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Backing up your Keytime data

updated for Accountants Suite 2017.  Last updated: 28th April 2017

Why should I take backups?

It is vital to have regular backups of your data, both to protect against the data loss that can result from such circumstances as a computer hard-drive failure, fire or theft, but also to protect against human error, where someone may mistakenly alter or delete some information.

How often should I backup?

A good yardstick for the frequency of your backups is "how much work can I afford to redo in a worst case scenario?"  You should backup at least this often. You may also wish to take additional backups when you have completed certain important tasks, such as ending a period in payroll or successfully filing a tax return to HMRC. There may be other times when you are advised to take a backup, such as immediately prior to running a Keytime software installation or update.

Where should I store my backups?

Ideally, backups should be kept off-site in a secure location and stored on a reliable hardware device. This minimises the risk of your backup being damaged at the same time as your live data. For example, if there is a fire or if the computer is stolen with the backup device attached.

But remember, sometimes it isn't always appropriate to keep all the backups off site. You may need to access them fairly quickly to restore the data. So keeping a separate onsite and offsite backup could be the best solution.  You may want to create a folder called Keytime Backups on your local machine to store the onsite backups.

How long should I keep my backups?

Once again, there isn't a set answer for this. Unfortunately it will be dictated by the size of your backup storage system, the amount of data you need to backup and the frequency with which you are taking backups. The longer you can keep backups, the better. Some problems, particularly human errors, do not materialise for months or maybe years. If you keep your old backups, it gives you more options, should such a situation arise.

An example way of keeping old backups would be to backup every night and keep those backups safe for at least a week.
At the end of the week, permanently archive one of the backups and store it safely.

This means you will always have a backup from the past 5 working days, along with a reference point of every previous week.

How do I backup my software?

There are different ways to take a backup, depending on the product(s) that you are using. You should run separate backups for every Keytime product that you are using.

Accounts Production

Accounts Production allows two types of backup. Both are straightforward; you can either take a backup of your whole database, or just one set of accounts.

Backing up the whole database

To backup the whole database:

  1. Open Accounts Production
  2. Either open a set of accounts, or close the list of available accounts
  3. Go to File > Backup > All
  4. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save

Backing up just one set of accounts

To backup just one set of accounts:

  1. Open Accounts Production
  2. Open the set of accounts that you wish to backup
  3. Go to File > Backup > Company
  4. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save

Corporation Tax

Corporation Tax offers two types of backup; you can either take a backup of your whole database, or you can choose to backup particular tax returns.

Backing up the whole database

To backup the whole database:

  1. Ensure Corporation Tax, Practice Manager and Accounts Production are closed on all computers.
  2. Go to Windows Start menu > All Programs > Keytime > Corporation Tax > Utils > Backup and Restore 
  3. Click OK if you are sure that no-one is currently in the Corporation Tax program
  4. Click Backup
  5. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save

Backing up particular Corporation tax returns

NB  This routine creates a backup of just the selected tax returns. It does not copy the entire database.

To backup particular tax returns:

    1. Open Corporation Tax
    2. Before opening a return, click on the Utilities tab
CT_Utlities_Backup_Restore.jpg
  1. Click the icon for Backup/Restore Tax Forms
  2. Click Backup
  3. Place a tick to the left of the returns you wish to backup
  4. Click Backup
  5. You will then be asked where to save the file;
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save

P11D

To backup the P11D database:

  1. Ensure P11D and Practice Manager are closed on all computers.
  2. Go to Windows Start menu > All Programs > Keytime > P11D 2017 >  Backup
  3. Click OK if you are sure that no-one is currently in the P11D 2017 program
  4. Click Backup
  5. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save

Payroll

Payroll backups are run separately for each company. You should take a backup at least every time you reach the end of a period.  You should take the backup before ending the period.

To backup a Payroll company:

  1. Open Payroll
  2. Open the company that you wish to backup
  3. Go to File > Backup company
  4. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired; however' Payroll's restore function automatically looks for the default filename, so it is advisable to add your changes onto the end of the file name.
     - click Save

Tax

Tax also offers two types of backup; you can either take a backup of your whole database, or you can choose to backup particular tax returns.

Backing up the whole database

To backup the whole database:

  1. Ensure Tax, Practice Manager and Accounts Production are closed on all computers.
  2. Go to Windows Start menu > All Programs > Keytime > Personal Tax 2017 > Utils > Backup
  3. Click OK if you are sure that no-one is currently in the Personal Tax 2017 program
  4. Click Backup
  5. Tick All Tax 2017 Returns
  6. If you have added attachments to tax returns, tick the appropriate options
  7. Click Backup
  8. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save

Backing up particular tax returns

NB  This routine creates a backup of just the selected tax returns. It does not copy the entire database.

This feature is only available to users of the Professional version. To backup particular tax returns:

  1. Open Personal Tax 2017
  2. Before opening a return, click on the Utils tab
  3. Click the icon for Backup/Restore Tax Forms
  4. Click Backup
  5. If desired, apply a filter for the Tax year and the type of return, by selecting the relevant options
  6. Place a tick to the left of the returns you wish to backup
  7. Click Backup
  8. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save

Trust Tax

There are two ways to backup Trusts 2017; You can either take a backup of your whole database, or you can choose to backup particular tax returns.

Backing up the whole database

To backup the whole database:

  1. Ensure Trusts 2017 and Practice Manager are closed on all computers.
  2. Go to the Windows Start menu > All Programs > Keytime > Trusts 2017 > Utils > Backup
  3. Click OK if you are sure that no-one is currently in the Trusts 2017 program
  4. Click Backup
  5. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save

To backup particular tax returns:

NB  This routine creates a backup of just the selected tax returns. It does not copy the entire database.
  1. Open Trusts 2017
  2. Before opening a return, click on the Utils tab
  3. Click the icon for Backup/Restore Tax Forms
  4. Click Backup
  5. Place a tick to the left of the returns you wish to backup
  6. Click Backup
  7. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save

Practice Manager

warning  A backup of the Practice Manager database will not contain all of the data from the separate modules.

Practice Manager holds the registration details and some linking information between the Accountants Suite modules, but it does not contain the full data for your tax returns, accounts, payroll companies etc. If you use Practice Manager, then you should take a Practice Manager backup in addition to backups of the other relevant Keytime modules.

To backup the Practice Manager database:

  1. Open Practice Manager 
  2. Go to File > Backup/Restore/Repair
  3. Select 'Backup'
  4. You will then be asked where to save the file:
     - browse to your preferred backup location
     - enter another filename, if desired
     - click Save
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5 Comments

  • 0
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    Sally Ward

    Oh how I wish you could just take a backup of the whole payroll when you need to change computers!

  • 0
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    Mark Pocock

    There really should be a "one-click solution" that backs up the whole suite

  • 0
    Avatar
    Jim Mackenzie

    Hi folks, 

    Thanks for the comments, we really appreciate them.  I'm going to add each of these requests into our Feature Request forum, so the developers can take a look at them:

    Edit:  Your feature requests have been created at the following links.

    http://support.keytime.co.uk/entries/225135-one-click-backup-of-payroll-companies

    http://support.keytime.co.uk/entries/225136-one-click-backup-of-keytime-data

    Thanks, 

    Jim

  • 0
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    Anu Vedi

    Like any other checklist, this is a very good idea.  Have you any suggestions for a good back up system that is fast and can be kept off site; how far offsite?

    Thank you.

     

  • 0
    Avatar
    Sana Kadiri

    Edits to article:

    - Updated for Accountants Suite 2011.  Last updated: 15th August 2011 

    - All product names changed to 2011

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