Is your nonprofit organization taking the time to back up your important information and data? While we understand the basic need for data backups, many of us don’t take the warning seriously. Life gets busy, new projects take priority, and soon enough we’ve gone weeks (or maybe months) without backing up the data contained within our nonprofit accounting software. The threat of natural disasters may seem far away, so we tell ourselves that we’re okay for today. What many nonprofits don’t realize, however, is that a simple power outage can wreak just as much damage to your system as any natural disaster.
We hear the story often: one day you’re entering data into your system or finalizing the details of an important report when suddenly the lights within your building flicker and your screen goes blank. When you go to reboot your system, you find that everything you were just working on is lost. To make matters even worse, the system is restored to the date of the last data backup (which was 2 weeks ago).
Protecting the data and information contained within your fund accounting software should be one of your primary concerns, and backing up your data is one way you can ensure that your data is protected. Many MIP Fund Accounting users, however, are a little hazy on the data backup process. If you could use a refresher (or if this is your first time learning about backing up the data within your system), keep reading. The following tips will help you understand the importance of backing up the data in your MIP Fund Accounting software and guide you through the process.
First Things First: How to Create a Backup in MIP Software
Creating a backup within your MIP software system is fairly easy; you just have to keep a few steps in mind. As long as you have the appropriate software rights, you can create a backup of your data. Once you click on File > Backup, you will be prompted with the name of the database you wish to backup and a file name. By selecting the ellipses button (…), you are taken to another menu and can select the exact location of the backup. It’s important to note that data backups can only be created on the server’s local drive. If you wish to relocate them to a location outside of the software, you will have to do so after the backup has been created.
What Gets Backed Up in a Traditional MIP Software Backup?
When you back up your MIP software, the system will back up the entire SQL database (including all modules). An exact copy of your database at the time of backup is made, and the file is stored on the server at your destination of choice in the following format: .NPS.
Does the System Automatically Backup All of Your Data?
It’s important to know that MIP Fund Accounting does NOT automatically backup the database; you have to do this manually. Many nonprofit organizations have lost important data due to this common assumption. The software will prompt you to create a backup upon exiting the software, but it is not required. If you choose not to back up your system then, your data is not protected.
What Does Not Get Backed Up?
As we stated above, when you go through the File > Backup process, only the SQL database gets backed up. Everything else (definition files, custom formats, direct deposit files, report PDF files, etc.) must be backed up through other means. Many organizations have turned to the Cloud to protect these files and always have access to a copy of their data. To learn more about the Cloud and its benefit to data backups, click here.
How Often Should You Backup Your MIP Fund Accounting System?
We recommend backing up your MIP Fund Accounting system whenever you are posting, printing, or reversing transactions. Daily backup are recommended, but if your organization enters a lot of data, hourly backups may make more sense. Look at your data input and determine your backup plan from there.
Contact us today if you have any questions about the above tips or would simply like to learn more about how you can adequately protect your data.