NetSuite, Implementation, Data Migration

Three approaches to importing historical sales into NetSuite


You just paid for your new NetSuite instance. But now, you are told you can't load any of your historical sales data. Your executive and sales team needs this data. You are stuck in the middle, figuring out what to do next.

In this post, I will provide common reasons for not loading historical transactions and three potential methods to load sales history into NetSuite.

Why is everyone telling me not to do this?

There are several reasons, all of which come down to the high level of effort. Here are the drivers:

  • Extracting data from the legacy system
  • Mapping legacy segments to the NetSuite segments
  • Manual manipulation of Excel files

Historically, most clients are either (1) paying the implementation team an hourly rate to complete this or (2) attempting to prepare this data internally. As a result, it is rare to know both the legacy system and NetSuite. And the time it takes to complete this task can be monumental.

I agree that, before starting, you should assess whether you and your team have the expertise and the time to complete this task alone. If you are unsure, contact me for a free data migration plan. Below, I discuss three approaches I've used to migrate legacy sales data into NetSuite.

Three Approaches for Loading Historical Sales

Closed sales orders

Sales orders are non-posting transactions, meaning there is no GL impact. This feature makes loading historical sales as a closed sales order transaction ideal. However, because these are non-posting transactions, NetSuite will not include them in the standard sales reports. Therefore, you will need to customize these reports to include historical and live transactions.

intheBlk consulting completed this approach with a furniture reseller that brought us in two weeks before their go-live. We moved two years of historical sales from QuickBooks Desktop to NetSuite.

Cash sale transaction and reverse the GL impact.

Cash sale transactions are posting transactions, but they do not affect the accounts receivable (AR) subledger. And, because these are posting transactions, they will be included on the standard sales reports. The downside is that these create a GL impact. So, you will need to reverse that impact with a journal entry. First, net the GL impact to zero with a journal entry and then load the historical financial statements as a journal entry.

intheBlk consulting completed this approach with a retail client moving from QuickBooks Desktop to NetSuite, importing over 200,000 transactions over five years.

Full general ledger import

Importing your entire GL history, including sales history, brings your complete financial story into NetSuite. The entire customer history includes sales, payments, and credits. The benefit of this approach is everything is in NetSuite. The downside is that this approach requires expertise and time to extract legacy data and format it for loading into NetSuite.

intheBlk consulting completed this approach with a SaaS organization that acquired another company. The acquiring company wanted the entire history imported from the acquired company's QuickBooks Online file after the acquisition date. intheBlk was able to import ten months of transactions for the client.

A potential fourth option

If the above options sound like too much effort, a potential fourth option would be to include this data on the historical financial statements loaded as journal entries. This article discusses how to do this in detail. First, add the entity name and include the amount on the journal entry by GL account. The benefit of this approach is minimal additional work since you are already preparing and loading these entries. The downside is that the data is summary-level. There are no transaction details, like the item ordered, the quantity, or the price.


These approaches require a strong understanding of your legacy data and how to import transactions into NetSuite. intheBlk consulting has the expertise and tools to complete this process for you. Contact us today to find out more.

Load sales transactions to NetSuite


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