Protect your financial files

Data recovery

My last blog emphasized the importance of documenting your expenses. Today’s blog could be titled “Back up, back up, back up!” to emphasize the need to do just that to your financial data. Instead, let me tell you a true story that might do just as well.

A businessman owned several related companies, one of which generated many hundreds of transactions per day.

In December a few years back, one company’s computers were stolen. They held the financial data for all of his companies. That was bad enough, since of course there was sensitive data. But when asked about back up files to restore data, he realized there were none. Nothing. Nada.

That. That is a bad day.

The owner had no option but to pay for thousands of transactions to be re-created in QuickBooks, a year’s worth of account reconciliations for each company to be done, and all intercompany transactions balanced.

To avoid your own bad day, you do have options. And it’s not just thieves that can turn a day bad, but a hard drive failure, or a computer virus. Take these precautions to safeguard your data and your ongoing daily business should the unthinkable happen to your computers.

1. Set Your Software for Automatic Backup

This is simply a must-do. In most cases, it’s a simple step to set the accounting software you’re using to prompt you to make backup files. You can set a reminder for you to create a backup every time you work on a file. If you only do one thing on this list, do this one. And back it up to something other than the computer on which the file is located. Backing up to a different file folder on the same machine is pointless if the machine goes missing!

2. Direct the Back Up to the Cloud or a Server

So, if not your computer, to where else do you back up your files? Handy, and certainly viable, options are an external hard drive or a USB drive. I’ve certainly used both, and they’re certainly better than nothing. But I’ve become a believer in cloud-based or server solutions. In the cloud-based category, Dropbox is a powerful, easy-to-use service, and there are other, similar choices. You’ll find many reviews and comparisons of cloud storage services online. You don’t want to house your software there, but that’s where you put the back up files.

A server solution usually requires additional hardware, but is an excellent option for storing files since daily back up files of not only your financial data, such as QuickBooks, but also other important company documents are made. Ask your IT professional about this option.

3. Use a Bookkeeper Who Backs Up Your Files

Finally, if you contract for the services of a bookkeeper, ask what they routinely do to back up data, and what their plan is if an emergency arises. If they cannot answer these questions to your satisfaction, it’s time to talk to a new bookkeeper!

If you’ve struggled with this or other bookkeeping and accounting issues in the past, please reach out to us. We’d love to help you craft a game plan to minimize headaches and maximize profitability. Call us today with your questions!

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