QuickBooks desktop software is very easy to install and use, and that is precisely why it is the standard for small business bookkeeping and accounting. QuickBooks is simple to use.
Getting QuickBooks on your computer is also simple. You can just buy the software from wherever – your QuickBooks solution provider, a retail outlet or an online store. Then you download it to your PC and run a setup application, and voila! It’s there on your PC ready to help you do your books.
When just a single user needs to use QuickBooks, things are very straightforward because there is no networking to worry about and no multi-user access required. On the other hand, there are many businesses using QuickBooks that experience a lot of frustration with trying to install QuickBooks on a network and managing the software that must be installed on multiple computers.
Other than networking QuickBooks desktop software, it seems that the majority of issues users experience can be attributed more to poor software habits and a lack of PC housekeeping
QuickBooks desktop software has been engineered over many years to be as simple to use as possible, but at the same time has grown to be a product with lots of features, add-ons and extensions. People have found ways to make QuickBooks do things it wasn’t really designed to do, which is sometimes a good thing and sometimes a bad thing. When it works, it works great. When it doesn’t work, it’s beyond frustrating.
Yet there are a few things that QuickBooks desktop users should be doing regularly to keep their QuickBooks software and data in good working condition. While these items are very important to keeping your QuickBooks system working for you, they will never overcome problems with your network, the server or any of the workstations connected to it.
To solve these networking, software management and other IT platform issues, I recommend moving to a virtual cloud server on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. NOOBEH’s QuickBooks on Azure service is just that… your QuickBooks software and data running securely on your own private cloud server in your own account on the Microsoft cloud, fully managed and supported by experts. With NOOBEH’s service, you don’t have to worry about server failures, network problems or hardware problems any longer, and we eliminate the issues surrounding multi-user, multi-location, and remote access for QuickBooks.
When it comes to PC housekeeping and other chores, I cannot stress enough the importance of keeping the QuickBooks company file in good condition
What’s the accounting and financial data worth, after all? A little time spent taking care of the file can save on a lot of time and headaches trying to recreate or reenter the data. A QuickBooks company file is a database and is a complicated framework for keeping track of all sorts of related information. Anyone who has used QuickBooks desktop products for a while understands that the data file can get messed up for a variety of reasons, and it can mean lost time, work and revenue when it isn’t working correctly.
What many users don’t realize that QuickBooks has built-in utilities to check and fix data problems in the company file, so it makes sense to periodically use them to check for problems. Like a check-up with the doctor, these utilities can help diagnose issues with the data file before they become big issues. They are easy to find in the software… simply go to the File menu and select Utilities.
Run the file Verify any time the file starts to act slow or if QuickBooks crashes when the file was open, and if the Verify tells you there are errors, you should run a Rebuild to fix them. Note that a rebuild may have to run multiple times to fix all the issues in the file, and even then, may not correct everything. Some manual work may even be required to resolve all errors.
You should also back up the company file to a “portable” type file periodically, and to then restore it for use. This doesn’t need to be done very often, maybe once a year or so. This process can not only validate the integrity of the file, but it also helps condense and condition the file. Conditioning the data file periodically can help prevent data corruption and/or loss of data.
A very important housekeeping item for QuickBooks desktop is the file backup. Backups don’t just make copies of your company file for safekeeping, which is important to have, but when you run a backup with complete/full verification, the process also reduces the file size of the TLG file. For QuickBooks, the TLG file is a transaction log, and when it gets too big the file can perform poorly and even get corrupted. Run backups more frequently if you have a lot of transactional activity, or less often if there is not so much going into the company file.
When you do the file backup, it is a good idea to consider where the backup will go. Keeping the backup files on your PC is convenient, but it also does nothing to protect your data if your PC gets hit with malware or has a hardware problem. Put the backup file in a protected location that isn’t stored on your PC, like Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox or even a removeable USB device. You can’t put your live QuickBooks company file in this type of location, but you can store the backup files there. This way, if your PC does have a problem, you’ll have backups of your company file that you can use to get yourself back in business.
Close the company file and exit QuickBooks occasionally
Users who leave their computers on all the time are not allowing the computer to run periodic power-on self-tests, which means the machine or operating system could have an issue that isn’t recognized until computer restarts. For this same reason, programs and their data files should be closed when not being used – so they can run through their own startup and validation routines before you use them. Also, leaving the program open means it is active on the computer, and leaving the data file open means that it’s available (available=vulnerable). A random by passer accessing the computer, a program crash, a machine crash… loss of power or a furry kitty running over the keyboard could each result in catastrophic damage to the application and/or data. It’s just better and safer if the files and programs are closed when not being used. Maybe use a screensaver with a password, too, or at least lock the keyboard when the machine is on but not in use.
QuickBooks and VPN / WAN are not awesome together
Just because a user can connect their remote PC to the office network doesn’t mean the PC will work like it’s in the office. In the office, it’s a Local Area Network where the machines are all cabled together and communicate with nearby machines (e.g, Local). The speed of LAN communications is fast enough to allow multiple computers to share a QuickBooks company file in multi-user mode. When there is a remote PC to connect, businesses often elect to utilize a VPN to provide local area network access to the remote computer. This turns the Local Area Network connection into a Wide Area Network connection, where the network has been extended to include the remote computer.
Unfortunately for QuickBooks users, the WAN connection is NOT fast enough to allow the remote user to open QuickBooks and use it like others in the network. QuickBooks multi-user access is designed to work on a local network where local means the machines are in the same locale and on the same LAN. This is why many companies elect to use remote-access/remote-control software to access to QuickBooks desktop remotely.
Use NOOBEH QuickBooks on Azure to get remote access, managed service, update support, and the ability to run any other applications or add-ons your business needs. When QuickBooks desktop and the other software a business uses are hosted on the company’s Microsoft cloud server with NOOBEH, the QuickBooks application and the company files are all on the same environment so it works exactly as it is supposed to for all users no matter where they are located.
Use Automatic Update
New features and enhancements are provided, new technologies and operating platforms must be supported, and security and privacy must constantly be addressed in the software. What this all means is that software products necessarily change over time and users will be expected to update their products or lose out. While some IT departments may desire to prevent software from updating itself, QuickBooks users should recognize that the software’s proper function often depends on timely updates. Especially when payroll or banking is involved, it is important to keep the software current.
QuickBooks has a feature that allows the software to automatically download and install updates as they are released by Intuit. Leaving this feature turned on allows the software to check with Intuit periodically to see if there are updates available. If so, they are downloaded and readied for installation on the computer.
Updates are changes made to an edition and year version of the software. Upgrades, on the other hand, are changes from one year version to another (2021 to 2022, for example) or a change in QuickBooks edition (like Premier to Enterprise). Automatic updates manage the changes to the currently installed edition/year version, but do not upgrade the software.
Customers using NOOBEH’s QuickBooks on Azure service have their QuickBooks updates and their QuickBooks upgrade installations managed for them, as well as the other applications installed on the customer’s private cloud server.
Doing maintenance on your QuickBooks software and the company file can help keep them free from poor performance and potential corruption
It’s worth spending a little time on chores occasionally so that you avoid what could be a costly problem down the road. Some good housekeeping to keep your QuickBooks healthy is just good business.
Mendelson Consulting and the NOOBEH cloud services team are here to help businesses get more from their software and technology, and we help implement the solutions that improve overall efficiency and performance.