How Do I Back Up the Money Data File?

By: Stephen L. Nelson, CPA

If you're using Microsoft Money to manage your personal or investment affairs or perhaps as the accounting system for a small business--say an S corporation or a limited liability company--you own and operate, you'll want to regularly back up the Money data file. The Money data file stores your financial records and needs to be preserved and protected in order to easily support the preparation of tax returns and financial reports of your personal, corporation or limited liability company income.

Back Up Procedures for the Microsoft Money Data File

You can back up your Money data file in two ways. First, you can wait until the Money
program prompts you to back up the file, which Money does using the dialog box. To back up the Money data file in this way, simply click the Back Up Now button. Money backs up the data file to your floppy drive.
Second, you can back up using the File menu's Back Up command. When you choose
this command, Money displays the Backup dialog box. Click an option button to indicate which backup location you want-a floppy drive or your hard drive-and, if necessary, select a specific drive from the list boxes. Then click the OK
button.

NOTE The Backup To Floppy dialog box provides an Options button. Click this button
to display a dialog box of buttons and boxes you use to describe how Money backs up your data file and when Money reminds you to back up your data file.

How often should I back up?

You don't need to back up your Money data file every time you use Money. Money
suggests, for example, that you back up every fourteen days. And that's a good rule of
thumb. If you enter numerous transactions every day, you might want to back up more
regularly than this-perhaps weekly. If you enter only a few transactions a month, you
could probably safely back up every other month.
Essentially, you want to estimate the amount of work it would take to reenter all of
the transactions recorded since the last backup and compare this to the work of regularly
backing up. The less work it is to reenter transactions, the longer you can go between
backups without risking too much.

How do I restore the Money data file?

If you lose the original Money data file or the file becomes corrupted in some way, you
can restore the file to its condition when you last backed up. To do this, take the
following steps:

1. Tell Money you want to restore a file.
Choose the File menu's Restore To Backup command. Money displays the Restore Confirmation dialog box.

2. Pick the backup file.
Click the Restore From A Backup File option button, and then click the Next
button. Money asks which backup copy of the file you want to use for the restoration. If the file described as the default backup file is correct, click the Restore From Default Backup File option button and then click the Restore
button. Otherwise, click the Open A Different Backup File option button, identify the backup file you want to restore, and then click the Restore button.

3. Reenter any new information.
After you've restored the Money data file using the most recent backup copy of the
file, you need to reenter any transactions missing from the backup file. In other
words, if you last backed up the Money data file on Monday and you entered transactions
on Tuesday, you need to reenter Tuesday's transactions.

TIP: If you do use Microsoft Money as a small business accounting solution, you might want to make backing up the Money data file a regular accounting task for your small corporation or limited liability company. You might, for example, decide to back up the data file every time you prepare invoice customers or at the end of every week after you pay bills.

Money Management
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