Backup Guidelines for AccountMate Files
(And why you’ve GOT to have automated backups of your AccountMate system)
Even if your risk for natural disasters is low, every business is at risk from hackers, viruses and server hard disk failures. We get calls at least once a quarter from clients whose systems got trashed. For example, three of our clients were hit with crytpo-viruses in a couple of months.
You might think hackers won’t bother stealing your data because your company is small or you don’t process banking information. But these days with crypto-viruses, it’s not about stealing your data, it’s about encrypting it. And then holding it hostage and trying to collect a ransom from you because your data is important to YOU. The means of attack is often via an unsolicited email to an employee, so these attacks are TOUGH to prevent.
The companies that have good backups work overnight to restore their systems and get their businesses running again. The other companies are unable to conduct business for days or longer, while they manually reconstruct their transactions and data—don’t let that be you!
The cost of disaster recovery
Accounting systems are mission-critical. It’s hard to stay in business if you lose your system. Getting it working again after a disaster is expensive when you don’t have a recent backup:
Disk recovery services might cost you a few thousand dollars and up. And it takes days while you ship your hard drives out and then wait to get data back. Plus your IT department has to drop everything and work around the clock to get things running.
Data loss costs
You need to figure out what customers owe you money and how much; what open orders are owed customers; what is owed to vendors; important payroll info for tax filing and W-2 reporting; status of inventory and manufacturing orders… and more. Ouch.
The cost of setting up and monitoring an automated backup process is practically free compared to the cost of a disaster.
Put a rock-solid AccountMate backup procedure in place to protect your business
1. Use these criteria for your backup procedure:
- Full system backups
- Automated, at least nightly
- Stored offsite, at least weekly
- Verified restorable, at least every 2 months
For more details about a well-designed backup strategy, and special requirements for backing up SQL Server, check out our Wanna Hear Something REALLY Scary? article.
2. Run extra database backups manually immediately prior to these actions:
- Purging transactions
- Recalculating information in data tables (account balances, vendor data, customer data, employee data, inventory data…)
- Copying a chart of accounts
- Period-end closing and fiscal year-end closing
- Updating customer YTD sales amounts or vendor YTD purchase amounts
- Starting a physical inventory count
- Running the AccountMate Data Wizard to change key fields
- Installing AccountMate software updates
- Moving AccountMate to a different server
Tip: NexLAN’s NexSQLBack utility will perform an on-the-spot capture of your company database or the AccountMate system database. This allows AccountMate supervisor users to easily do a quick, current data capture before any big procedure, without having to call your IT folks. The resulting data snapshot can be used to update your latest full system backup if a restore should be needed.
3. Keep your systems up to date including all security updates
- Run current versions of your software
- Install updates as they are released
- Ensure a secure environment for your server with anti-virus, firewalls, etc.
- Regularly educate employees on steps to avoid phishing
- Reduce the risk of system problems by applying these AccountMate Workstation Tuning Tips
4. What’s outside your AccountMate system?
Imagine that your facility experiences a fire overnight tonight. What critical business information only exists on paper right now? Or on one employee’s desktop computer in a spreadsheet? It’s a good bet that this information wasn’t being backed up and the fire destroyed the records.
Look around your facility for processes, workarounds and “data silos” that have popped up or expanded since your AccountMate system was last optimized. We can help you fold those things into automated processes to save you time and money—which will also ensure that this critical data is included in your automated backups.
More help from NexLAN
NexLAN can, and has often done, remote AccountMate system backups immediately prior to an approaching hurricane, wildfire, or blizzard, so our clients can spin up a working system to run their businesses remotely if their facilities are damaged or temporarily inaccessible.
Questions about AccountMate backups? Please reach out to us. Technical support is free for NexLAN clients. We even provide free emergency support to AccountMate users who aren’t NexLAN clients—no joke.
A medical device manufacturer/ distributor has many international clients who prefer their multiple orders to accumulate through the week and then ship en masse each Friday on one invoice.
We configured their system to cache shipments for subsequent consolidated invoicing.