When is a Backup not a Backup?

Regardless of where your QuickBooks desktop software is installed, and regardless of where your QuickBooks company file resides, you need to run your own bona fide QuickBooks backup of that data file from inside of QuickBooks. The backup feature in QuickBooks includes a data verification process that ensures the data is stored safely and correctly within the data tables, all debits are correctly linked to matching credits, every name is unique, dollars values match up accurately, encryption processes are working correctly, and finally, the transaction log file is refreshed if the verification confirms that all transactions are in order and safely stored. At least weekly, run the backup process with full verification enabled. 

Too many QuickBooks users are lulled into a sense of false security. It’s a mistake to assume your I.T. person’s definition of “backup” is the only definition. I assure you, it isn’t. In the I.T. world, a backup is a “duplicate copy.” If you have a local computer network, the odds are you have a network server computer storing and serving your data files and documents, and that server is automatically “backed up,” copied, onto a separate local or offsite storage device. That’s a good thing. But your IT person assumes it is enough and therefore, so do you. It’s not!  

Case in point. A client of mine found out that their QuickBooks data file was severely fragmented and hopelessly corrupted. In fact, it was so corrupt that Intuit was unable to repair it. The normal solution is to restore a backup copy of the data from a date prior to when it became corrupted. But there wasn’t a true backup copy, only duplicate copies from the server being copied daily. So sure, there were 30 copies of the file from the last 30 days, but the corruption began months earlier and it wasn’t detected until the file simply stopped functioning. Every copy was also corrupted. No true backup existed. This would have be avoided entirely if the backup feature inside of QuickBooks had been used on a regular basis.  

Hosting companies provide the same false security because you assume your QuickBooks file is being stored in multiple locations by the hosting company. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. The same problem exists because no matter how many copies of the file they have, if the file is corrupted, then all copies are equally bad. Again, using the backup feature within QuickBooks with verification turned on will not only allow you to store a copy of your data in the location of your choice, but it also warns you as soon as any file corruption occurs, so you can repair it immediately.  

Recently a well-known, highly reputable hosting company was hit by ransomware. Any client who didn’t have their own local backup of their QuickBooks file was completely out of commission until the hosting company could regain control of their systems. It took days to resolve the issue. Can you run your business for a week or more without access to your financial data? What if you need to record sales orders, purchase orders, payments to vendors and from customers, incoming inventory, or manufacturing processes? How long can you do that on paper before it’s hopeless?

You can’t have too many copies of your data, any data, if it’s crucial to running your business. I use Qbox so I can access my QuickBooks files from several computers at different locations. I know that the Qbox servers save redundant copies of my data files which helps enormously if I need to restore an earlier copy but failed to make my own backup. They saved one of my clients from a crisis when the accountant accidentally accessed the data file via Qbox using the wrong version of QuickBooks, inadvertently upgrading the file to a newer QuickBooks version. The Qbox support team was able to restore the previous copy of the data so the accountant didn’t have to buy the client new software.  Using Qbox doesn’t absolve me of the responsibility from making frequent backups because I still need to maintain the integrity of the file, and I need to keep those backups in multiple local and cloud locations so no matter what happens, I can get back up and running if disaster strikes. 

So when is a backup not a backup? Answer: When it’s a copy. 

Use the internal QuickBooks backup feature in single user mode with full verification turned on. Also, don’t just rely on the “scheduled” backup feature in QuickBooks which is useful, but incomplete. Then store those *.QBB files in two or more locations, at least one locally and one in the cloud. If your QuickBooks is hosted, fine. Create a folder on your remote desktop and store the *.QBB files in the folder and also store them in a folder on your own local PC.

Use complete verification in single user mode and store backups in multiple locations.

K.C. Courtnier Chosen as Top 100 ProAdvisor 2017

Written August 11, 2017

K.C. Courtnier has been selected as one of the Top 100 ProAdvisors of 2017 by the officials of the Insightful Accountant organization and by popular vote of ProAdvisors numbering over 200,000 in 2017.  She also achieved this ranking in 2015 and 2016.

