By now most businesses recognize the importance of regular backups. With cloud based systems users often feel backup is not important as the cloud vendor provides the backup service. However, cloud vendors make backups for their convenience, not yours. What does this mean? If the vendors server crashes or some other event happens, they can recover all the data – Great! But what if someone gets access to your system and wipes out a bunch of information? What if you import 100 transactions and then realize they were done wrong? Can you ask the cloud vendor to get you back to yesterday or last week? Often times the answer is no and since you can’t do a backup that can be restored when you desire you may have to do a lot of manual work to get to where you need to be.
You may be able to download data from the cloud system, but can you restore it? This is not to say you should use a cloud based solution, only that you need to be aware of this limitation and decide how to proceed from a position of knowledge.
With QuickBooks Online firms have sometimes chosen to download to QuickBooks desktop as a form of backup. While this can be uploaded into a new QBO company file you must do a complete review of the data each time you download as there are some differences between QBO and desktop that may cause the numbers to be different. In addition, if you have add-ins like Apps, when you upload into a new company file you will have to re-establish the links to the apps which, depending on the app, may have it’s own issues.
So what to do? With QuickBooks Online the best current answer is Rewind. Rewind lets you backup when you want, restore deleted items and undo changes. While it is not a complete backup and restore solution, since there is certain data (like payroll) that Intuit does not allow write access, Rewind gives you a lot more control and recovery than you has previously been available.
Start the new year with good backup processes for all your software and keep your data safe.