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Backing Up QuickBooks With OneDrive (Formally SkyDrive)

Backing Up? Hints, tips and help with backing up QuickBooks...

Backing up your computer, data and informtation is something that many many computer users either don't do at all, only do occasionally or don't really have any form of regular system in place for.

Anyone who has lost data in a computer crash, damaged or stolen computer will have found out the hard way what a very painful, time consuming and potentially expensive problem losing your computer data can be.

Personally I am not a fan of having everything online and relying on Internet access to do anything important as anyone who has lost Internet access, even temporarily, at a time you need to do something urgent is a real pain. With deadlines for RTI and VAT for example being able to work on your QuickBooks file on or off-line personally I find very important.

So my personal preference is QuickBooks desktop version but I can understand why other prefer QuockBooks online.

Is it Safe To Backup Up QuickBooks Using OneDrive?

The QuickBooks user licence allows for installation of QuickBooks on one computer plus an additional portable computer as long as the computers are used by the same person, or it did at the time of this blog post as per the link.

Personally my main computer that I will useful work is a Microsoft Surface Pro 2 which I have to say I absolutely love. The solid-state drive means it boots up in around 5 to 10 seconds and turns off as quickly. Fabulous.

Going more portable generally got me wondering how I could ensure that the QuickBooks data files on my Surface Pro 2 were in sync with the QuickBooks data files on my laptop.

One of my main concerns was whether storing my QuickBooks data files in my OneDrive (formally SkyDrive) folder, which is actively syncing with the Microsoft OneDrive cloud online, could corrupt my QuickBooks data files in some way if they were in use while been synced?

I can't say that this couldn't happen and that files couldn't get corrupted but I have been syncing my QuickBooks files between my Microsoft Surface Pro 2 and my laptop by storing all my work data including QuickBooks data files within folders in my OneDrive folder for around two months now without any problems.

A bit of care and observation is needed however to make sure that you are using the latest QuickBooks data file that you last worked on.

On the same computer that you last worked on this is not an issue. But if you open the QuickBooks data file on your other computer without first checking that the OneDrive folders are fully synced, and perhaps checking the date the QuickBooks file was last saved using Windows file explorer, you could risk making QuickBooks entries and your to data files not having exactly the same date in them which could cause a mess.

I haven't found this a problem but it is something to be watchful for an careful about.

Is a OneDrive backup the only QuickBooks backup you need?

Personally this is my regular backup as it is constant and I have found reliable.

However I strongly recommend that you take regular additional backups using the backup facility within QuickBooks (top menu "File" then "create backup") and store these in a separate folder in OneDrive which I call "backups" personally.

Why do this?

If you had a problem with a QuickBooks data file for whatever reason such as it corrupted, you made some silly mistakes, or for whatever reason you could restore your QuickBooks data from that backup file. Not taking these proper QuickBooks backups is a recipe for disaster if you hit a problem.

Also under the file menu, then "Utilities" you have the "verify data" and "rebuild data" options. Using the create backup feature will usually automatically run a verify data command.

Verifying your data at least occasionally is wise so that the QuickBooks software can ensure your data stays intact.

Coming to the point of whether backing up your QuickBooks data files to OneDirve is the only backup you should take I would suggest not.


One drive syncs the data in your one drive folder with your OneDrive cloud account with Microsoft.

However if you have a problem with your data file for whatever reason the copy online is going to have the same problem as your copy off-line.

For instrance if you delete a file accidentally on your computer from the OneDrive folder (or any other synced device) syncing will mean that it also gets deleted on your OneDrive account and one any or all other the other computers or devices that are synced to your OneDrive account!

That is why OneDrive is not necessarily the only backup you should keep!

So I would strongly recommend backing up all your important data, including your QuickBooks data files, to an external hard drive off-line as well as backing up to OneDrive.

For me personally I do this external hard drive occasionally now as a secondary backup offline and treat the OneDrive sync and OneDrive backup folders as my main backups as these are constantly being updated. 

You maybe able to use other cloud storage providers such as Dropbox but I haven't tested or tried it personally.

Useful List of QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

Moving a mouse around any bit of software to point to menus to navigate your way around can sometimes feel a slow process.

Quickbooks offers a number of really helpful keyboard shortcut to speed things up which is really handy. The follow list of QuickBooks keyboard short cuts I find really useful. Help with QuickBooks hint and tips.

List of QuickBooks Keyboard Shortcuts

To use the following shortcuts on your keyboard to navigate around QuickBooks quickly and easily simply hold the Ctrl key down with one finger and then click the appropriate letter key with another finger to use each shortcut.

For instance one I use all the time is Ctrl+ i which I remember as "i" for invoice to open the create invoice window in QuickBooks. Very quick. Another favourite is Ctrl+ W to open the "write cheques" window.


