If you use QuickBooks for your accounting and bookkeeping, then there’s one key thing you must be doing on a regular basis. Failure to do this can result in the loss of data, months’ worth of work, and critical financial information.
At its core, QuickBooks is a database of information. Unless you’re using the Enterprise version, the file that stores the information are what we call a ‘flat file’ database. This means that all your data is stored in a single, proprietary database format file.
The issue is that QuickBooks files are picky. A sudden computer shutdown, multiple users in the same file, and even large files can all lead to corruptio. A corrupted file usually means that you are unable to access your data.
On more than one occasion we’ve had someone come to us in a panic because their QuickBooks file is corrupted. When this happens, you have two avenues of recourse.
First, you can send the file off to Intuit who can repair your file, in most cases. The cost for this is usually around $900.00. Of course, there are no guarantees and this can take them days to complete.
Second, you can restore your file from a backup. You do have a backup correct? However, if you are not using QuickBooks backup feature, then you really do NOT have a backup. What? You say. You don’t need to use QuickBooks’ built-in backup feature because your file is stored on a server that is being backed up?
Yes, I’m here to tell you that is a false sense of security. Your file may very well be getting backed up every day, by whatever method backs up your server. However, all this provides you with is a slightly older version of a file that is probably already corrupted, or may be soon.
You see, the QuickBooks’ built-in backup feature does more than copy your data file from one spot to another. In the background it performs a very important set of checks and maintenance on this file. Each time you run the backup, it performs an integrity check on the file, and does any repairs that might be necessary to prevent data corruption from ever occurring in the first place.
So, no matter what you may be doing to back up your file, our recommendation is that you regularly use the QuickBooks backup feature. It’s perfectly fine to save these backup files on your server, or external drive, if you like. It adds an extra layer of data protection.
You can set QuickBooks to prompt you to run a backup when you close the file. To set this up, run a manual backup.
Use the Options to set the data integrity verification, and how often you want to be prompted to back up your file.
If you need help setting up this type of QuickBooks maintenance plan, we can assist! Call our offices to schedule one of our Solutions Engineers to help you keep your data protected.