Syncing financial application files in the cloud

Financial File in the Cloud
File sharing services such as Dropbox and SugarSync are like a flash drive located in the cloud (i.e. a server) that allows you to back up and synchronize folders between multiple computers and a wide range of mobile devices, access files from anywhere, and share specific files or folders with others. Most of these services provide small size storage space for free. 

If you wish to sync financial application files and folders, you won't pay a penny to use it by signing up for Dropbox’s free 2GB plan or SugarSync's free 5GB plan (you'll get an extra MB if you use these referral link). All you need to provide is your name, email and a password.

You may wonder whether you can use the file sharing services to share financial application data files like QuickBooks (QBW file) and Quicken file with someone else, or whether you can use Dropbox or SugarSync for the QuickBooks company working file so you can access it from work, home or anywhere.

Using the file sharing service can be a great method of offsite storage for QuickBooks backup or portable files (QBB or QBM). However, you should not use the file sharing service with financial application data files. 

SugarSync clearly states on its website that Quicken and QuickBooks files are not currently supported for syncing and database files of any type should not be synced. It reminds users that database driven applications use file locking to protect their data files whenever the application services are running. This file locking can cause SugarSync to create duplicate files when it tries to update a file on another computer.

According to an accounting software expert, it is absolutely not good practice to use Dropbox for QuickBooks data file (QBW) as the risks of file corruption are too great. The reason is that the QuickBooks company file is always being written to by the database server and it is completely unpredictable as to what state the file is in at any given moment. So if two computers have a “synced” version of the QuickBooks file, how will either know whether the other guy has it “open”, and then how will they be sure that all the syncing is complete even if the user says they’re not “in the QuickBooks” file? 

Even you are the only one using QuickBooks file, there is constant read-write going on a QuickBooks data file (QBW). You don’t want a QuickBooks file that’s open and being worked on to be synced onto the Dropbox cloud folder. 

You can use Dropbox, SugarSync, or other cloud-based file sharing services synchronize a QuickBooks backup or portable file between multiple computers or to share it with clients or others. However, you do not put the QuickBooks working file (QBW) or Quicken file in these cloud folders. 

To back up QuicBooks backup file into SugarSync, follow these steps:

  1. On your computer, create a folder to hold your backup of Quickbook files.
  2. Launch SugarSync and go to Manage sync folders and sync this backup folder.
  3. Open Quickbooks. Select "File" and "Save Copy or Backup" from the menu.
  4. Click the radial button beside "Backup Copy."
  5. Click the "Next" button.
  6. Select "Local Backup." Click "Options."
  7. Choose the "Browse" button. Select the folder that you created to save your backup from the pane in the "Browse for Folder" window. Click "OK."
  8. Click "OK" in the "Backup Options" window. Choose "Next.'
  9. Select "Save it Now" from the "Save Copy or Backup" window.
  10. Type a file name for the backup in the area next to "File Name." Click "Save.".
To back up Quicken backup files into SugarSync, follow these steps:
  1. Start Quicken and click on File, then click on Backup.
  2. Set the file location. Create a directory that will only be used for backup files, or use your Magic Briefcase.
  3. The backup includes five files with the file extensions QTX, QSD, QPH, QEL and QDF.
  4. Next, add your backup directory to SugarSync. Every time a backup file changes or a new backup file is added to the directory, SugarSync will upload the new changes.