Qualification required a history of excellence in serving numerous QuickBooks customers resulting in customer delight, as well as proven excellence in skills and performance. K.C. has served companies in the greater Portland, OR area since 1997. She co-leads the Woodard Groups Portland chapter, a QuickBooks focused nationwide networking organization. Her chapter won the 2014 Fastest Growing Group award and won the Superstars award in 2015 and 2017. An Intuit Premier Reseller, she has been a member of Intuit’s elite top-tier reseller program since 2008.

Insightful Accountant recently interviewed K.C. for this feature article in their newsletter. They wrote:

“Mention the term “grow your business” and K.C. Courtnier is not going to disagree. But over the years, the founder of 2nd-Site Business Solutions has adopted a philosophy she believes is the one every ProAdvisor she embrace – “enjoy the business and work on your own terms.”

Her energy is focused on striving for personal gratification in the workplace, not monetary gratification. That means spending more time in her home office and working the clients and projects she enjoys. The most significant change she made was to stop driving to client locations unless it is truly necessary. After the initial meeting, she says it’s just as easy to complete most projects, even training work, using remote access solutions.

Kathleen also backed away from Point of Sale work and continues to refer QuickBooks Online prospects to people who love QBO.

Her firm, which she launched in Portland, Ore., in 1997, works with clients ranging from large enterprises to small, independent businesses and across a wide variety of industries, including professional services, medical, retail and wholesale, trades, high-tech and manufacturing, and yes, even accountants.

Today, 2nd-Site Business Solutions focuses on the promotion, sale and support of QuickBooks Enterprise and Intuit QuickBooks Payments accounts.

What does it mean to you to be recognized out of more than 200,000 ProAdvisors in the world?

Wow, that number gets larger every year, making the honor just that much more meaningful. It certainly gives me a sense of accomplishment and personal satisfaction to be recognized as one of the movers and shakers of the QuickBooks world.

Your first thoughts on getting news of the honor?

To be honest, my initial reaction was “Phew!” It would have felt like a fall from grace if I hadn’t been selected after making the list in previous years. That being said, I hope I have the courage to set ego aside next year and voluntarily remove myself from the running in order to make room for someone else to be selected. There are so many outstanding professionals out there who also deserve to be recognized.

How has your ProAdvisor practice changed or evolved over the last couple of years?

The most significant change has been my decision to stop driving to client locations unless it’s truly necessary. After the initial meeting, it’s just as easy to complete most projects, even training work, using remote access solutions. Spending time on the road is bad for the environment, a huge time waste and stressful.

Now that I spend more time in my home office, I’m much more relaxed. And in that more relaxed mental state, I’ve realized that it’s okay to let go of doing the things that no longer bring me joy.

Why is continuing to enhance your skills and acumen critical to staying one step ahead of the curve?

I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t recognized 20 years ago that to succeed as an independent consultant, I would need to accurately predict what my target market would need and want before they knew they needed and wanted it. You can’t stay at the front of the pack by being a follower. You have to see what’s coming before it’s obvious and be a frontrunner. Initially, that meant recognizing QuickBooks would outsell and outpace Peachtree, MYOB, DacEasy, Money, and all of the other competitors. It didn’t have to be the best solution; it had to appeal to the most buyers. I focused on learning everything I possibly could about QuickBooks so that I’d be the one with the answers when people started asking questions.

It’s an ongoing process that needs to be a part of the daily schedule, rather than an afterthought if and when there’s spare time. There is no spare time, so including networking events, training webinars and conventions in my schedule is essential to being able to recommend viable solutions to my clients.

What do you do?

As an Intuit Premier Reseller, I primarily sell and support QuickBooks Enterprise and do project work on all desktop versions of QuickBooks. For four years, I led a local ProAdvisor User Group for the Portland/Vancouver area. A year after we disbanded, I became a co-leader, along with Jennifer Dymond, of the Portland Woodard Group. Our monthly meetings include a lot of mutual support, sharing of information and referral exchanges so we all become successful together. I believe that community involvement, in my case it’s the ProAdvisor community, is a great way to “pay it forward.”

Give us a snapshot of today’s accounting landscape. 

I see a brave new world that’s becoming harder and harder for me, nearing retirement, to keep up with. It’s information overload. I also see an overwhelming emphasis on how to create a successful accounting practice using technology and the cloud, and streamlined workflow systems and value pricing – all of which is fine, points well taken, especially if you’re a standard bookkeeping or accounting firm.