P    Print list or report (standard windows shortcut)
F    Find (standard windows shortcut)
A    Chart of Accounts
U    Use account (highlighted account or item in list)
N    New account or item (depending on window open)
E    Edit account or item (depending on window open)
D    Delete account,  item or entry (which is highlighted or open)
Z    Undo delete account
T    Memorised Transaction List
J    Customer centre
i     Create invoice
W   Write cheque
R    Use register (highlighted account in list)
M    Memorise transaction

F Keys Shortcuts

F1   Help
F2   Product information window
F3   Search
F4   Are you talking with a QuickBooks Technical Support Agent? (to allow remote access)
F10  Menu

Alt+F4   Exit QuickBooks (standard windows shortcut)

Know other shortcuts you want to share comment below and share your handy QuickBooks shortcuts.

QuickBooks UK - Hints and Tips - Expenses Suppliers Bills and Payments

Okay in this blog post I want to take a look at suppliers and how suppliers are treated in QuickBooks and in particular one aspect which I think is a common mistake for inexperienced QuickBooks users.

Got questions or issues about using QuickBooks why not join in our new QuickBooks user forum?

What are suppliers?

Suppliers are people, companies or organisations that supply your business with services or products.

The way that you interact with your suppliers can vary from business to business and particularly noticeable is the difference between larger businesses and smaller businesses. Larger businesses with multiple staff and perhaps accounting departments or bookeepers often have credit with supplier and receive bills for purchases or use purchase orders. Smaller business more often simply pay for purchases at the time of acquisition.

Recording A Simple Supplier Purchase

A simple way that you interact with your suppliers is that you walk into a shop and buy something such as stationery, pay for it with a debit card or cheque book, and leave the shop with the stationery you paid for.

In this simple scenario you have not received a bill or taken delivery of the goods before paying for them and the two sides to the entry in QuickBooks are a debit from your bank account of the cost of the stationery purchased and the stationery expense item to be shown your profit and loss account as a stationery expense.

If you are a VAT registered business and claim credit for the VAT on the item purchased and will be accounting to HMRC separately for your VAT items when you submit your VAT return.

The simplest way to record this entry in QuickBooks is to record the expense via the “write cheque” (keyboard shortcut Ctrl W) within QuickBooks choosing the correct bank account and selecting stationery or whichever is the most appropriate expense account.

If the purchase was with a cheque, which is much less common these days, you will need to record the cheque number in the top right corner but if it was with your debit card you can simply leave the cheque number box blank.

If you are not VAT registered we could actually make the entry in your appropriate bank account ledger directly.

So that’s the easy bit, but where can entering bills from suppliers and recording expenses go wrong.

Entering suppliers bills

Being organised and methodical in the way that you approach QuickBooks will lead to more accurate accounting records and less errors to correct later that is why you invested in QuickBooks software after all, right?

Errors, especially if you are VAT registered and have filed your VAT return before spotting an error are more tricky to correct so avoiding errors in the first place by having a system of accurately recording expenses and paying for them is crucial.

The same would apply to any accounting record whether QuickBooks or not.

If you receive bills from suppliers for goods or services supplied to you and pay those bills later you need to avoid entering the expense twice, as this will lead to you recording the expense twice in QuickBooks and doubling up.

This can happen where you enter a bill that you have received but when you subsequently make payment to the supplier you don’t first check that you have an unpaid bill for that item and supplier which is the bill that you are paying but instead  enter the payment directly as a cheque or bank expense, leaving the previously entered bill as no paid!

In this instance the bill still exists in QuickBooks as an outstanding expense to settle plus you also have the expense repeated as a direct entry through the write cheque or posted to the bank directly entry.

Tips to avoid the error of doubling up expense items?

  • Have a folder or tray (manual paper) for unpaid bills, know what’s in it and always check before writing a cheque to suppliers who normally provide bills and get paid later.
  • Or if you are trying to operate a paperless office as far as possible scanned the bill and save the bill to and unpaid bills folder on your computer and move the bill out of the unpaid bills folder when you pay it to where you save your paid bills.
  • Always keep an eye on what's in your unpaid bills folder whether it is a paper folder or a folder on your computer so that you are aware of what's in it.
  • Perhaps set a reminder on your smartphone or computer for suitable regular times to review your unpaid bills folder.
  • Before entering cheque or credit card payments to suppliers within QuickBooks always review your unpaid bills entered in QuickBooks to ensure you haven't already entered a bill for that expense as then you should use the "pay bills" route instead.
  • Always check your un-paid bills report BEFORE filing your VAT returns to make sure you are satisfied that bills have not been settled by a direct "write cheque" entry in QuickBooks that way you can avoid doubling up the expense entry. Once your VAT returns filed in QuickBooks it finalises the entries and deleting or removing them is problematic and probably best done in the form of a credit note contra entry.
  • Don’t unnecessarily enter bills that we the quotes or bills that you know may get settled extremely quickly as it may be easier to record these at the time of payment rather than receipt of the bill then "pay bills".

Why Enter Suppiers Bills At All?

The main reason for entering bills received from suppliers for their paid is precisely so that you can monitor and control the money that you owe to suppliers for goods or services provided to you.

So unless you are using QuickBooks specifically to monitor and maintain money owed to suppliers by entering bills keep things simple, especially where payment is likely to be made to the supply quickly, and enter the expense just at the time payment then you can match your paperwork of the payment and the bill received at the same time as making the payment.