Securing your QuickBooks company file

How often do you perform a backup of your QuickBooks company file? Really, the question should be, what would you do if you lost some important information on your computer, like your QuickBooks company file? You probably know that backing up your accounting data is crucial, but really, how many of you do it on a regular basis? You can bet that when there’s a need to restore a backup of your company file, your boss will look to you for a backup. After all, isn’t that part of your job?

If you’re using QuickBooks, performing a backup is really simple. You simply select File from the menu, and then select Create Backup as shown:

QuickBooks Backup

You’ll see the following screen:

QuickBooks Backup

On this screen, you can select to save your backup online using QuickBooks Online Backup which you must first subscribe to, or you can save your backup locally; in other words, on your own computer. For the purposes of this demonstration, we’ll assume that you’re going to save your backup locally.

With the Local backup option selected, you can either select Next or click on the Options button to open the Backup Options screen:

QuickBooks Backup

It’s on this screen that you use the Browse button to select the drive and folder where you’d like to save your backup copy. The drive and folder will remain the same for all future manual backups until you change it. You can select to add the date and time of the backup to the file name so it’s easy to identify when each backup was done. It’s important to note that if you don’t select the date and time option, your backup file will be overwritten each time you perform a backup of the file.

If you’ve selected to add the date and time stamp to your backup file, you can limit the number of backup copies you save in the folder when you use the backup wizard.

Next, you select how QuickBooks should verify the integrity of your company file. You can select Complete verification to check both the data in your database as well as the accuracy of your QuickBooks company file. This is the option that Intuit recommends you use as part of your backup routine. You can select Quicker verification which checks only the database or you can select No verification which will back up your file without performing any verification at all. This option shouldn’t be used as part of your regular backup routine.

The last option on this screen allows you decide how often you want to be reminded to back up your company file. The default option is to be reminded every fourth time you close your company file. You can change this number or turn it off completely by removing the check mark in the box.

When you click OK you’re returned to the Create Backup screen and when you click Finish, your back up will start.

That’s it! But wait…. what if you saved your backup onto your hard drive instead of selecting a USB drive or some other backup device. If there’s a fire or a theft or you get hit by a virus and you lose the contents of your computer, you’ll also lose the backup of your QuickBooks company file.

As the person in my business who’s in charge of protecting my QuickBooks company file, I knew that backups are best kept offsite, but I also knew that I didn’t have the time to find somewhere else to store my back up. I was really excited when I learned that there are inexpensive online backup services available where I can store my files online and retrieve them from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection!

When I was looking to use an online backup service, I went with one that was recommended to me. I’ve since found an excellent blog post written by Tim Fisher from PC Support, where he’s reviewed 26 online backup services that I think you should check out.

Now I feel secure knowing that not only is my QuickBooks company file backed up and secure, everything that I’ve selected on my computer to be backed up online is also secure and can be accessed from anywhere in the world as long as I have access to the internet!

In our Hands-on Learn QuickBooks course, not only will we teach you how to perform a backup of your QuickBooks company file so you’re prepared in case there’s a problem, we’ll also introduce you to the online backup service we use in our business and how using an online backup service will help you feel secure knowing that you have a backup of your QuickBooks company file and other important information on your computer offsite!

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