But I want to point out that I have never followed the rules and recommendations considered necessary for success and I have been very successful. So to anyone who has no desire to follow the pack, I say never let someone tell you what success looks like or how to achieve it. Hear everything there is to hear, and then follow your own path, set your own course, use your own ingenuity, intuition, definitions and, most of all, be in tune with the universe because the abundance is readily available if you’re open to accepting it.

What was the best piece of advice you ever received?  

My dad grew up dirt poor in the Chicago slums during the gangster days of Prohibition and the Great Depression. As an adult, he worked 60 hours a week for years to provide for his family to ensure we never went without necessities like he did.

So, I was really surprised when he told me one day, “K.C., don’t work just to get money and put it in the bank. If you die with money in the bank, it’s done you no good. There’re only two reasons to earn money. One is to pay for the things you need. The other is to pay for the things you want. So save for retirement but don’t save it all. Live your life and spend your money on the things or experiences that matter to you, so you don’t end up realizing you forgot to live life to the fullest.“

Dad didn’t follow his own advice, but I have, and I’m so grateful for all of the experiences I’ve had as a result.

What is the story that best describes how you help your clients?  

The very first client I had was a small landscape business owned and operated by a man who, like so many business owners, assumed his wife should do his books along with raising the kids and running the household, etc. She hired me to help her learn QuickBooks. But each time I visited their home office, we spent the first hour with her crying on my shoulder, telling me all of the problems she was having with the kids. How overwhelmed she felt trying to do the books and how her husband didn’t understand her.

I had to get her through her emotional distress before she could focus on QuickBooks. I had that client for a very long time, long after she learned all there was to know about QuickBooks. Half of the money I earned was as a family therapist. It taught me to listen, above all else, and to empower clients through positive feedback.  I learned to always speak to my clients in terms they could relate to. Many of the testimonials posted on my ProAdvisor listing refer to that ability to understand the client and encourage them to believe they are capable.

How do you create balance in your work and personal life? 

I’m not sure that I do. I’m a total workaholic, given the opportunity. But, if I ask the universe to intervene, balance does seem to appear. People often ask me about my marketing strategy or offer to help me with marketing, and I have to tell them I don’t market. I don’t advertise. I don’t look for business. I never have. I just tell my higher power what I want to have happen and it happens.

I learned in the first year of business that if I try to get new clients, it’s an effort in futility. If I simply trust the universe to provide and step back, the phone starts ringing, the emails pour in. In 20 years, it has always worked. I have always had ample business and plenty of money, except if I start to worry. That turns off the flow immediately. I can’t explain why it works, but it does.

So, if I want more personal time, especially in the summer, I just put that request out there and I get exactly enough business to meet my needs and still have plenty of time to enjoy family, friends and good books. I let the synchronicity of the universe create balance in my life.

What’s on your to-do list the rest of 2017?  

Facilitate lots of Enterprise sales to new clients who call me out of the blue. Are you listening, Universe?  Keep drinking vegetable smoothies daily – a new habit I’m striving to develop. Take three more vacation trips in August, September and October, and plan at least four for next year. Clean out my office closet. Learn about one new app every month. And be open to new opportunities and be ready to pivot when they appear.”

K.C. Courtnier Chosen as Top 100 ProAdvisor 2016

Written June14, 2016K.C. Courtnier was selected as one of the Top 100 ProAdvisors of 2016 and 2015 out of 130,000 worldwide.

K.C. Courtnier was selected as one of the Top 100 ProAdvisors of 2016 by the officials of the Insightful Accountant organization and by popular vote of ProAdvisors numbering over 130,000 worldwide.  She also achieved this ranking in 2015!

Qualification required a history of excellence in serving numerous QuickBooks customers resulting in customer delight, as well as proven excellence in skills and performance. K.C. has acquired every certification offered by Intuit since 1999 for QuickBooks desktop software, QuickBooks Enterprise, QuickBase, and QuickBooks Point of Sale in order to provide her customers with the broadest possible knowledge base. She is a leader of the Woodard Groups Portland chapter, a QuickBooks centric networking organization. Her chapter won the 2014 Fastest Growing Group award and in 2015 won the Superstars award. A Intuit Premier Reseller, she has been a member of Intuit’s elite top-tier reseller group since 2008. While some of the Top 100 reached this level of accomplishment by acquiring employees to achieve success, K.C. has done it single-handedly without support staff two years in a row.

