How To Back Up QuickBooks Online

by | Dec 14, 2017

Updated March 2021

It’s no secret that Intuit is encouraging its users to switch from QuickBooks desktop to online. QuickBooks Online is accessible remotely, there are regular software updates, you can streamline your processes using third-party apps, and it makes it infinitely easier to manage multiple clients if you’re an accountant or bookkeeper.

But the biggest hurdle that prevents people from switching to QuickBooks Online is not having a backup of their account in their own hands. For those who live in the cloud and have never used the desktop version, it includes two features that don’t exist in the online version: ‘create a local backup’ and ‘undo’.

Desktop users are used to running a backup at the end of the day or week (at least when they remember to do so). It reassures you so that you can restore your company file to a previous version if something goes wrong. But in QuickBooks Online, if you delete something, it’s gone forever (unless you have a secure cloud data backup strategy, that is).

TLDR; Set up Rewind Backups for QuickBooks Online and it will automatically backup your company files. You can undo mistakes and restore deleted data with Rewind, and you also have the option to copy QuickBooks Online data between files.

Isn’t QuickBooks Online Already Backed Up?

Many QuickBooks Online users are under the impression that Intuit will be able to restore any lost data if needed. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

In the Intuit Community help documents, you can read that the answer to “Do I need to back up my data with QuickBooks Online” is no. However, this is followed by an important caveat that should not be overlooked: “we cannot restore your file to a previous point in time.”

Image source

What Intuit provides for QuickBooks Online users is a disaster recovery backup. If something were to happen to the QuickBooks platform or their servers, Intuit will try to recover everyone’s data to the last backup. We like to call this a platform-level backup.

As a user, you don’t have access to this backup to restore your data. This means that you risk having to manually undo changes or permanently lose data if:

QuickBooks Online isn’t unique in this situation. If you look at most SaaS vendors (Xero, Shopify, BigCommerce, Trello, Zendesk, GitHub, etc.), users are responsible for backing up their account-level data under the Shared Responsibility Model.

This is why you need access to your account-level backups of QuickBooks Online, in addition to Intuit’s platform-level backups. It’s also the reason why we started Rewind since we identified this issue with so many cloud vendors.

The second reason why you want to backup QuickBooks Online yourself is to take control of your data. Especially when it comes to highly important data such as finances, having a secondary backup in a different location from the cloud vendor’s servers gives you greater control and freedom.

If something were to happen to their QuickBooks Online files, even if it’s not your fault, the client will depend on you to help them recover their data. In that situation, you want to have the ability to help your client, instead of waiting on Intuit to fix the situation.

How to Back Up and Restore QuickBooks Online with Rewind

Luckily, you don’t have to choose between the convenience of QuickBooks Online and the peace of mind of having a backup. With Rewind, you can automate a continuous backup of your QuickBooks Online account in just 5 minutes and never have to think about it again. That is, until you need to restore the company file to the moment before it all went haywire.

There are three ways Rewind works to make sure your QuickBooks Online accounts are backed up:

  • We run an automatic backup every night at 12:00 am local time of new changes.
  • We run real-time, automatic backups while you work on your company file.
  • We offer you the ability to launch a manual backup whenever you need it.

Back Up QuickBooks Online in 3 steps:

  1. Sign up for a Rewind account.
  2. Link your QuickBooks Online account. If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper, use your QuickBooks Online Accountant login to backup multiple client accounts in your Rewind Vault.
  3. Your first backup will automatically begin and be done in a couple of minutes. Rewind is a “set it and forget it” system, meaning it’s continuously working in the background to keep your data safe.

How do I restore my QuickBooks Online backup?

Rewind gives you two ways to automatically restore your backup:

  • Restore a single item to a specific version through the Vault (without losing any subsequent work). Ex: One invoice
  • Restore an entire QuickBooks Online file to a specific date and time using the Advanced Restore tab. Ex. Revert a file after an accident.

Our Help Centre (hopefully!) has the answers to all of your questions, and if not, the Rewind support team is available 7 days a week to offer help with data restores if you need it.

What does Rewind for QuickBooks Online back up?

Rewind leverages all available APIs to QuickBooks Online to back up data. At this time, you can back up and restore the following items using Rewind:

Transactions, including:

  • Bills
  • Bill payments
  • Credit memos
  • Deposits
  • Estimates
  • Invoices
  • Journal entries
  • Payments
  • Purchases
  • Purchase orders
  • Refund receipts
  • Sales receipts
  • Time activities
  • Transfers
  • Vendor credits

Lists, including:

  • Accounts
  • Attachments
  • Classes
  • Customers
  • Departments
  • Exployees (except SSN field)
  • Items
  • Journal codes (France only)
  • Payments methods
  • Terms
  • Vendors
  • Preferences

In addition to the above items, the following QuickBooks Online items are also backed up but require the help of our team to restore:

  • Budgets
  • Currencies
  • Tax agencies
  • Tax codes
  • Tax rates
  • Preferences

At this time, Rewind cannot back up the following items:

  • Company info
  • Entitlements
  • Exchange rates
  • QuickBooks Online payments (Payment processing)
  • Payroll
  • Banking Feeds, Bank Rules
  • Customer Types
  • Price Rules
  • Delayed Charges and Delayed Credits
  • Recurring Transactions
  • Account-based billable expenses
  • Item-based billable expenses with markups
  • Custom Reports and Custom Forms
  • Audit Log Entries
  • Inventory Adjustments

Intuit has not made APIs available for technology partners like Rewind to access this data. As soon as it becomes available, we will work on including these items in the backups.

Invest five minutes now to save hours of work in the future

Whether it’s a client mistake, a 3rd party app integration with a bug, a data import that’s gone wrong, or a myriad of other reasons, data disasters can happen to anyone without any warning. There’s no time like the present to make sure that when it happens to your QuickBooks Online accounts, you can quickly recover without having to redo hours of work.

And finally, you can get even your die-hard desktop clients to make the switch to QuickBooks Online.

Start your 7-day free trial of Rewind Backups for QuickBooks Online now.

Learn more about Rewind Backups for QuickBooks, Rewind Copy for QuickBooks, or discover all of Rewind’s data protection apps.


Rally Stanoeva
Rally Stanoeva