With more than 8 million users worldwide, QuickBooks is the leading accounting software for small businesses. But since 1 in 3 companies report losing data in cloud apps like QuickBooks Online, implementing an independent QuickBooks backup tool is critical.
A loss of accounting data is a costly setback for any business. And unfortunately, there are many ways it happens. Most commonly, users accidentally delete data. In worst-case scenarios, all the data is completely destroyed by ransomware (particularly in the case of QuickBooks Desktop, which will be ).
Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, generally cannot recover your data when you’re the one to lose it. This is why using a QuickBooks backup solution like Redstor is so important.
What is QuickBooks?
QuickBooks is a small-business accounting platform developed by Intuit. The software enables businesses to manage sales, invoicing, payroll, receipts, taxes and other accounting tasks.
QuickBooks was first released as desktop software in 1983, with data stored on local PCs or servers. In 2001, Intuit released a cloud-based version, known as QuickBooks Online, which stored customer data off-site, on Intuit’s servers.
QuickBooks Online quickly became the more popular version (and more profitable for Intuit). So in 2023, Intuit announced it would officially discontinue QuickBooks Desktop in May 2024.
QuickBooks Online reportedly has 5 million users worldwide. QuickBooks Desktop has about 3 million.
What causes data loss in QuickBooks?
Data loss in SaaS applications is very common, and QuickBooks is no exception. 33% of businesses say they have lost data in their cloud apps – not just from Intuit, but also Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, Xero and others. It happens in virtually every SaaS platform. And usually, the service providers can do nothing about it. Once the data is lost, it’s gone for good.
Common causes of QuickBooks data loss include:
- Accidental deletion
- Malicious deletion (internal and external)
- Data migration errors
- Bad integrations
- Ransomware and other malware (especially for QuickBooks Desktop)
Risks of deletion
Mistakes happen. It’s too easy for any QuickBooks users to inadvertently delete an invoice or an expense record. But on a larger scale, users can also mass-delete transactions, employee/contractor records, vendor info and years of invaluable accounting data. In some cases, these deletions are done intentionally – whether by ex-employees or external actors who have gained access to the company’s QuickBooks account.
No matter what the reason for deletion, there’s no getting the data back. Even when it comes to individual transactions, Intuit warns: “Once you delete a transaction, there’s no way to restore it.”
Botched migrations and integrations
Importing data into QuickBooks Online (whether from QuickBooks Desktop or other files) is also fraught with risks. Data can be overwritten, deleted or incorrectly mapped. (Imagine a mess of customer records being suddenly mismatched with the wrong addresses or transactions.)
QuickBooks Online also allows integrations with more than 750 third-party apps – and not all of them are good. Many apps are poorly reviewed and filled with horror stories about integrations not working or wreaking havoc on users’ accounts. These integrations come with serious risks of QuickBooks data being permanently deleted.
Threat of ransomware
For users of the discontinued QuickBooks Desktop, the threat of ransomware is especially dangerous. Ransomware works by encrypting every file it can access across a network, effectively destroying the data unless it can be decrypted. That includes QuickBooks Desktop data, which is generally stored locally.
QuickBooks says it “may” be able to recover some lost data with its Auto Data Recovery (ADR) tool. However, the tool is limited and cannot be used in every scenario.
In 2019, ransomware hit a cloud-hosting provider that specializes in hosting QuickBooks for other companies (including accountants). The provider was able to restore some data from backups, but some clients could not access their QuickBooks records for weeks.
Increased security risks with QuickBooks Desktop
After QuickBooks Desktop is discontinued in 2024, it will no longer receive updates, including critical security patches. This creates a heightened security risk for companies that continue to use the Desktop version instead of transitioning to QuickBooks Online.
As with any end-of-life software, it’s only a matter of time before new vulnerabilities are identified and exploited by hackers. This significantly increases the risk of data being breached, deleted or destroyed by malware or other forms of unauthorized access.
Does Intuit have your back?
