Conversion walkthrough: Payroll CS to Accounting CS Payroll

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There are a number of steps to take to ensure a smooth conversion of client data from CSA to Accounting CS. When you are ready to convert your data, we recommend that you first convert one or two of your smaller, less complicated clients to familiarize yourself with the conversion process and with the Accounting CS application.

Note: For a higher-level roadmap describing the transition process, from purchase through client data conversion to post-conversion training, refer to Transitioning from CSA to Accounting CS services.

Pre-conversion steps

In CSA, choose File > Open Client and open the client you are preparing to convert.

  1. Verify that each CSA client is in the latest processing period for both general ledger and payroll. (Details)

    Choose File > Client Properties and verify that the latest processing period is selected in the Payroll tab. For a smooth conversion, we recommend that you convert client data at year- or quarter-end.


    • If the client's current period-end dates are before the latest period-end dates, you can choose File > Select Period to Process to advance the client to the latest period.
    • Only the current year of payroll data will be converted.
  2. Verify that each CSA client has a valid address. Choose File > Client Properties and verify the address is valid.
  3. Add checkbooks to represent any GL accounts that the client uses for checks and deposits. (Details)

    Even if a client is set up with only the General Ledger module, at least one checkbook must be set up for the client Tasks > Bank Reconciliation > Account setup screen in CSA. (Payroll Compliance or Live Payroll, go to Setup > Checkbooks).  If a checkbook has not been set up for a client before the data is converted, the bank account balances in Accounting CS will be incorrect.

    Show dialog.

    Setup checkbook dialog

  4. Compact the client data. (Details)
    1. Choose Help > Repair.
    2. In the Clients tab, highlight the client to convert, and then click the Compact Client button.

    Show dialog.

    Compact client button

  5. Compact the global database. (Details)
    1. Be sure that all users are logged out of CSA.
    2. Choose Help > Repair.
    3. Click the Miscellaneous tab and then click the Compact Global Database button.

    Show dialog.

    Compact global database button

  6. Repair the letter case of description text for payroll-related data (including checkbook names, payroll items, or departments). (Details)
    1. Choose Help > Repair.
    2. Click the Miscellaneous tab and then click the Repair Case of Descriptions button. The application changes the upper / lower case of text descriptions for checkbook names, payroll items, or departments for the active client to match the case of an equivalent description.
    3. The application displays a diagnostic message that lists any case discrepancies it detected and changed and also lists any global payroll items in the client database that are not in the global data. If the diagnostic lists any payroll items as missing from the global data, add them to the global database (in the Setup > System Configuration menu) in CSA prior to converting.

    Show dialog.

    Repair case of descriptions dialog

    Note: If the dialog displays a blank white screen, the repair didn't encounter any issues, and you do not have any items to address.

  7. Run the Accounting CS Conversion Report to identify issues that may occur during the conversion. (Details)
    1. Choose Utilities > Accounting CS Conversion Report.
    2. In the Account CS Conversion Report dialog, select the client to convert. (If you are converting data for more than one client, you can mark the Page Break Per Client checkbox to use page breaks to separate report information by client.)
    3. Click the Print button.

For clients using Employee Self-Service: To ensure that employee records in Accounting CS maintain the link with the appropriate CSA Web Employee portals (now Employee Self-Service portals), the client ID in Accounting CS must match the client ID in CSA. If necessary, change any client IDs in CSA, and then resend year-to-date Web Employee checks to the portal before converting the client data. After the conversion, do not re-enable Employee Self-Service for any converted clients until you have verified that all of the information converted properly and that you have corrected any issues. If you reconvert client data after enabling Employee Self-Service, the year-to-date information may not be available on the portals.

Note: Employees who work in an office/location other than the client’s main office need to be associated with the proper office for appropriate taxing. Be sure that, within Payroll CS, each employee has been set up for a payroll department that can be linked specifically to their work location. To create additional work locations and match a payroll department to that work location, refer to Converting CSA clients with employees in multiple work locations.

Conversion steps for screens in the conversion wizard

After you complete the pre-conversion steps, you are ready to convert your client data.

