Online Backup Solution | AccountingWEB

Online Backup Solution

By Alex Vuchnich, CPA, CFE - I have tried several different backup options over the years. This includes backups to external hard drives, file servers and folder synchronizations between PCs on the same network. Most of these solutions allow for a relatively high level of automation when configured properly but none have been a solution that addresses all of my back up concerns. I discovered just the other day that the two year old external drive that I was backing up all of my personal media to was dead. Even worse when I went to check the last backup date it was from this past April, the drive failure date. For the past five months all of my digital photos, my investment in digital music, home videos, etc. have been at risk in the event that my media server failed. I began immediately looking for a new solution to this. Typically when performing file system backups we want to protect against three data loss scenarios.

First we want to guard ourselves against unintentional or malicious data deletion, corruption or modification. This could be anything from accidental file deletion to system corruption as a result of a virus attack. Backup versioning provides a solution to this by providing multiple restore points so that we can effectively go back in time to recover the correct version of the data file.

The second thing that we want to guard against is drive failure. My personal experience with drive failure rates is somewhere around 15% over a three year period as evidenced by the stack of dead hard drives in my supply closet that now solely function as paper weights. Of all components in the PC the hard drive and fans are most susceptible to failure due to the fact that they are mechanical devices that involve moving parts. Sooner or later these devices will fail. Redundancy has been the main solution to this problem, either in the form of RAID configurations or backups to an external drive. Potentially with the emergence of affordable SSDs this may become less of a concern in the future.

The final reason we perform routine backups is to protect against catastrophic loss. In the event of a disaster such as a fire or flood backup data will need to be stored in an offsite facility that is not also in the vicinity of the disaster area. For many businesses this type of loss is the hardest to protect against since removable storage and delivery to an offsite facility may be difficult or expensive to implement and manage. Many times in the small business environment this ends up taking the form of someone performing a tape backup or saving files to an external drive and then carrying the backup media home with them from the office. Obviously this is not an ideal solution when considering that in many disaster scenarios staff members homes may be afflicted by the same disaster as the main office.

I recently started using Mozy, which is an online backup solution. I have only tried out their personal solution but so far have been satisfied with the service. The service works by having you install a backup utility on the PC or PCs that you wish to backup. The utility includes an automated scheduler and then you can choose to backup the entire drive image or just selected files and folders. The backup data is then uploaded to the Mozy backup file servers out in the cloud. They even keep multiple versions of your backup images for 30 days. The service provides a backup solution that protects against all of the scenarios noted above guarding against unintended file changes, drive failure and disaster. For large uploads it does take some time for the first completed backup to occur, however once the backup completes from that point forward only changes are backed up so future uploads are minimal. On my personal media server I have been trying to backup approximately 60GB of digital music, photos and home videos. After a week I am currently at 31GB so it definitely takes some time. The personal service runs for $4.95 per month for unlimited backup. For business use the pricing is $3.95 - $5.95 + .50 per GB per month of backup storage.

This blog

by Alex Vuchnich, CPA, CFE - Alex Vuchnich is the developer of Controlzkit an internal controls anaylsis tool and shares his perspective on how audit and accounting theory, technology and professional ethics interrelate to create forward thinking profitable firms.

More from this blog

Bloggers crew

Steve Knowles has spent 25 years in business and practice in the UK, but he also worked in the states and the years haven't dulled his way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and every day is a new adventure.


Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies.


Allan Boress, CPA, with over 25 years as a practitioner and consultant to the accounting profession. Mr. Boress is the author of 12 published books in 6 different languages, including a best-seller, The "I-Hate-Selling" Book.


Larry Perry, CPA, CPA Firm Support Services, LLC, is the author of accounting and auditing manuals, author and presenter of live staff training seminars, and author of webcast and self-study CPE programs. He blogs about small audits, reviews, and compilations.

Sandra Wiley, COO and Shareholder, is ranked by Accounting Today as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Accounting as a result of her prominent role as an industry expert on HR and training as well as influence as a management and planning consultant. She is also a founding member of The CPA Consultant's Alliance. Sandra is a certified Kolbe™ trainer who advises firms on building balanced teams, managing employee conflict and hiring staff.

Maria Calabrese, CIR, Human Resources manager for Fazio, Mannuzza, Roche, Tankel, LaPilusa, LLC in Cranford, New Jersey, Maria's topics revolve around the world of: Mentoring, Performance management, and The "Y Generation," a.k.a. "The whY generation".


William Brighenti is a CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified [Business] Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Hartford, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.


Ken Garen, CPA, is the co-founder and President of Universal Business Computing Company (, a software development firm of high-volume, high-productivity accounting and payroll technology.


Eva Rosenberg, MBA, EA, is the publisher of, and author of the weekly syndicated Ask TaxMama column. She provides answers to tax questions from taxpayers and tax professionals worldwide.


Amy Vetter, CPA, CITP is the CPA Programs Leader for Intacct Corporation responsible for leading the CPA/BPO Partners nationally.

Brian Strahle is the owner of LEVERAGE SALT, LLC where he provides state and local tax technical services to accounting firms, law firms and tax research organizations across the United States. He also writes a weekly column in Tax Analysts State tax Notes entitled, "The SALT Effect." For more info, visit his website:
Scott H. Cytron, ABC, is president of Cytron and Company, known for helping companies and organizations improve their bottom line through a hybrid of strategic public relations, communications, marketing programs and top-notch client service. An accredited consultant, Scott works with companies, organizations and individuals in professional services (accounting, finance, medical, legal, engineering), high-tech and B2B/B2C product/service sales.

Rita Keller is a nationally known CPA firm management consultant, speaker, author, mentor and blogger. She has over 30 years hands-on experience in CPA firm management, marketing, technology and administrative operations.

Stacy Kildal is the mom of two fantastic kids, an Advanced Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, Certified Enterprise Solutions ProAdvisor, Sleeter Group Certified Consultant, a nationally recognized member of the Intuit Trainer and Writer Network, and co-host of RadioFree QuickBooks.
Michael Alter's blog specializes in providing practical advice to those who seek greater profitability and practice management tactics that enhance deeper client relationships.

Sally Glick, CMO, Principal, Marketer of the Year in 2003 and AAM Hall of Famer in 2007, leads a lively discussion of the constantly expanding roles of marketing and the professional marketers that drive this initiative in accounting firms of all sizes.


The IMA Young Professionals Blog features the insights of IMA’s Young Professionals Committee. Committee members share advice and experiences on careers, continuing education, work/life balance, and other issues affecting young accounting and finance professionals.


FEI Financial Reporting Blog provides highlights from SEC, PCAOB, FASB, IASB, and other regulatory news, including reporting under Sarbanes-Oxley Sect 404. It is written by Edith Orenstein, Director of Technical Policy Analysis at FEI.


Sue Anderson has 30 years of experience in continuing education for accountants. Currently she is the program director for online CPE provider CPE Link.


Jim Fahey is COO of Apple Growth Partners, a regional CPA firm in Ohio. His focus is on the effective and efficient use of technology within the firm by all team members.

Caleb Newquist is the Editor-in-Chief of Sift Media US, overseeing content for both AccountingWEB and Going Concern.

Leita Hart-Fanta, CPA, CGFM, and CGAP is the author of "The Yellow Book Interpreted" and owner of a website devoted to training for governmental auditors.


AccountingWEB is more than just a U.S. team of journalists and financial and technology experts - we have an international side, too! Members of our British team who publish share their ideas, insights, and perspectives from across the pond.