When company books were paper ledgers, you had to be careful not to tear the pages, and a spilled drink spelled misfortune. Today, electronic books require their own sort of care and feeding. Protecting your QuickBooks files is essential, not only because your books tell the financial story of your company, but because the computer environment is notorious for chewing up data in all sorts of ways.
QuickBooks files have a few advantages over their paper-based relatives. Most importantly, you can make copies of your company files for safekeeping. (QuickBooks can also create a special copy of your company file so you and your accountant can both work on your company file at the end of the year; see Section 15.4.) QuickBooks files have a few other features that you might consider advantages, but you’ll use them so infrequently that they hardly count. This chapter focuses on backing up your QuickBooks files, but it also explains why and how to verify, condense, and delete your files.
If you aren’t totally at ease working with files in your computer operating system, Windows XP Pro: The Missing Manual will make you an expert in no time.
Left to its own devices, QuickBooks saves your company files in the same folder as the program’s software files (on a PC, usually C:\Program Files\Intuit\QuickBooks <edition> depending on your edition—Pro, Premier, or Enterprise). But intermingling your data files with software files ...