In Accounting CS, choose File > Import > CS Professional Suite Accounting Products Conversion.

Depending on the modules that are enabled for the client you are converting, you may not see all of the screens described below.

Note: The client you are converting must be closed in CSA before beginning these steps. Accounting CS will notify you if the client is currently open in CSA.

  1. Source Data: Select the locations where your CSA system and client data files are stored.
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    Conversion source data screen

    1. Specify the locations of your CSA system and client data files.
    2. If you did not specify the CSA data locations in the Setup > File Locations dialog, click the Browse button to locate the CSASys (system data) and the CSAData (client data) folders within the WinCSI folder.

      Note: To find the CSAData folder location, choose Setup > User Preferences and click the File Locations tab in CSA. In most cases, the CSASys file resides in the same location. For Virtual Office and SaaS users, the CSAData and CSASys folders are located on the Y:\ drive.

    3. In the Data Type section, choose the Clients option to convert client data.

      Note: If you will be converting financial statements, you must convert them in a separate conversion after the client data has been converted.

    4. Mark the Perform a custom conversion (Recommended) checkbox to convert data for a single client and review all of the mapping screens (recommended method). If you have many clients with only the General Ledger module enabled (without the Write-Up, Payroll, or Payroll Compliance modules), you can clear the checkbox to perform a batch conversion. Note that some of the data that is converted via a custom conversion will not be converted via the batch method.
  2. Source Data - Clients: Select the CSA client to convert.

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    Client selection screen

    Mark the checkbox next to the client to convert. If you do not see your client listed, click the Back button to go back to the Source Data screen and modify your data locations.

    If you still do not see your client, click Cancel and exit the conversion. Choose Setup > Clients and verify that the client ID of the client you want to convert is not already being used in Accounting CS. If it is being used, highlight that client and then change the client ID or delete the client record.

    Accounting CS automatically includes a client that is assigned a Firm ID of FIRM. This client includes some functionality that is not available to clients that you add to the database. Accounting CS does not allow you to convert client data into an existing Accounting CS client; therefore, you will not be able to convert your firm's CSA data into the FIRM client. You can, however, convert your firm's data into a new client. If you want to use the FIRM client for your firm's data, we recommend that you use the spreadsheet import feature to manually bring your firms's data into the FIRM client.

    See also: Transitioning firm client data from CSA to Accounting CS

  3. Modules: Specify the types of data to convert for each CSA module.

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    module selections

    • This screen includes a tabbed page for each CSA module that is enabled for the client. By default, all items are marked to be converted. You can unmark the checkbox for any items that you do not want to convert.
    • Earnings information is imported for the client's latest payroll year only.
    • Some items, especially those on the Payroll tab, include options in the Details/Defaults column. For example, the Employees row has the option to include all employees or to exclude inactive employees with zero earnings.
  4. Client Setup - Accounting Information: Select the GL account to use for undefined or missing GL account numbers.

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    undistributed account selection

    Select the account from the client's Chart of Accounts to use as the undistributed account. If left blank, the application automatically assigns account 999 (and creates it if the account does not already exist).

    Note: If necessary, you can change this selection after the conversion in the Setup > Clients > Accounting Information tab.

  5. Client Setup - Account Mask: Verify or modify the account mask to use for this client in Accounting CS.

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    Account mask setup

    If you use a segmented Chart of Accounts for the client in CSA, you can use this screen to change the order in which the segments are used. You can also add and change separators here, but you cannot change the length of the mask.

  6. Client Setup - Payroll: Add work location information, assign primary and backup processors, and specify the time entry method and default check output.

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    Client setup payroll screen

    Accounting CS uses the client's and employees' addresses to determine the applicable taxes. For this reason, there is a built-in address validation feature that can assess the accuracy of an address down to the street level.

    • If the client has more than one work location, click the Add Location button to add those locations.
    • If you set up staff members in the Setup > Firm Information > Staff screen, select the primary and secondary processors for this client. You can change this information in the Setup > Clients > Main tab at any time after conversion.
    • Select the method in which the client's payroll time will be entered. If your firm will enter payroll time, choose the Manual option. If your client provides you with a spreadsheet or uses remote payroll or a supported timeclock application, choose Import.

