Accounting software, like QuickBooks, is often a necessary part of running a business, no matter how large or how small. Even a business comprised of one person is reliant on possessing a software that will effectively track accounting files and customers.
Most who need this software use it effectively and are able to keep things organized, but when it comes to backing up the information in QuickBooks, many users aren’t very successful. Learning to do a proper back up is important to users. If the computer or server where you have your QuickBooks program loaded crashes, then having a reliable back up of your files can be invaluable.
Many of you reading this, may be thinking, I’ve backed up my files, I don’t need to worry. What you may not realize, your backup may not actually be happening like you think it is. How do you know if you are following the right steps and how do you know your files are actually backed up?
Are your files organized?
Part of ensuring your data is being stored in the QuickBooks database properly is making sure your files are stored properly. Disorganized QuickBooks files are about as useful as a disorganized file cabinet. All the files and information you need might be there, but how would you know? How can you find what you need when you need it if file are disorganized?
Using the “Verify Data” command can help you ensure your QuickBooks data is being stored in the QuickBooks database properly and without errors or problems. Using the “Verify Data” command helps you see if there are problems with your data’s organization. Simply run this command on a regular basis (monthly is usually best) to ensure your QuickBooks data has no problems. To do this, simply click File, then Utilities, then Verify Data. Once the process is complete, you should see a screen that looks like this:
INSIDE TIP: When you choose to back up your QuickBooks data file using the traditional File > Save Copy or Backup command from the menu bar, you have the option to automatically verify your data. Simply choose the “complete verification” option when setting up your backup.
Backing It Up
As you know, your company’s QuickBooks information is one of the most important assets and unfortunately, it is also one of the easiest possessions to lose and the most difficult to replace. Often data loss is attributed one of the following reasons:
· Acts of nature
· Computer theft or damage
· Human error
· Mechanical problems on computer
· Virus/Ransomware infections
Once data is lost, it can cost thousands of dollars to recreate that information. Luckily, you have options to ensure your data is getting backed up with two common methods. First, is a local backup using a local device, the second, is an online backup using an offsite cloud storage system. Either method you choose, doing a proper backup will be important in securing yourself or your company from the loss of data.
Whether backing up to DropBox, an external hard drive, or other removable media you will want to ensure you are correctly following the steps to create a backup. If done improperly, your files may not be backing up at all.
First, you will want to be sure you are in single-user mode to perform a backup feature. To switch to single-user mode, be sure that no one else is logged into QuickBooks. Then do the following:
· Select File
· Switch to Single-user Mode
· Follow the prompts to switch and log in again.
When you are finished backing up your company file, you can again choose File and then Switch to Multi-user Mode to return to multi-user mode.
To run the back up of your company file, follow these simple steps:
· Choose File
· Select Back Up Company
· Then select Create Local Backup.
· Select your Local Backup by
- Click Options (The Backup Options window will open)
- Click Browse, the select the location where you want to save your backup copy.
- If you have a file hosting service like DropBox or other removable media, find the item from the list. Once you have selected your location, click OK
- Select any additional options as needed and when complete click OK
· Select Save It Now
· Click Finish *the backup will begin to process.
Most backup options require software, hardware, and someone physically handling the backup. However, technology now allows you to implement a professional backup strategy with corporate level security by using an online backup system. Every business and home user has a unique set of desires when choosing a cloud backup company. After researching the best company to suit your needs, be sure to pay special attention to the instructions to backup your QuickBooks files as some may have specific instructions to follow.
Maintaining your back up
If your business backs up your QuickBooks data on a server automatically each night, that’s fantastic, you may be missing a very important step though. Before getting into that important missed step, you should be commended for taking action in protecting and backing up your data!
Now, that being said, the step you are missing is this – you still need to go through the File > Save Copy or Backup steps in single user mode every so often. Why? Your server backup system takes a copy of your QuickBooks data file and places it on a backup tape or disk every night. However, this process does not allow QuickBooks to do its’ own “cleanup” on the data file that needs to be done periodically. When backing up a QuickBooks data file using the traditional File > Save Copy or Backup (in single user mode), QuickBooks then has the ability to do some vital housekeeping to keep its’ database in good order. Specifically, QuickBooks keeps what is known as a transaction log file or “tlg file” in conjunction with the main data or “gbw file”. This transaction log file needs to be cleaned out every so often, and the traditional QuickBooks backup method allows that to happen automatically.
Let CompuTime Help
CompuTime has been serving the quad cities area for over twenty years, a primarily woman owned, small business that is able to serving all of your technology needs. If you find yourself in need of assistance in securing your QuickBooks files and any other data, be sure to contact us at CompuTime 928-445-0700. We are happy to help you in our goal of Making Technology Easy.