Benefits of a firm database backup method (CSA and Workpapers CS comparison)

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Workpapers CS uses a different backup and restore method than Creative Solutions Accounting (CSA). In CSA, each client is stored as its own separate—and less reliable—Microsoft Access database. In Workpapers CS, all of your firm's clients are stored in a single SQL database.

The SQL database provides far more data stability, reducing the need for backing up and restoring data for each individual client. In almost all situations, we strongly recommend that you back up the entire Workpapers CS firm database, which backs up all of your firm's clients. Although we offer a Client Data Management Utility as a means to back up and restore individual client data, we do not recommend that you use this as a routine method of backing up and restoring clients.

The following examples explain why individual client data backups that are required or recommended in CSA are not necessary in Workpapers CS.

CSA Workpapers CS
Concerns about corruption: CSA used Microsoft Access databases, which could occasionally be vulnerable to corruption. Workpapers CS uses a SQL database, which is more reliable. There is very little risk of corruption or data loss.
Client accounting data retention limitations: CSA stored 10 years of accounting data (per IRS suggestion), but some firms preferred to back up client information for longer periods or to save a copy for permanent storage. Workpapers CS retains almost unlimited client accounting data in the SQL database. The only limitation is the database limit imposed by your SQL licensing. Workpapers CS will notify you when you approach that limit.
Concerns about year-end close: Sometimes firms chose the wrong type of account (asset, liability, revenue, or expense) during year-end close, causing issues that were tricky to resolve. Some firms chose instead to restore the client data from a prior backup. Workpapers CS requires you to choose an equity account during year-end close, preventing such issues in the first place.
Concerns about changing the posting period: In CSA, once the posting period changed, you were unable to make reversing, recurring, and recurring template journal entries, which were available only if you were in the latest GL processing period. There are no such restrictions in Workpapers CS, unless you have marked the Close posting periods checkbox on the Accounting Information tab of the Setup > Clients screen. In that case, only a staff person who has security rights to re-open closed periods can still modify data in the prior period.
Issues involving separate installations for different staff members: Some firms chose to have staff move back and forth across different installations of CSA, and backed up data in one and restored it in another. All firm members use the same instance of Workpapers CS, using a shared database.

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