Creating proper backups of your data file is an important part of bookkeeping procedures when using an accounting (or any) software. I learned the hard way when my computer hard drive crashed one night and I couldn’t recover my data. I knew I should have backed up my work to a second location such as an external hard drive or flash drive, but I didn’t take the time to do it, and I lost months of bookkeeping. I like to think of that as a lesson I only needed to learn once! Now I back up my data file in at least two locations at the end of every work session and recommend all users do the same!
It’s a good idea to create a backup before recording a GST return, or bank reconciliation, since those particular processes aren’t reversible, except by reverting to a previous backup. A user may also want to create a backup on a USB flash drive or disc so your data file can be taken to your accountant for review.
How to create a backup
- Choose File > Backup
- Last Backup: gives you information on when the last back up was created, and its location.
- Current Backup: Choose where you want to store the backup copy. Click on the folder icon to choose location.
– Backup to Hard drive: Select the appropriate location. The file directory usually looks similar to this C:DocumentsAnalystBackup.
– Backup to removable hardware such as a USB flash drive: insert USB flash drive into computer, then click on the folder icon to choose the appropriate drive.
- Click “Back Up.” If you get a message stating that the backup file already exists and will be overwritten, click “Yes.” The current backup will then over write the old one.
- Once the backup is completed successfully a window should appear. Click “OK.”
- If you would like to back up to a CD/DVD, use the AgExpert software to burn the backup file onto a disc by clicking on this button and following the instructions accordingly.
- Read more: Editing transactions in AgExpert
How to restore a backup file
- Choose File > Restore
- Choose the location where you keep your backup files. Click on the folder icon to browse for the location on your hard drive, USB Flash Drive, disc or other.
- Choose the data file you would like to restore. Click on the file name to highlight it. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see information about your file: the date the file was created, file size, and the version of AgExpert Analyst it was created with.
- Choose the location where you want to place the restored data file: Usually the file should be restored to the C:DocumentsAnalystData directory.
- Click “Restore.” You should see a green checkmark. Click “OK” then close the restore window.
- To get back to work, File > Open > in the Documents/Analyst/Data folder you should see the name of the data file you restored. Highlight it and click open.
Hint: As part of my bookkeeping routine, I also print out month-end reports such as the bank reconciliation reports, accounts payable and receivable reports and the trial balance report. I place these in my bookkeeping file, to give me a hard copy of the data throughout the year.
Save a shapshot
Just before attempting to enter a difficult or uncommon transaction, you can use the Snapshot feature. Choosing File > Save Snapshot instantly creates a picture of the current data file you’re working in. If you have problems entering a transaction, you can return the data file to the way it was when you started, by choosing File > Revert to Snapshot.
Warning: If you revert to snapshot, any changes made since the snapshot was created will be lost. Make sure that’s what you really want to do!
Using “Save As” to create a practice file
File > Save As will save a working copy of your open data file under a new file name. I often use this feature to create a “Practice File” from the AgExpert sample data file that comes with the software.
- Choose File > Open Sample Data File.
- Choose File > Save As.
- Set File Name: Type “my practice data file”
- Save. This creates a copy of the AgExpert Sample data file so you can practice entering transactions. Note that you should now be working in “my practice data file”. The file name will be displayed at the top of your screen.
Did you know? A list of transaction examples can be found in the online community. If you’re connected to the Internet, choose Help > Online Community > Knowledge Base > AgExpert Analyst > Transactions > Transaction Examples. Practice makes perfect!