Clio Manage Data Migration General Information

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Overview of data migration process

In Clio, data migration is the process of exporting your practice management data from one software and importing it into another. The green and red boxes below show what data can and cannot be migrated into Clio. The steps below the boxes outline what the data migration process is generally like at Clio.

What can be migrated?

  • Contacts
  • Matters
  • Related Contacts
  • Tasks
  • Notes
  • Calendars
  • Emails
  • Phone Logs
  • Unbilled time and expense activities
  • A/R Balances (a single line item that represents the summative balance at time of export for a Matter)
  • Trust Balances (a single line item that represents the summative balance at time of export for a Matter or Contact)

What cannot be migrated?

  • Accounting and financial history, including:
    • Trust account transactions, trust account requests, and trust account payments
    • Operating account transactions, invoices, A/R ledgers, bill payments, and historical bills
  • Billable Rates (e.g. User Rate, Client Rate, Matter Rate)
  • Documents
  • Reports
  • User permissions or settings


Step 1: Consultation

You will speak with a member of our team to discuss what your data migration will look like. This includes what can be exported from your current practice management software, any limitations in the exported data, timelines for data processing, and what to expect once that data has been imported into Clio.
Step 2: Data export
Our team can help you to export the data from your previous practice management program so that it can be processed into a form that can be imported into Clio. We can also provide some instructions on how to export your information for some popular programs. If you export the information yourself, it will eliminate the need for an export appointment and will likely speed up the migration process.
Step 3: Data processing
Our experts will convert your data exports into a format that can be imported into Clio. Depending on the size and complexity of the data set, the time required to process the data can vary. A member of our team will be in regular contact throughout the migration process to make sure that we are setting and meeting reasonable expectations.
Step 4: Data import
After the data is processed, we will work with you to import the data to your Clio account. Once the import has been completed, you will have three business days to review the data in your account to assess its accuracy and let us know if any corrections need to be made. If you modify the imported data in your account in the interim, data may be lost if the import needs to be reverted.


Prepare your data for migration

Clio's Migrations team will not clean your data or remove duplicate data. Before sending your data to the Clio Migrations team, review your data. If the data was wrongly entered in the previous system, it will appear in Clio in that format. This list details key areas you should look for in your data.


Verify that the proper data is in the right column. For example, phone numbers should not be in an email address field. Include the following fields:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name



The Matter Description should not be blank, otherwise your matter will be assigned a description during the import. Matters should have an assigned client, otherwise matters will be assigned to an unknown client during the import process. Include the following fields:

  • Matter Status (Open, Pending, Closed)
  • Matter Custom Number
  • Matter Description
  • Client



Time entries need an assigned user, otherwise they will not import. If you would like to import data for a user that will not be added to the Clio account, your Migrations representative can help you with this. Include the following fields:

  • Date
  • Quantity
  • Rate
  • User


Calendar events:

We highly recommend making sure that your events have exported correctly by picking four or five events in the past and in the future to make sure court dates and scheduled meetings are all included. Include the following fields:

  • Calendar Summary
  • Start Date
  • Start Time
  • End Date
  • End Time
  • Destination/ User Calendar. 


Contact notes:

Contact notes will not import without a contact or company name. Include the following fields:

  • Date
  • Subject
  • Note Description


Matter notes:

Matter notes will not import without a matter number. Include the following fields:

  • Date
  • Subject
  • Note Description


Related contacts:

Each related contact requires a matter. Include the following fields:

  • Matter
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Company Name



Tasks must have an assigned user. If your tasks do not have an assigned user, you can choose to remove them from the data set. You can also confirm this with your Migrations representative and they can remove this information for you. Include the following fields:

  • Status (Pending, In-Progress, Complete)
  • Task Name
  • Due Date
  • Assigned User


Balances forward (outstanding balances):

It is very important to make sure that you review the balances that were exported from your previous system to make sure they are the correct value. If there are multiple columns with outstanding amounts, identify which amount is to be imported and inform your Migrations representative. Include the following fields:

  • Balance
  • User
  • Date


Manage your firm data during migration

Once your export is scheduled with a Clio data migrations specialist, set a cut-off time for your firm. Any data added to your previous software after the export session will not be migrated to Clio and will need to be manually transferred after the migration has been completed. Additionally, you can follow the steps below to manage your firm during data migration transition period.

Step 1: Close out your data in your old software:

  1. Generate bills for any outstanding time and expense entries in your previous software to obtain the most up-to-date outstanding balances for your clients.
  2. Apply credits and trust payments to outstanding bills in your previous software. Credits and trust balances will not be migrated. 
  3. Export historical banking and trust reports that you want to back up in Clio.


