Since we are at the end of a year, I thought I would pick an add-on that would help people with their new year’s resolutions.  For many business owners, making a commitment to back up their data turns out like the average American’s resolutions to exercise and lose weight.  Officially called Sage Peachtree Online Backup powered by Iron Mountain®, it integrates an online backup solution with Peachtree Accounting.  It backs up to a secure server over the internet.  So once you set it up, there are no tapes to change, nothing to take home or bring back to the office with you, nothing to do except leave your computer on and, of course, pay the monthly or annual fee.  Speaking of fees, you can find pricing and other details at  Peachtree 2009, 2010, and 2011, each give you a free 100MB account.  But that will accommodate only very small company files.  So if you decide to use it, you should be prepared to upgrade beyond the free account.

What sets Peachtree’s onlline backup apart from other online backup services is the direct integration with Peachtree.  In addition to scheduling backups, you can also make an online backup of your Peachtree data at any time right from the File menu in Peachtree.  Like all online backups, the first backup that you make can be very slow since internet connection speeds are normally much slower than local hard drives, USB drives, or even tape drives.  But subsequent backups go much faster.

If you want to back up more than just your Peachtree files, they offer larger plans designed to accomodate more data.  However, since people come to me to get a straight answer instead of the official company line, I would recommend that if you want to back up a lot of data, and you can live without the direct integration with Peachtree, you can get more for space and/or features for your money by going with a different backup service.  Some companies worth checking out are I-Drive, Carbonite, and SOS Online Backup.

Remember that no matter what backup method you are using, whether online or not, the only way to know if it is working is to test it periodically by restoring some of your data.