Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Single Mistake That Can Destroy Your Business!

Well its been a couple of weeks since my last post.
And the reason why is that I dropped my laptop which ultimately destroyed its hard drive, losing everything on it that I hadn't backed up.
It's funny, I had just been lecturing a client on the importance of backing up data regularly and keeping at least one back up off site earlier in that week!
It's always thought that maybe a fire, powersurge or simple hard drive melt down would result in lost data.
In my case, I was walking from one room to another carrying my laptop when the cord just caught on a door handle, pulling it from my arms. I could see it happening so I was able to bend down and minimise the fall. But the damage was done - it would no longer start up and the experts diagnosis was that it was dead!
Now I had backed up certain information but I had become a little slack and had not done so for a couple of months.
Now I've not lost anything that cannot be replaced but it will be an inconvenience to replace the lost information.
So, for me, it's not the end of the world.
But what if it was your computer that held all your vital financial information. Are you backing up your data daily? And have you checked that your back ups actually work.
I will tell you a story about the day that a client (and good friend) asked me to do a year end on their accounting system. I asked the compulsory question - do you have a back up? I was assured that there were 2 back ups available, so I proceeded to complete the year end.
Half way through the year end, the system froze, rendering the data file useless.
No fear, I thought, we have back ups!
Unfortunately, the back ups were useless! I could feel my face turn white! Basically we had lost everything - the implications of which were unthinkable!
In desperation, I searched the hard drive, looking for a back up - which they assured me did not exist as they always backed up onto an external advice.
Fortunately, my perseverence paid off and I found a back up on the hard drive that they had mistakenly done in error - and only one day old.
I was able to restore this data and they were able to recreate 99% of the days transactions.
The major lesson here is - ALWAYS BACK UP DAILY! And just as importantly REGULARLY CHECK THAT YOUR BACK UPS WILL RESTORE!
Another valuable lesson learnt by The Astute Accountant
PS I have purchased an automatic wireless back up system so that I never have this problem again!

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