      Note: If you're using the remote payroll (NetClient CS) method or Employee Self-Service (called Web Employee in CSA), there are some post-conversion setup steps that you need to complete. See the Payroll CS to Accounting CS Payroll conversion guide for full details.

    • Select the default check method by which you will provide payroll checks to the client - paper checks or remote printing.
  7. Client and Employee Address Mapping: Verify client employee address information. This step is very important to ensure that Accounting CS calculates taxes correctly.

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    Employee address mapping screen

    Note: You may experience a delay between the previous screen and this screen. This is because the conversion wizard is using the built-in address validation feature to verify all of the addresses that were entered in CSA for this client. You may see a progress bar during the validation.

    If the application encounters any client or employee addresses that could not be fully validated, it displays those addresses in the grid. If the grid is blank, all addresses were validated and you can proceed with the conversion process.

    If any addresses could not be validated, use the following steps to correct them. If you skip these steps, the application will display a conversion diagnostic message at the end of the conversion process.

    1. In the Lookup field, enter the ZIP code or the city and state combination and press TAB on your keyboard.
    2. If the application displays pop-up dialog indicating that an address difference was found, choose the appropriate option for handling the addresses and click OK.
    3. Click the Update button to update the address in the grid. The application will automatically mark the checkbox in the Valid column.
    4. Repeat these steps until all rows are marked as valid.

    It is critical that you do not skip the validation steps. Accounting CS uses addresses to determine the appropriate taxes to withhold on payroll checks. If an address is incorrect, earnings information may not convert correctly.

    For Ohio and Pennsylvania only: If the address validates to the wrong school district or municipality, try the following steps.

    1. Enter only the city, state, or ZIP code portion of the address.
    2. Click the Location finder button button or press the TAB key on your keyboard to initiate the search.
    3. Select the correct school district and/or municipality from the drop-down lists.
    4. Enter the rest of the address and then click the Update button.
  8. Payroll - Vendors: Select the vendor type for each CSA vendor.

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    vendor screen

    Review the list of vendors to be converted and modify the vendor type, if necessary. You can also select the Do not convert option for any vendor that you do not want to convert.

    Note: You can change the vendor type in Setup > Vendors > Main tab at any time after the conversion.

  9. Payroll - Departments: Specify how payroll department information is converted — by department, location, or both — or choose not to convert department information.

    Show screen.

    Departments screen

    Accounting CS uses payroll departments to help break down the numbers on payroll reports. The selection you make in this screen affects how the departments are created during the conversion process.

    • Mark the Locations checkbox to map the CSA department description to a location that you set up in the Client Setup - Payroll screen earlier in the conversion.
    • Mark the Departments checkbox to create identical departments in Accounting CS.

      Note: You can also choose both Locations and Departments to combine the effect these options have.

    • Mark the Employee Template/Job Description checkbox to skip the conversion of departments altogether.
  10. Payroll - Payroll Items: Map CSA pay items to corresponding Accounting CS items.

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    Payroll items mapping

    If you have an existing Accounting CS client with payroll items that can serve as a standard for your other clients, you can map the existing payroll items from your CSA client to the items for that Accounting CS client. If you map multiple items to the same item in Accounting CS, the application will combine them into the new item in Accounting CS. Otherwise, you can select Convert as is to convert the payroll items as they are set up in CSA.

  11. Payroll - Accruable Benefits: Map CSA accruable benefit items to corresponding Accounting CS items.

    Show screen.

    Accruable Benefit conversion

    If you selected a client to map the payroll items to in the previous screen, you can map the accruable benefit items to the items for the same client. If you did not select a client in the previous screen, you can convert the accruable benefit items as they are set up in CSA.

  12. Local Withholdings Mapping: Map CSA local tax items to corresponding Accounting CS items, or choose not to convert one or more local tax items.

    Show screen.

    Local withholding mapping

    This screen opens only if there are addresses that have local withholdings associated with them (i.e., Ohio or Pennsylvania addresses). Enter the ZIP code for any address subject to that local withholding in the appropriate column and then press the TAB key on your keyboard to begin searching for the applicable item. Enter the required information to further refine the search and determine which tax agents are appropriate.

