Backing up the firm database

This article applies to the following CS Professional Suite products.

  • Accounting CS
  • Workpapers CS
  • Practice CS (Specific references to Practice CS in this article also apply to DT Practice and Digita Practice.)

Create a backup

You can backup the firm database when the appropriate security privileges are assigned to your staff ID. The backup run from each product includes data for all clients in the product database. In most cases you do not need to back up data for individual clients.

Note: If you are licensed to use the application 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.

  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:
    • Click OK to create the backup, and when prompted that the backup is complete, click OK.
    • Create a scheduled backup on a specific day and time as described in the following section.
  4. Copy the backup file from the location specified in the Backup dialog. 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.


  • 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.
  • The application 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.
  • To ensure that the backup of your database is safely stored off the data server, your automatic backup utility should be set to copy Backup.bdf from the specified backup folder, or all eleven *.bdf files from the folder, if you wish to include the current backup plus the last ten backup files.
  • 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.
  • When you make a new backup of a database, the CS Professional Suite application does not overwrite any existing backups. Each backup file name includes a date / time stamp. For example, a default Accounting CS backup file name is ACS_0_FIRM_20180816095436.bdf. The string of numbers in order from left to right correspond to the year, month, day, hour, minute, and second the backup was made.

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. When you manually back up a firm database or create a scheduled backup, the resulting backup files are in a format that can be backed up by those third-party utilities.

Set up a scheduled backup

Because many backup utilities such as Carbonite or Barracuda cannot back up an SQL database, we recommend that you back up your data manually, or on a regular schedule so that your client data can be properly restored in a timely manner. These backup files can also be copied and stored by the backup utility that is used for the rest of the firm's data files.

Follow these steps to create a regular schedule of database backups for your CS Professional Suite application.

  1. Depending on the CS Professional Suite application that you are using, choose one of the following methods to open the Scheduled Backup dialog.
    • Accounting CS and Workpapers CS: Choose File > Backup, and then click the Schedule a recurring backup link in the Backup dialog.
    • Practice CS: Choose Setup > System Confirguration > Scheduled Backup.

      Show me.

      scheduled backup dialog
  2. Mark the checkbox labeled Schedule backups to occur, select the database backup frequency, and time. (The frequency can be weekly, a specific day of the week, or daily.)

    Note: The scheduled backup will run when the CS Professional Suite application is currently being used by staff, and when the application is not currently in use.

  3. For Accounting CS/Workpapers CS and Practice CS users, enter the path and folder in which you want the backup files to be stored.
  4. Enter a Windows Login and Password in the User name and Password fields for the data server.

    Note: The User name and Password must have write privilege to the folder specified in step 3. We recommend that this user be an administrator on the server.

  5. Click OK.
  6. For Practice CS users: When you receive the message — The scheduled backup was saved successfully. Practice CS will now create a test backup. — click OK to create a Test Backup file that is created in the backup folder, called ScheduledBackupTest.bdf.

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for the feedback!