Why? Because it’s by far the smallest kind of backup of your data that you can make. QuickBooks might take a 1GB Enterprise QBW file (native format company data file) and create a portable copy that is perhaps 150MB. Much faster to send electronically!
Some people worry about that, though. More than one person has asked me “Are you getting all our information if we send that kind of file?”
The answer is yes. The portable copy contains all your raw accounting information.
How can it be so small, then? It’s because the portable copy doesn’t have any internal indexing in it. The indexes are recreated when you restore a portable copy, and the file size of the QBW returns to ‘normal’. That is why restoring a portable copy takes a long time relative to a regular QBB backup; QuickBooks has to reindex the file.
Portable copies are a great format to send files electronically, or to back up to a USB drive or online drive that has limited space.
Sometimes QuickBooks files will get corrupted in such a way that a portable copy cannot be created — you’ll get an error when trying to create one. Otherwise, it’s a reliable method of backing up your QuickBooks file.