Q: Can I use a CSV file as a backup for my QuickBooks Online account(s)?


Absolutely not.

Many users are under the impression that having a CSV export is like creating a backup of their accounts and client data. They are mistaken and here’s why:

1. Imported data cannot be undone

Any mistakes or incorrect data is there to stay in the account you are working in. Intuit recommends that you backup the company file before you start importing lists/transactions.

2. Imported and exported CSV files can create unwanted changes in your books

If your CSV file is missing information or the columns are in the wrong order this can disrupt your import/export and also result in changes to your books. This is a common issue with QuickBooks Online – Intuit warns users that an import/export may affect their books and to consult an IT specialist if you encounter this issue. Who wants to be crossing their fingers, hoping for a successful import/export? Or consulting an IT specialist they may or may not have about this issue?

3. You have to remember to update your CSV

Everything about CSV files has to be done manually, including updating them. If you rely on CSV files as your backup, you will have to remember to update those files on a consistent basis. In some cases, even a week-old export might be too outdated to be used to recover after a problem.

Our Recommendation – Backup your accounts BEFORE importing a CSV file

Problems with CSV files are one of the most common data disasters we see. The easiest solution to this problem is to backup your QuickBooks Online account with Rewind right before importing your CSV file. Rewind runs automatic backups of your entire account on a daily basis. You can also run a backup yourself if any changes had been made to the CSV file right before the import. If you something were to go wrong with your account after the import, you can go into your Rewind Vault, and rewind the account to the state it was in before.

To find out more about protecting your business’ data check out our ebook: Online Data Security for Accounting Professionals

Rewind understands that keeping your data secure is of the utmost importance to you, so do not use CSV as a backup tool! Instead, use Rewind to backup your account(s) data to ensure that your business-critical data is fully protected.