Is It Safe To Sync Your QuickBooks Data With Dropbox Or SugarSync?

Is It Safe To Sync Your QuickBooks Data With Dropbox Or SugarSync?

Quickbooks

File syncing services such as Dropbox or SugarSync are amazing. You create or edit a file on one computer, and behind the scenes the changes are reflected on your other computers.

If you are a QuickBooks user, it may be tempting to use one of these file syncing services. After all, wouldn’t it be great to be able to put your QBW file in your Dropbox folder on your desktop computer and then have it synced to your laptop?

Via LinkedIn, I came across this thorough article by Michelle Long, CPA that warns against it.

You can use Dropbox, SugarSync, Box.net or other file sharing services to share a QuickBooks backup or portable file with clients or others. However, please do not put the QuickBooks working company file (QBW) or Quicken file in these folders.

There are lots of links in the article to examples of problems that come up, and quotes from other experts. I did some Googling around, and I couldn’t find many examples of people saying they are syncing successfully. It seems like there is a real risk of corruption.

I’d be interested in hearing from people who are currently syncing their QuickBooks data. Anyone have any success or horror stories?

About the Author

Brooks Duncan helps individuals and small businesses go paperless. He's been an accountant, a software developer, a manager in a very large corporation, and has run DocumentSnap since 2008. You can find Brooks on Twitter at @documentsnap or @brooksduncan. Thanks for stopping by.

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ttttkkkk - August 18, 2013 Reply

Hi,

after my external drive died, and I loose all of my photos, i was very angry. Then I tried Dropbox (fine, but not enough space for me), Sugarsync (for me it was very slow), and now I am using Copy.

Normaly, on Copy you have 15GB for free, but if you use this link, and install Copy application to synchronize or backup your data, you will get 20GB for free: https://copy.com?r=zPku0e

DocumentSnap Time Machine | Tips To Learn How To Go Paperless | DocumentSnap Paperless Blog - June 17, 2012 Reply

[…] Is It Safe To Sync Your QuickBooks Data With Dropbox Or SugarSync? It seems that you want to be careful when trying to sync your QuickBook data file. […]

smallbizdoer - April 25, 2012 Reply

I've been using QuickBooks with dropbox for a while now. I do run into conflicting version issues and it sucks when it happens. I am tech savvy, but I don't know the technical details behind how dropbox works, so have never done anything beyond making sure I didn't try to open QuickBooks on two computers at the same time.

QuickBooks now actually has online versions for international people in Canada and the UK, although they are somewhat crippled in comparison to the desktop versions and you can't import your existing data to the online version.

On the other hand, if you are in the US, the online version seems fairly robust and you can import your desktop version data online.

    Brooks Duncan - April 25, 2012 Reply

    Awesome, thanks for the report! <p style=”color: #A0A0A8;”>

Sue - June 30, 2011 Reply

The Sugar Sync website specifically lists Outlook.pst, Quicken and Quickbooks as file types that they do not support. I have opted to try "I Drive Sync". I asked them about those file types and they assured me that they were supported. I am trying it out and so far no problems.

    Brooks Duncan - July 5, 2011 Reply

    Thanks Sue, it'd be great if you let us know how it goes after you've been using it for a while, or if you feel like it you'd be more than welcome to do a guest post about your workflow. Just let me know.

Jonny - June 22, 2011 Reply

The folks that posted in the referenced articles have accounting backgrounds and like most advice from accountants on anything it tends toward the ultra-conservative. From my more IT-savvy background, this advice is not entirely accurate from a technical perspective:

To avoid the described file corruption, the database server for Quickbooks needs to be stopped prior to copying the file (in either direction) and then restarted prior to starting Quickbooks. Setting this process up entails technical skills likely beyond those without IT training and experience; that said, if an experienced Quickbooks installer with solid Windows admin skills implemented, documented and trained an end-user to opreate this process, it is really not that big of a deal. I have set this up in numerous situations to support automated file system backup scenarios and it does work flawlessly when managed properly.

    Brooks Duncan - June 22, 2011 Reply

    Thanks Jonny, I suspected as much but not being a Quickbooks user I couldn't test it out.

Jonny - June 22, 2011 Reply

Note that the advice provided with respect to online storage (DropBox etc.) applies to thumb drives and other portable storage device as well.

Canada - June 17, 2011 Reply

For those of us not in the US (ie. Canada/Caribbean/etc) there is no online version that is available (that I’m aware of).

Would be interesting to see what others are doing (instead of paying loads of cash for a hosted solution via remote desktop/etc).

Whip - June 16, 2011 Reply

if you need/want your quickbooks data "synched" or available anywhere, use the "Quickbooks Online" edition… data is always available from any computer anywhere with internet access when you log in, backed-up automatically, and updates by quickbooks happen automatically. I've been using it for several years and it's great! No data on the actual machine to worry about securing, backing-up, losing, etc.

    Brooks Duncan - June 17, 2011 Reply

    Thanks Whip, good point about the Online version.

    Nada - July 5, 2012 Reply

    yes, but does this work if you are using QB Payroll? According to QB, the online version does not include Payroll.

    Chris Wise - March 21, 2014 Reply

    If you are looking for a simpler way to accomplish QuickBooks collaboration without paying the expense of continually working in the cloud, you will want to check out Qbox. http://www.coraltreetech.com

    With Q Box, accountants and their client’s continue to use the same desktop version of QuickBooks. However, using Q Box, they have a locally hosted copy of the file that is continually synchronized with their remote client’s copy. In other words, no more sending QBW files back and forth, no more screen sharing, no expensive cloud hosting and no more downloading/uploading of QuickBook files.

    With Qbox, there is also a locking technology that avoids the creation of conflicting copies.

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