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Migrate existing clients into Dubsado
Migrate existing clients into Dubsado

Coming over from another platform? Never had all your client info in one place before? Here's a guide to bringing in your existing clients!

Sam Gioia avatar
Written by Sam Gioia
Updated over a week ago

Updated Nov 1, 2023

If you've been using another system (or multiple systems) to manage your business and clients, you may want to bring all of your records into Dubsado so that everything is in one place!

Overview of the process

This article is a guide to the migration process but does not go over every single step and feature in detail. Please follow the links to the supporting articles for each step!

πŸ‘‹ Here's a tip... If you are brand new to Dubsado, we don't recommend starting here! It's best to learn your way around the system first. Start with our Dubsado basics series.

Step 1: Import your client list

The first step is to bulk import your client list using a CSV file. If you've been using Excel or Google Sheets to keep track of your clients, you can save your spreadsheet as a CSV to import into Dubsado. Otherwise, you'll want to locate the export function in your current system, which will generate a CSV file for you.

Import your client list under Utilities > Address Book > Import.

Follow the instructions in the article below for tips on how to optimize your CSV file for Dubsado:

πŸ‘‹ Here's a tip... To save time with step 2, you might consider selecting the Import as leads checkbox during your import so that a new project will be created automatically for each of your clients. This is not recommended if you do not have contracts, invoices, or ongoing work for the majority of your clients.

Step 2: Set up projects

In Dubsado, a project is the communication hub with your client and is used for sending contracts and invoices along with emails, scheduling invites, and other forms. Generally, we recommend setting up one project for each "encounter" or new contract with the client. For example, a photographer would create a new project for each session, but a consultant might have one project per client.

If you did not have something similar to projects in your previous system, we recommend checking out the following articles first to understand how projects are used in Dubsado and how they will work for your business:

To create a new project, go to Projects > New Project. Give the project a title. With your client list already imported, simply search for or select a client from the dropdown menu to associate the project with them.

For the project status, set the status to:

  • Job: No Status if you consider the client to be booked with you, usually meaning that you already have a signed contract or paid invoice.

  • Lead: No Status if the client is still in the inquiry or onboarding stage.

If you've already created project statuses, you could use one of those instead.

Finally, you may also want to set a project date at the bottom of the window when creating your project.

Step 3: Upload contracts and existing forms as PDFs

Now that your projects are created, any contracts or other forms your clients have completed have a place to go!

First, make sure all of the contracts and forms you want to upload have been saved or exported as PDFs on your computer.


  1. Go to the Projects page and open the project or use the search bar at the top of your screen to find it.

  2. Under Contract in the project sidebar, click the dropdown and scroll down to select Upload PDF file as signed contract.

  3. Select your file and click Add to upload it.

All other forms

  1. Go to the Projects page and open the project or use the search bar at the top of your screen to find it.

  2. Click on the Forms tab.

  3. Use the dropdown to scroll down and select Upload New PDF as form.

  4. Select your file and click Add.

  5. Hover over the file and click Apply to Portal to mark it as already having been sent to the client.

If you have any general notes to add to the project, you can go to the Notes tab and enter them there!

Step 4: Create payment plan and package templates

Setting up payment plans and package templates will save you time in Step 5 when you re-create your existing invoices.

Payment plans

If you invoice your clients in installments or charge a deposit, you'll want to set up a payment plan. Payment plan templates can be applied to invoices to list out the due dates and amounts due. Setting up the templates now will allow you to quickly add one to any invoice that needs it.



A package is anything with a price point in your business. Essentially, it is a template for a line item or a set of line items that you can use to build an invoice.

If you didn't have something similar in your previous system, take a look at your invoices and see if there are any line items you frequently repeat. You will have the opportunity to edit each line item after applying a package to an invoice, so anything you can set up as a template ahead of time will help!

Step 5: Re-create invoices

The best way to record existing payments and invoices in Dubsado is to recreate each invoice. While you could upload a PDF copy of the existing invoice under the Forms tab on the project, this would not allow you to record a payment.

  1. Go to the Projects page and open the project or use the search bar at the top of your screen to find it.

  2. Click on the Invoices tab.

  3. Click Add to start a new invoice.

  4. Use the Packages dropdown to click and add package templates to the invoice.

  5. For any line items that weren't created as packages, click New Line Item to fill in the item name, description, price, etc.

  6. Use the Apply dropdown and select Payment to manually record any payments that have been made on the invoice. Enter the date, method, and amount.

  7. If you would like to add a payment plan, use the Payment Plans dropdown to select one of your templates (recommended for open/unpaid invoices only).

What if I have multiple invoices?

If you need to add more than one invoice to a project, just click on the Invoice List tab and repeat!

How about recurring invoices?

Click on the Recurring Invoices tab to add a new recurring invoice. You'll set up the line items the same as before, except you also need to define the recurring settings. Set the invoice to start on the date the client should receive their next invoice.

πŸ‘‹ Here's a tip... To save time recording past payments, you may want to create a single invoice with a line item for the total amount you've invoiced the client on their recurring plan so far and apply the payments to that single invoice.

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