A special thanks goes out to the sponsors who make these awards possible: Canon ImageFormula Document Scanners, Expensify, Receipt Bank, the Intuit QuickBooks ProAdvisor Program, and Scaling New Heights.

Troubleshooting QuickBooks Point of Sale Connectivity

Written January 5, 2016

Occasionally you may encounter a problem connecting your QuickBooks Point of Sale client computer to the data file located on your QuickBooks Point of Sale server computer. There’s an excellent article in the Intuitive Accountant Newsletter‘s online newsletter that clarifies what each error message means and what to do about it. While you’re there, I suggest you sign up for the newsletter to stay on top of what’s happening with your QuickBooks products. The article also refers to Intuit’s POS downloadable connectivity troubleshooting tool to help you solve the mystery.

EMV compliant solutions for QuickBooks users.

Written October 18, 2015

If you use QuickBooks and you accept payments by credit card, you need to know this.

Accepting credit card payments has always presented a liability risk to business owners and with the introduction of EMV (Europay/Mastercard/Visa) compliancy requirements effective October 1st, 2015, the stakes are being raised. This is critical information and my friend Reni wrote an excellent article about it. I couldn’t have done as well so I urge you to click through to her website and educate yourself immediately.  Call me to purchase your Intuit software and merchant services, but use Reni’s online store at AZRetail.com for your Point of Sale labeling and barcode supplies.


A special note to all QuickBooks Point of Sale users:

QuickBooks POS V12 (released in 2015) using Intuit’s “QuickBooks Payments” (merchant services) and the Ingenico IPP350 sold by Intuit, is EMV compliant and good to go as soon as Intuit gives us the thumbs-up. In the meantime, Intuit is accepting the added liability for you so no worries.  Just remember to dip rather than swipe when the time comes.

If you have QuickBooks POS V12 but are using the basic card swipe that ships with the Intuit Hardware Bundle, then you need to purchase the Ingenico IPP350 from 2nd Site Business Solutions or from Intuit directly to become EMV compliant when accepting credit card payments.

If you’re using QuickBooks POS V11.0 or earlier with Intuit’s “QuickBooks Payments”, you must upgrade to POS V.12 and purchase an Ingenico IPP350 from 2nd Site Business Solutions or from Intuit directly by March 31, 2016 or contact K.C. at 2nd Site Business Solutions to learn about an alternative solution that will enable you to use POS integrated merchant services and be EMV compliant immediately without changing your POS software. If you use QuickBooks desktop or QuickBooks Online, Intuit has not yet announced a direct EMV card swipe solution. However, Intuit has announced that their solution will work only with QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks desktop 2016. Don’t worry. Contact K.C. at 2nd Site Business Solutions to learn about an alternative solution that will enable you to use merchant services integrated with QuickBooks desktop software and be EMV compliant immediately without upgrading your software to 2016.

If you have an Intuit GoPayment account for your smart phone, which can be connected to your QuickBooks desktop file or QuickBooks Online file, you can order a $30 EMV compliant card reader for your mobile device from Intuit at:


Don’t have a GoPayment account? Contact K.C. at 2nd Site Business Solutions immediately to get an account quickly and easily. It only takes about 24 hours.

If you already have an Intuit QuickBooks Payments account, you can easily add the GoPayment function. Just ask Intuit directly to activate this.

Read more about what Intuit has to say:


And read my other blog, “Understanding EMV Compliancy and QuickBooks”.

Understanding EMV Compliancy and QuickBooks

Written Sept. 29, 2015

There’s been a lot of confusion about the upcoming October 1st deadline for EMV compliancy, especially regarding which QuickBooks versions are compatible with the new national requirements if you’re using Intuit’s QuickBooks Payments service. Finally we are getting clear advice from Intuit so heads up, this is crucial information!

Intuit is extending the EMV liability shift by six months for its QuickBooks Payments customers. This means that Intuit will assume liability for the fraud until March 31, 2016 if you process credit card payments using the QuickBooks Payments service.

