What is data corruption?
Data corruption in Sage means that errors have occurred in the underlying database which stores all your financial data. Corrupt data cannot be relied upon. The Sage program may not be able to read the data correctly, resulting in faulty reports (eg aged debtors reports with false totals). At year end your accountant will not be able to rely on the data you provide to him/her.
How can I tell if my data is corrupt?
You can tell your data might be corrupt if you experience any of the following:
- Unexpected behaviour in the software you use.
- Forced software closures
- Incorrect information being produced.
In our experience here in Synergy Network, we have seen clients whose Financial reports either won’t run or are not accurate, and Sage 50 unexpectedly crashing.
The best way to establish whether or not your data is corrupt is to run the Sage 50 Check Data routine (more later…).
Why does data corruption occur?
Corruption can occur for a number of reasons. The following are a few examples:
- Power cuts and surges.
- Software crashing.
- PC locking problems.
- Conflicts with third party software.
- Hardware or network problems e.g if you are posting invoices they are transmitted across a network to your server. If the transmission is interrupted in any way, corruption may occur.
- Backing up to and restoring from damaged media
What can I do to prevent loss of data?
The Check Data option checks the validity of your data files. It is vital to run this option everytime you backup your data. Backups are worthless if they contain errors.
Running Check data
- Open the File menu then choose Maintenance.
- Click Check Data.
- As the files are checked, the progress is displayed.
- If there are no problems, the Maintenance window appears informing you of this, to complete the process, click OK then proceed to step 5.
- If there are problems with your data, the File Maintenance Problems Report appears. Ring Synergy Network Support immediately. Errors must be fixed before you can continue to enter transactions into Sage.
Backing up helps to prevent data loss in the event of computer or network failure or data corruption. Here are some tips to help you ensure that your backup strategy is up to scratch…
When should I backup?
If you use your accounts program everyday, then you should do a check data and backup at the end of everyday. It is also important that you back up before and after irreversible procedures such as performing the Month End and Year End routines or clearing your audit trail.
How should I backup?
It is essential to choose an appropriate backup medium. For convenience and portability, memory sticks are ideal (available at any computer hardware shop). Many larger organizations will have an IT department that has its own server backup system in place but these will not do a check data and might therefore prove useless. Also note that if you data is being backed up automatically in the cloud for you every evening it is still neccessary to verify your data. Therefore we would highly recommend taking additional Sage backups through the Sage 50 program, where you do your Check data and backup together as a daily routine.
Prepare for disaster
Rotate your backup medium i.e do not have all backups on one memory stick. In case of fire or theft keep one of these backups off-site.
Test your recovery procedure
It may never happen, but if it does, you need to know where to find your latest backup and how to retrieve it off the medium in question (tape/memory stick/cd). We do not recommend restoring over your live data so why not start a monthly routine whereby a backup is sent to the Synergy Network Support team for testing/recovery. We have encountered clients that due to corruption have had to resort to tape backups, only to discover that these backups were not actually working!
If you have any questions or queries about your Sage 50 check data/ backup routine, do not hesitate to call the Support Team in Synergy Network on 071 9146815 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.