All too often of late I have been hearing from clients, “I don’t have to backup, my IT people have it setup to backup automatically”. With most programs you should be backing up from within the program and then having your IT firm backup the backup you made. This is the best way to make sure you have a good backup as most automatic backups can’t complete properly if a program is running. It is important to speak with someone knowledgeable about the specific programs to setup proper backup protocols
With QuickBooks it is important that on a regular basis a backup be done from inside of QuickBooks with complete verification. This requires that QuickBooks be in single user mode. You can make the backup to any location you choose but it is important that this be done. A backup by the IT people is NOT sufficient:
- The backup by IT generally can’t tell if the file is open in some way. If the file is open the backup will not work properly.
- QuickBooks creates a transaction log file (TLG file) that can used to help rebuild the file in an emergency. The safest way to shrink the TLG file is to run a backup with complete verification. Allowing the TLG file to grow uncontrolled can lead to database and performance issues
- Running a backup with complete verification will help identify and possibly fix potential database problems before they become big problems.
To do a backup in QuickBooks go to file – backup company – create local backup. The first time you will need to go to options and indicate a location for the backup as well as the number of backups to keep and how often you should be reminded to backup. Make sure you choose Complete Verification. Click OK to return to the Create Backup screen and then click on Next to do the backup.
When you go into the backup function in the future the options previously set will be remembers and you will not have to go back to the options screen unless you want to make a change.
Regardless of the programs you run and the method you use for backups it’s a good idea to periodically test your backups by restoring to a different location and checking the data. Hopefully you won’t need to restore, but with the proper process the recovery is more likely to be successful.