Why? Because you have not been given sufficient notice of crucial facts about your software and QuickBooks Payments, and Intuit needs more preparation time.

Which versions of QuickBooks will be EMV compliant? Only the newest version of each QuickBooks product will work along with the new QuickBooks Payments EMV compliant card processors to provide you with a fully compliant solution. Only the following products are sufficient:  

  • QuickBooks Point of Sale v12
  • Enterprise v16
  • QuickBooks Pro 2016
  • QuickBooks Premier 2016
  • QuickBooks Online

No one is forcing you to upgrade your software or to be EMV compliant. It’s your choice.

To be sure you continue to get the latest news about QuickBooks and related products, subscribe to my blog using the little orange RSS Feed square in the lower left corner of this page.

GoPayment users, read this:

If you accept payments on your hand held device using the GoPayment app, the $30 QuickBooks Mobile EMV Card Reader can be pre-ordered here.

All QuickBooks Enterprise/Premier/Pro customers read this:

To become EMV compliant by March 31, 2016 you will need to be upgrade your software to Enterprise v16, and/or QuickBooks Pro/Premier 2016 and you will also need to swipe credit cards with an EMV compliant card reader (available early 2016). 2016 software will be available for purchase very soon. Contact me if you want to be notified as soon as its available.

For the time being, continue to swipe credit cards to process transactions, so basically no change and it’s business as usual. Since Intuit is extending EMV liability through March 31st, 2016, Intuit Payments customers will not begin using the EMV card reader (when available) until instructed to by Intuit or your Intuit Premier Reseller.  If you try to use an EMV card reader before you’re notified it’s time, it will not function, so please understand that this will be active early 2016.

Information on the new QuickBooks USB EMV Card Reader for use with Desktop 2016 and QuickBooks Online will be available soon.

What about keying in a credit card? If you only key in customer credit card information, or take a credit card by phone, rather than swiping the card, then you have always been liable for any fraudulent credit card use and that will not change. The EMV liability shift only affects vendors who swipe customer credit cards in person.

All QuickBooks Point of Sale customers, read this:

To become EMV compliant, by March 31, 2016 you will need to be upgrade your software to QuickBooks Point of Sale v12, and you will  also need to swipe credit cards with an EMV compliant Telium pin pad, available now , and/or an EMV compliant card reader (available early 2016). Many of you already received this new pin pad from Intuit earlier this year.

For the time being, continue to swipe credit cards to process transactions, so basically no change and it’s business as usual. Since Intuit is extending EMV liability through March 31st, 2016, Intuit Payments customers will not begin using the EMV card slot in the Telium pin pad or the EMV card reader (when available) until instructed to by Intuit or your Intuit Premier Reseller.  If you try to use the EMV slot on the Telium pin pad today, it will not function, so please understand that this will be active early 2016.

If you are using QuickBooks Point of Sale v11.0 (2013) or earlier, and wish to be EMV compliant, contact me now for pricing on upgrading to QB POS v12 between now and March 31, 2016. I will also give you pricing on the EMV compliant Telium pin pad which must come from Intuit in order to be QuickBooks Payments compatible.

Information on the new QuickBooks USB EMV Card Reader for use with QuickBooks Point of Sale v12 will be available soon.

Finally, if you’ like to read more, here an article from The Sleeter Group.


Missing Your QuickBooks Company Logo In Qbox?

Written Sept. 19, 2015                                                      Edited June 6, 2019

If you started using Qbox, only to discover your company logo is missing on your QuickBooks forms templates, here’s the easy solution.

To fix the missing logo, in QuickBooks go to Lists/ Templates. Double click any customized forms template that uses your logo. Click the “Use Logo” box. Navigate to your logo file on your computer, select the logo file, then click the Open button. Click OK. You only need to do this once. The logo will be copied to the images folder in your Qbox Explorer directory and will reappear on all of your customized templates just as it did in the past.



I originally posted the above solution in 2015. In June 2019, a reader advised me that while it didn’t work for him, he found a solution which does work with the newer version of Qbox.  Chris Fitzsimmons, CPA at https://fitz-tax.com/  in New York wrote:

This appears to be the current way to correct this issue:

  1. Locate the “Images” folder (default location: C:\Users\Public\Public Documents\Intuit\Quickbooks\Company Files)
  2. Copy the folder to the Qbox sync folder where the company file is stored using Windows Explorer since you can’t copy a folder to Qbox Explorer. The directory path of the Qbox sync folder is displayed in the text box at the top of Qbox Explorer.
  3. Restart QB and the logos should now be displayed as they were before migrating to Qbox.

