File Security Best Practices

Background
Passwords and User Access
Audit Trail Tracking
Backing Up Your Data File
Verifying and Optimizing Your Company File
Other AccountEdge Security Features
Final Note

Background

This support article is going to cover best practices in terms of making sure that you, as the owner of your company, should consider and implement when using the AccountEdge software. These practices are meant to help in making sure that your accounting data is secure and to prevent unscrupulous employees from harming the business.

Passwords and User Access

A brand new AccountEdge Company File has one user built into it by default. This user is the Administrator user. This user can view everything in the file and make any changes that are possible to make in the file (including deleting transactions or changing transactions). The Administrator user has no password upon creation - but this can (and should) be changed to prevent access to the data file.

The Administrator user also has the ability to create other users and set the permissions on what those other users are able to do and see.

This support article explains how to change the Administrator password, setup users, and modify their permissions as needed.

Audit Trail Tracking

Audit Trail Tracking is a feature that allows you to track which users created and made changes to transactions. It is extremely useful in finding out who did what, both in terms of correcting mistakes and in protecting yourself against theft. You can turn on Audit Trail Tracking by:

  1. Go to Setup > Preferences from the menu bar at the top of the screen
  2. Click on the Security tab
  3. Check the bottom most preference ("Use Audit Trail Tracking")

This support article has far more information on what audit trail tracking covers and the reporting that is avaialble for it.

Backing Up Your Data File

If you ever speak to any of our technical representatives you will probably hear us talk about the importance of backup and especially the importance of backing up through the software. The reason for this is pretty simple - we've each run into problems where customers have lost days, weeks, or even years of data because of the lack of a backup.

Automated backup systems are fantastic tools for making sure your entire computer is backed up - unfortunately, with a complex database system like AccountEdge, they are often fairly useless. If the automated backup occured while you were using the software the data is often unusable. That being said - having multiple backup solutions can only help - it will never hurt. So in addition to using any other backup software you may use - you should also be making backups directly through the AccountEdge software. This support article explains how to use the backup and restore features of AccountEdge.

As an additional piece of advice, it's always a good idea to not only make a backup, but to store that backup on an external drive (a thumb drive or external hard drive) and then put that drive in a safe place. Having to replace your machine is never fun - but it's even worse if you lose years of work on top of it.

Verifying and Optimizing Your Company File

These practices go hand in hand with backup. Verification checks the integrity of your data file and lets you know that something is wrong with it. Running verification checks regularly helps in making sure that even if your file becomes corrupt it make still be possible to fix it.

This support article covers the best practices for the "health" of the file itself and has instructions on both verification and optimization at the bottom.

Other AccountEdge Security Features

In addition to Audit Trail Tracking and setting User Permissions there are a few other Security Preferences built into AccountEdge that help in preventing users from entering or changing data that they should not be modifying.

You can get to these preferences by going to:

  1. Setup > Preferences from the menu bar at the top of the screen
  2. Clicking on the Security Tab

The import ones to note are:

  • Transactions CAN'T be Changed; They Must be Reversed: This preference can be extremely useful - but it can also make working a little difficult. By checking this off it means that you always have a copy of the original transaction. This is great for being able to track back through what happened; however, it also means that if you record an invoice and forget to add something to it, you need to then reverse the invoice and create it again. This means extra work - but it also means extra security.
  • Lock Period: Diallow Entries Priot To: This preference allows you to set a date that entries cannot be created before. Often users will lock a quarter or month so that they don't mistakenly enter transactions with an incorrect date.
  • Prompt for "X": We've already talked about backup and verification - this automates the process a little and reminds you to verify and backup. Prompt for Session Reports is also useful for created a hard copy of the transactions you entered during a particular session. Once you log out of the software you cannot print a report for that session.

Final Note

All of the above practices are intended to make your life as an owner easier - especially during extremely stressful times. You can choose which ones work for your business.

All of that being said, the best advice that we can give is that you should work with an accountant. As extensive and capable as AccountEdge is, it still isn't a replacement for an accountant who can review your books and help you in making decisions about how to classify things and handle different complex situations.