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

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Change to CS Support service hours

Our Support department is closed on Friday, April 28th for a company event. However, limited Accounting CS phone support is available on that date from 9 AM - 5 PM ET due to the approaching deadline for quarterly payroll tax forms.

Links to our most popular payroll tax processing topics are available in the Alerts and notices section on the right side of most pages.

Accounting 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 Accounting 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 Accounting 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 Accounting CS.

CSA Accounting CS
Concerns about corruption: CSA used Microsoft Access databases, which could occasionally be vulnerable to corruption. Accounting 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. Accounting CS retains almost unlimited client accounting data in the SQL database. The only limitation is the database limit imposed by your SQL licensing. Accounting CS will notify you when you approach that limit.
Client payroll data retention limitations: CSA retained client payroll data for only two years, requiring a backup of the payroll period before closing to the next year. First, there are no payroll periods in Accounting CS, so you can move back and forth between posting periods at will. More importantly, Accounting CS retains unlimited client payroll data in the SQL database.
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. Accounting 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 Accounting 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.
Inability to roll back a finalized bank reconciliation: In CSA this could be an issue, so we recommended that you back up and restore the client data prior to finalizing the reconciliation. In Accounting CS, you can unfinalize and re-finalize reconciled bank accounts as needed.
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 Accounting CS, using a shared database.

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