Thanks, Chris. Good to know!

Simply ingenious.

Simply ingenious.

My clients would be better off if their CPA used Qbox.

Written September 9, 2015

I wish more CPA firms would use Qbox. As a QuickBooks ProAdvisor I recently helped a client who was having difficulty creating an Accountant’s copy. The feature was failing repeatedly due to their IT company installing QuickBooks on the network incorrectly and also because their company file name contained an ampersand, a character with which QuickBooks doesn’t play well. So although the problems were fixable, the fact that many accounting firms still rely on the Accountant’s Copy feature, frustrates me when there’s a better solution. The creation of an Accountant’s copy is certainly better than the old method of exchanging file backups, but it limits the client’s use of QuickBooks until they receive the updated Accountant’s Copy back and import the new entries. Qbox is a better solution for two reasons. First, it allows the CPA to view the client’s current data file at any time, all of the time, to monitor the client’s progress. Second, it allows the CPA to enter corrections and update the client’s file without exchanging files at all. The one limitation is that those changes need to be entered when the client isn’t using the file, and that easily can be coordinated to occur at an agreed upon time, or after the client’s normal business hours. I know some CPA firms who review the files and notate necessary changes during business hours, then actually enter those transactions very quickly between 6:00 PM and 7:00 PM once a week. It takes very little time outside normal operating hours. Overall it streamlines the entire process of keeping the client files up-to-date with minimal effort. I encourage all accounting and bookkeeping firms who have QuickBooks (for Windows desktop) clients to take a look at Qbox.

Watch this real life success story by Johanson and Yau Accountancy Corporation, a California based firm founded in 1979, which performs services in auditing and accounting, tax planning and compliance, and consulting on accounting systems and internal controls.


Use this link to investigate Qbox for yourself. http://bit.ly/TryQBox

Qbox is for everyone.

Simply ingenious.

Do you toss aside the instructions until you absolutely need them?

Written August 8, 2015

If you usually skip reading instructions, you may do just fine with Qbox Plus anyway, it’s so easy to use. Let me give you an example. The other day I was helping a client when he mentioned he was going to be doing a lot more traveling and wondered how he was going to be able to keep up with his desk work. I suggested that he take a look at Qbox. He agreed it was a fantastic solution for doing his regular work on a laptop while traveling, on his desktop while in town, and not worry about hosting or moving files back and forth. Within a couple of hours he signed up, figured it out and set it up. Later he called me with a Qbox question so I suggested he refer to the manual. He replied he hadn’t read the manual yet. We had a good laugh but you see my point.

The longer I used Qbox the more I wanted to know, and sure enough, I finally started reading through the menus and discovered features I didn’t know about. Wow. I smacked myself on the forehead and read through the FAQs and User Manual. I’d been missing some great tips for getting the most out of Qbox Plus. So if you’re a recent convert, I suggest going back to the Settings, Preferences, and Help menus to review everything, including the FAQs and User Manual. It won’t take long and you’ll get a bigger bang for your buck.

QBox is for everyone.

Simply ingenious.

Can I use Qbox as my primary backup tool?

Written August 8, 2015

Yes, with a caveat: the file version on the Qbox cloud is only as recent as your last sync. So if you intend to use Qbox as your document backup, make sure that you are syncing your changes often, at least once a day.

And this next point is crucial. If you are using Qbox for storing, accessing, or sharing your QuickBooks company file, it’s imperative that you use the QuickBooks internal backup feature to back up your company file, (your *.QBW file), because a copy of the file is not enough. Use the internal backup feature frequently with full verification activated to ensure that any corruption or broken links in the company file are detected and corrected promptly. At the same time, the internal backup process will refresh the QuickBooks transaction log file (the *.TLG file) so it doesn’t become too large. That can be disastrous.

So for non-QuickBooks files, using Qbox is a functional backup solution, but for QuickBooks, you need to use the built-in backup feature as well.

QBox is for everyone.