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We hope it never happens. We think about it from time to time. But are we really taking steps to make our life easier should the worst happen? Let’s take a look at what we can do, and what to watch for.
1.Backup- I cannot stress this enough! You should be making regular backups, not just to the computer, but also to external media, and maybe even an automated backup service.
There have been many occasions during my time in tech support, where a customer has lost their data due to fire, theft, virus, computer failure, or even malicious employees. You should be backing up the data daily. One recommendation, if you would like to backup the data to a CD or DVD, make the backup to your Desktop, then copy the file to the media. Some windows 7 systems can be a real pain to burn the files to DVD or CD, so you may wish to look at an additional program, such as CDBurnerXP.
2.Take your backups home with you! If there is some type of disaster at your office, there is no guarantee it will not take out your backups along with your systems.
3.Make sure you have a good antivirus program and it is up to date. Many viruses are designed to hide themselves and continue to do their damage while remaining undetected. A good current antivirus program is a must!
4.As a business owner, you should have the administrator password to your accounting and Point of Sale files. You should be extremely wary of a bookkeeper or employee that does not want to give you the password. If possible, the admin password should be set by you, and the bookkeeper or employees should have their own.
5. Every Month in QB POS, run an Inventory Valuation report at the end of the month, and export it to Excel. It is far easier to open an excel spreadsheet, than to try to recreate the history as it occurred. In the QuickBooks software, I would do the same with any financial reports you commonly run, like the Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet, and Journal.
6. If you must fire an employee, do NOT have them work the rest of the day. Doing so places you at tremendous risk of malicious acts, such as the admin password being changed. Then you face the added time and cost of having to perform password recovery, or having the service performed on your file.
7.If a system goes down, and you intend to buy a new computer, have an IT person try to recover the data off the hard drive first! Often computers fail due to the motherboard or power supply going bad, but the data on the hard drive is still intact and can be copied off to a DVD or external drive.
8.If you were not able to settle your merchant batch, and you are using Intuit Merchant Service, call them at 800-558-9558. They can force the batch through ( settle it on their side) to ensure you are still going to get paid.
9.If you have data on a laptop or other portable device, it may be prudent to install a software designed to help you locate the device and remotely lock it up. Some are designed to triangulate the computer or phone by actively seeking wifi connections and feeding that information back. They often include a remote control capability so the computer can be locked and your data cannot be accessed, or other programs added.
10.Restore your backups on another system- From time to time, you should restore the backups you are making to ensure it is a good usable backup. I would recommend that you restore it on another computer to test it, as you do not want to overwrite your current data.
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