Step 2: Manage your firm data during the transition period:

  1. Do not turn on contact or calendar syncs until after the migration has been completed in order to reduce the possibility of duplicate contacts being created. 
  2. Do not turn on any integrations before the migration process is complete.
  3. Add new clients, matters, time entries, and all other data in Clio.
  4. Track activities for your historical clients in one of two ways:
    • Placeholder matter: This is a temporary matter that you can add time to while waiting for a data migration to complete. Once the migration has been complete, and you have confirmed that the data is free of errors, an administrator can move the time entries in bulk from the placeholder matter to the respective matters. 
      1. Create a new company contact with your firm's name.
      2. Create a new matter for this contact. Enter "Placeholder—Migrations" for the matter's Description. 
      3. Add time entries and use the Description field to specify which matter the time entry belongs to.
      4. Repeat step 3 for all time entries incurred during the data migration process.
      5. Once migration has been completed, move the time entries in bulk to their respective matters.
    • Import templates: Use Clio's migration import templates to track activities and matter notes. You can then upload this spreadsheet data into Clio and link the time and expense entries and matter notes to their respective matters. 
  5. Upload reports that you exported from your previous system into Clio under the Documents tab. You can create a folder called "Historical data" for future reference. Learn more about creating folders and uploading documents here.
  6. Get started with Clio's Quick Start training webinars.


Manage your account data after migration

Once your data migration is complete, and before you begin using Clio normally, you will need to go through the steps listed below.

Step 1: Review your imported data for accuracy within three business days of the import's completion:

  • Contacts: Choose five contacts and check that their addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses are correct.
  • Matters: Choose a mix of 5-10 open and closed matters and verify that each has the appropriate client assigned, the correct matter number, the appropriate responsible attorney (if applicable), and any requested custom fields.
  • Unbilled time and expense activities and accounts receivable balances: Choose 20 entries and review the rate or price assigned to each entry, the total value of the entry, and that the entry is assigned to the correct user and matter. 
  • Calendar: Choose a mix of 20-30 past and future calendar entries and check that the date and time values are correct and that each event is assigned to the appropriate calendar. Migrated time entries only include the user that the calendar entry is assigned to, not any invited users.
  • Tasks: Choose a mix of 10-20 past and future tasks that you know are coming up soon, such as filing deadlines. Once selected, check that the task name, due date (if assigned), and task assignee are correct.
  • Contact and matter notes: Choose 2-3 contact and matter notes and check that they are connected to the correct contact and/or matter. Learn more about how to find contact notes here and how to find matter notes here.
  • Related contacts: Choose 5-10 matters and verify that the contact's name is correct and that their relationship between the matter and contact is correctly labeled. Learn more about finding related contacts here.


Step 2: Upload the data from the transition period that you tracked to a placeholder matter or for which you used import templates:

If you created a placeholder matter to add time to while you were waiting for the data migration to complete, or if you tracked activities and matter notes using a Clio spreadsheet, upload this data into Clio Manage. Learn more about importing activities here and matter notes here.


Step 3: Process accounts receivable (outstanding) balances:

After migration, outstanding balances appear as draft bills in Clio Manage. Each of these draft bills consists of a single time entry with outstanding balances for a specific matter. Since each matter's draft bill only contains one time entry, you will not able to view details of all time and expense activities associated with a previous invoice. You can process the outstanding balances and apply payments by following the steps below:

  1. Add operating and trust funds accounts. Learn more about adding bank accounts here.
  2. Add transactions to each matter's Transactions subtab. Learn more about sending trust funds requests to clients for payment here and recording trust payment transactions without generating trust requests here.
  3. Make any necessary changes to each draft bill, including reviewing all outstanding balances for accuracy, then approve the bill for payment or approve and apply trust funds to the bill. Learn more about editing draft bills here, approving bills here, and approving and applying trust funds to bills here.
    • Reviewing outstanding balances before approving bills is recommended to ensure that the outstanding balances are accurate.
  4. Optional: Provide your clients with printed copies of their bills. Learn more about downloading and printing bills here.


Export your data from Clio

The success of any data migration depends primarily on the quality of the data set provided to us. Before attempting to migrate your information into Clio, you should ensure that your data is consistently formatted, well organized, sufficiently backed up, and stored securely. If you are not certain, consult with your Clio representative before proceeding. Follow the steps below to export your data from Clio and prepare it for importing back into Clio.

Note: Only users with administrator permissions can export data in bulk for migration.

Important: Exporting from any practice management software other than Clio depends entirely on what program you currently use. Data that cannot be exported from the original source in CSV format cannot be imported into Clio. See the appropriate alphabetical section of one of the Migration Capabilities articles for steps on how to export data from the practice management software that you were using.
  1. Log in to Clio Manage.
  2. Go to the exports page.
    • For North American accounts, click here.
    • For Canadian accounts, click here (if this link does not work for you, try the North American link above).
    • For European and UK accounts, click here.
    • For Australian accounts, click here.
  3. Click Excel ready CSV next to the following:
    • Calendar Entries
    • Communications
    • Contact Notes
    • Contact Related Matters
    • Contacts
    • Expense Entries
    • Matter Notes
    • Matters
    • Tasks
    • Time Entries
  4. For outstanding balances, you will need to download the accounts receivable report.
    • Go to Reports > Reports > Accounts receivable.
    • Change the Output Format to CSV.
    • Click Generate Report.


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