When we supercondense data for a client, they most often will also retain a copy of their original file for historical reporting purposes, while using the smaller, speedy file we return to them for their day-to-day use.

How do you keep track of different versions of your data? How do you keep your team from getting confused, and possibly entering new data into an old file?

There a couple tricks you can use to keep everything straight:

1. Change the company’s name for the old, historical data. You can change the file’s name in Windows, and the company’s internal name in Company / Company Information. If you have a copy of your company information that you DO NOT want anyone making changes to, give it a name like “DO NOT MAKE ENTRIES – MyCompany” or “HISTORICAL REPORTING ONLY – MyCompany”

2. Lock users out of making changes to copies of your data that are for historical reporting purposes only. It’s easy. Click Company / Set Closing Date / Set Date/Password. For closing date, enter a date farther in the future than you think anyone would ever use in this QuickBooks company. Then enter a Closing Date Password.

This should prevent anyone from accidentally making entries into this file, thinking that it is the current file. You can also go into each user’s permissions and in this file and remove user rights that would allow them to change the data.

3. Think through how you open your files. If you use “Open Previous Company”, that’s great — I do it myself all the time. But don’t blindly open your company this way — don’t be on autopilot. Why? Because if someone else (maybe even you) opened a different copy of the company before, that is likely to be at the top of the “Previous Company” list. That may or may not be the copy of the data that you actually want to open and use.

4. Be careful with local copies. If you keep your “master” copy of your data on your network server, but sometimes put a copy of your data on your local C: drive, that can be a potential problem. What if you later open the local copy, thinking it’s the master copy? And you start making changes. Well, by the time you figure out your mistake, you’ve got “live” data in two files, and that’s difficult to fix. Best to name your local file as something like “LOCAL COPY – MyCompany”, or delete it after you’ve temporarily used it.

How do you manage multiple copies of your data? Or do you?

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2 thoughts on “How to Manage Multiple Copies of Your Company Data

  1. In addition here is what I do, I periodically go through the complete restore process including coping backups from the remote backups.

    Then at restore time I always place the restored copy in a complete different directory (and drive) than the normal current company files using a file name that has “DUPE_” as the high level qualifier. Also going to Company Info I change the screen name to “DUPE_”.

    I use the dupe not only to test the restore process but for testing procedure.

    Never leave the computer with the DUPE file active. when I leave the computer I close the DUPE and if I think I won’t be using it in the very near future I delete it from the Drive.

    Knock on wood, I haven’t had a problem yet.

    Also, as a side note, I have Company files that no longer have any current real Company but I restore them when I install a new release just to keep them within the window of restore comparability.

    Anyway, my thoughts.

    Reply

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