What is Online Sync?

The Online Sync service provides Continuous Online Backup of your accounts. You can try the service out for two weeks, just register for an account. If you have more than one device, the service will keep your business accounts in sync on all your Macs, iPhones and iPads.

You might find the service useful if:

  • You want to enter sales away from the office.
  • You and a business partner both run EasyBooks.
  • You have an iPad and an iPhone or Mac.
  • You forget to make regular backups.

Online Sync is not essential for EasyBooks to function, it is an optional extra. The standard backup and restore features are available for manually transferring data between devices and for creating backups.

How do I get started?

You can try the service for free for two weeks. To start using the service, use a web browser to register for an account. For more information, see How to....

How does it work?

When you turn on syncing for a business, your data is copied and stored securely by the service. This first full upload is called the snapshot. Typically the upload will take about 10-15 seconds over a WiFi connection. After that, when you make a change to your business data, the changes are queued in the device for upload when the network connection is available. Only the changes are sent, and the upload happens in the background.

The server receives data from many devices, and queues the uploaded data for processing. It only takes a few seconds for the server to process your changes before they are made available to your other devices.

Your other devices check the server for new data when EasyBooks is running. If new data is found, changes are applied in the background with an on-screen notification so you can carry on working.

You can view the syncing history on the device, which will show you a list of each change that was uploaded or downloaded. Some changes can conflict with others, for example, you might create an account at the same time, with the same name, under the same category, on two devices. In this case, the history will show that there is a problem. You can then pick a device and send a new snapshot. This resolves the conflict and all your other devices will download the new snapshot. If a conflict is detected by the service, it will send you an email.

How does the system handle recurring transactions?

Any recurring transactions you have entered are handled slightly differently when syncing is turned on. In this case, the system needs to avoid duplicates, since each device is capable of adding the next transaction in the series as soon as it becomes due. So the recurring transactions are only added when a device is able to sync. If new entries are due, the device will sync first, then add the new transactions itself and upload them. Your other devices will then download the changes as normal.

Are there any special considerations?

The system is built to be able to cope with devices going off-line for long periods. Each device can store up the list of changes itself, and send these to the server when a network connection is available. If there is no connection, the device waits for one.

You should only add new entries (such as expenses, sales, etc.) once, even when all your devices are off-line. Do not add the same transaction in each device. This is because when they do get a connection, they will all try to add the entries you made, and there will be duplicates.

Sales Invoices may need a special mention because the device automatically creates the next invoice number in the sequence based on the most recent one you entered. So if you use invoice numbers in the format INV1103, EasyBooks will create INV1104 automatically when you add a new sale. When devices are online they can update the list of previously used invoice numbers as they are used elsewhere. But if the devices are all off-line, they have no way to know which invoice numbers have been issued, and can create the same invoice number. If this happens, don't worry. You can always just edit the invoice number later. But keep an eye on your invoice numbering if you see the sync icon turn orange orange, because this indicates the system is not currently connected.

What's your policy on data retention?

When you delete a business, the snapshot data is deleted immediately from our server. Any devices connected will receive a popup message saying the business is no longer available, and they stop syncing the business. The data stored on the device is not deleted.

We store backup copies of the user database for disaster recovery purposes. Old backups are deleted as soon as a new one is made. We aim to keep the backup data for a week, so if you delete a business, there may be a copy of some of your data in our backup for up to a week after you delete it. After that, your business data is no longer retained anywhere.

How secure is the service?

All our servers are housed in Amazon's secure data centres and are managed by us. We secure all communications to and from the app using TLS, and we actively reject any connections that are not encrypted. This keeps your information confidential between your device and our servers, and ensures that the data is safe from eavesdropping while on the Internet. We suggest using the passcode lock feature of EasyBooks to prevent people from making changes to your data.

Our staff connect to the servers for monitoring and maintenance. While connected, we also use encrypted connections. In addition, our computers have encrypted hard drives to prevent unauthorised access, just in case they are stolen.

For payment processing, we use Fastspring, a well known and respected payment gateway. All data passed between your computer and Fastspring is encrypted too, so your credit card details are safe.