    Note: In order for earnings to be converted correctly, payroll items, such as local withholding items, in CSA must have a locality assigned to them. For more information, see Employee Local Withholding Item Properties > General tab and Payroll Tax Information > Local Tax Information dialog.

  13. Payroll - Workers' Compensation Classifications: Map CSA workers' compensation classes to corresponding Accounting CS classification codes.

    Show screen.

    workers compensation

    Use this screen to map the workers' compensation code used in CSA to the code from the predefined list in Accounting CS.

  14. Progress and diagnostics: View a progress bar as the conversion progresses and a diagnostic report upon completion of the conversion.
    • After you click the Finish button, a conversion progress window opens. Show me.

      Conversion progress tracker

      Keep in mind that as you convert larger clients with more data, the conversion will take longer. Clients with engagement data will take the longest to convert.

    • When the conversion is complete, a Diagnostics dialog opens. The diagnostics alert you to any pieces of information that need to be addressed in Accounting CS.Show me.

      Conversion diagnostics

      You can print the diagnostics information in the dialog for future reference.

    See also: Common conversion diagnostics

Post-conversion steps

It is imperative that you make sure that the information in CSA converted accurately to Accounting CS. After the conversion, we recommend that you take a couple of steps to ensure that client data converted properly.

  1. Address any diagnostics that were encountered during the conversion. This may involve any or all of the following.
    • Correct address information.

      During the conversion, if the application displays any diagnostic messages about address information, you need to review and update the address information to ensure that the information is set up properly for the relevant taxes. In Accounting CS, use the Location finder to validate and correct address information.

    • Update state identification numbers.

      During the conversion, if the application displays any diagnostic messages about state identification numbers, you need to review and correct the state identification numbers in Accounting CS.

      1. In Accounting CS, choose Setup > Clients and select the client from the Client list.
      2. Click the Payroll Taxes tab.
      3. Correct the state identification number using the proper format.
      4. Click Enter to save the client record.
    • Update bank account information.
      • If routing number and account number information were not set up for the client checkbooks in CSA, you need to set up this information in Accounting CS. Also, because the application does not import vendor check layouts or layout selections from CSA, you need to select the check layouts in Accounting CS.
      • If you use InterceptEFT to process your Direct Deposit files, there are additional setup steps to take on the Process Direct Deposit screen in Accounting CS.

    See also: Common conversion diagnostics

  2. After converting the client data, generate the Accounting CS reports listed below and compare the data to the comparable CSA reports listed below.
    CSA Reports Accounting CS Reports
    Employee Listing Employee List - Condensed or Detailed
    Earnings Report Employee Earnings
    Vendor Listing Vendor List - Condensed or Detailed
    Client Information Report Client Information
  3. Review the Post-conversion considerations and setup steps section in the PDF guides below, especially if your client is using Remote Data Entry, Remote Check Printing, or Employee Self-Service.

For clients using Employee Self-Service: To ensure that Accounting CS employee records sync correctly with employee information in Employee Self-Service, do not change any Client IDs until after the first payroll has been run in Accounting CS.

Note: Converted client data remains intact in CSA. If the converted data cannot be verified for accuracy, you can delete the client in Accounting CS and then go back to the CSA client data to repair and reconvert it.

Data not transferred

Accounting CS and CSA are built on different platforms, which can prevent the following items from being converted.

  • Check layouts
  • Employee templates
  • Staff members and security settings
  • Certain transaction types
  • Transmittal letters
  • Employer taxes (if you only entered employee earnings in CSA and not payroll checks)
  • Client PINs used when Filing a 94x forms as an electronic return originator (ERO)

For details on data that is not converted, refer to the PDF guides listed below.

PDF guides

All of the above information and more can be found in our PDF conversion guides at the following links.

Creative Solutions Accounting to Accounting CS

Payroll CS to Accounting CS Payroll

Engagement CS and Trial Balance CS to Workpapers CS

Financial Statement Conversion Guide

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