customised to your unique needs. Don’t let outdated software limit your business’s potential. Contact MNE Accounting today and start your journey towards modern, efficient, and collaborative accounting practices.

For a free initial consultation on migrating your data to new accounting software, call us on 0116 255 2422 or use the form below to contact us.

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