Backing up the firm database

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If you have a local installation of Accounting CS and have the appropriate security privileges assigned to your staff ID, you can use the File > Backup command to back up the firm database. When you back up your firm database, the backup includes data for all clients in the database. In most cases, you do not need to back up data for individual clients. See Best practices for safeguarding your firm and client data for details.

If you are licensed to use Accounting CS in the Virtual Office CS or the Software as a Service (SaaS) environment, your firm data is backed up automatically on the servers that host your data.


  • If you have not backed up your firm database in the last 48 hours, or if you have never backed up your firm database, the application will indicate this in the status bar at the bottom of your screen.
  • If you have the appropriate security privileges, you can schedule recurring backups of your firm database.
  • Accounting CS keeps up to 11 files created from scheduled backups. The application names the most recent backup file Backup.BDF. With each subsequent scheduled backup, it renames the last file to BackupArchive001.BDF, then BackupArchive002.BDF, and so on, through BackupArchive010.BDF. When the maximum number of backups have been created, the application deletes the oldest of the 11 backup files and continues to rename the files in this manner.
  • The application keeps all files created from manual backups on your computer until you manually delete them via Windows Explorer or My Computer.
  • You can change the location of the backup path in the CS Professional Suite tab of the Setup > File locations dialog.

Many third-party backup utilities such as Carbonite or Barracuda cannot back up SQL Server databases while the Microsoft SQL Server service is running. Because SQL Server is always running, these utilities are unable to create reliable backups of your client data from Accounting CS. When you manually back up a firm database or create a scheduled backup in Accounting CS, the resulting backup files are in a format that can be backed up by those third-party utilities.


  1. Choose File > Backup.
  2. In the Backup file field, the path and filename are set to the default SQL data location on the server.

    backup dialog

    Note: If you change the backup file location to a local drive, you may receive the following error message because you do not have the appropriate permissions to write data to that computer.

    "No drives available on the database server... It is possible that the backup file or directory on the server cannot be accessed by this application. Verify that you have the necessary security privileges and that the backup file or directory exists."

  3. Do one of the following:
    • To create the backup now, click OK. When prompted that the backup is complete, click OK.
    • To schedule recurring backups on a specific day and time, click the Schedule a recurring backup link.

    scheduled backup dialog

  4. You can specify the location to store the backup files, such as an external storage device or another computer.

The resulting backup file is in a format that can be backed up by many third-party backup utilities.

Related topics

Best practices for safeguarding your firm and client data

Scheduling a backup of your firm data

Restoring the firm database using Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio Express

Appropriate uses of the Client Data Management Utility

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