Not really. Like most SaaS providers, Intuit offers no guarantee that your lost QuickBooks data can be recovered, especially in cases of human error. Intuit only promises service/data availability. There is also no recycle bin in QuickBooks, so any deletions are instant and permanent.
As mentioned above, QuickBooks does offer a limited data recovery tool for the discontinued QuickBooks Desktop. But this only works if your Transaction Log file and Company file are intact. (If they’ve been deleted or encrypted by ransomware, for example, you’re out of luck.) Additionally, the ADR tool is only available with select versions of the Desktop software (not QuickBooks Online).
QuickBooks Online Advanced—the most expansive online plan available—also has a small backup feature, but that too is limited and does not protect all data, such as budgets and inventory.
The need for QuickBooks backup
Even when using the cloud-based QuickBooks Online, it is impossible to completely prevent user error or other common causes of data loss, including cybersecurity incidents. Organizations must use a third-party backup for QuickBooks, or their critical accounting data can be permanently deleted.
We recommend Redstor for QuickBooks backup because it’s a dependable, cloud-based solution that protects both QuickBooks Online and Desktop. Copies of your QuickBooks data are kept securely in the cloud, outside of QuickBooks. This provides a much-needed failsafe, ensuring that companies can quickly and easily restore any lost data, whether it’s a single deleted transaction or an entire account.
Why use Redstor to back up QuickBooks?
After careful evaluation, we’ve found that Redstor’s QuickBooks Backup solution offers several unique advantages:
- No hardware: Redstor can be set up in less than 2 minutes without any hardware to install, manage or replace. It uses a cloud-native app that only takes a few clicks to configure and start backing up QuickBooks data.
- Protects QuickBooks Online and Desktop: Redstor can back up both versions. So even if your organization plans to continue using the discontinued Desktop version, your accounting data will be protected against loss due to ransomware, human error and other threats.
- Automatic backups: You can configure Redstor to perform multiple daily backups, on any schedule, with no impact on local bandwidth.
- Fast recovery: Lost data can be recovered instantly back into QuickBooks, to a production environment or to a sandbox environment.
- Immutable backups: QuickBooks backups are stored in a fixed, offline state, which means backups cannot be modified or deleted.
Another key benefit to using Redstor is that it can protect data in many other SaaS apps and environments beyond just QuickBooks. Redstor can back up Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, Azure, AWS, Salesforce, local servers, endpoints and more. Everything is integrated, so it’s easy to manage all your backups in one place.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about QuickBooks Backup
1. Can QuickBooks be backed up?
Yes. The best way to back up QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop is to use a third-party backup solution, such as Redstor. This keeps copies of your QuickBooks data stored securely in the cloud, outside of QuickBooks. Lost data can be recovered instantly back into QuickBooks or a production environment.
2. Does QuickBooks have automatic backup?
Most versions of QuickBooks do not have an automatic backup, which is why it is recommended to use a third-party solution, such as Redstor. Select versions of QuickBooks Desktop have a limited Auto Data Recovery tool, but these versions will be discontinued in 2024. QuickBooks Online Advanced has a limited backup feature, but it does not protect all data in QuickBooks.
3. Where is my QuickBooks backup file?
QuickBooks Online does not have a backup file, which is why a third-party QuickBooks backup tool is critical. However, if a company is using the discontinued QuickBooks Desktop version, the default location for the Company File, which contains most QuickBooks data is: C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Intuit\QuickBooks\Company Files
QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software for small businesses, but it is not immune to data loss. Intuit offers no guarantee that data can be recovered after human error or cybersecurity incidents, which is why businesses must use a third-party QuickBooks backup solution. Redstor protects both QuickBooks Online and Desktop (in addition to many other cloud apps), ensuring that businesses can instantly recover their critical accounting data.
Don’t leave your accounting data at risk
See how Redstor can protect your QuickBooks data from permanent deletion. Request more information or contact our data protection specialists at Invenio IT by calling (646) 395-1170 or emailing success@invenioIT.com.