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What do you do when your cloud-based accounting software goes down?

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  • What do you do when your cloud-based accounting software goes down?

    Today our accounting software Site Link was down for over 4 hours right in the middle of our busy period. You don't realize how much you depend on it (until it stops working.) We couldn't take any electronic payments, print receipts or even answer basic questions about people's accounts. Even the simple stuff. We were literally running blind. One of our good customers came in to give us his check for a 3-month payment and I couldn't even tell him how much his total would be without looking into his account. (He had one of the older rates.)

    So, do you guys have any backup for this kinda situation? And if so, what do you use?

  • #2
    Once a week we print out an 'every tenant' report and squirrel it away for situations such as this. We also have old fashioned paper receipts (with a carbon copy for the tenant) and will take everything. For credit cards we'll use the old fashioned slide card imprint thing, but you can use the old fashioned receipt and put the cc info on back and let them know once the power comes on you'll run it and they'll get their email/digital receipt then and you'll shred your copy of their information.
    Don't be so hard on yourself. The mom in E.T. had an alien living in her house for days and didn't notice.

    WA State

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    • #3
      I use Silelink too and experienced the same issues. I'll take cash or check payments and issue a hand-written receipt. I don't have the old-fashioned card swipe thing like Kris does, and most of my tenants will not allow their card numbers to be written on anything, even with a promise to shred later. Printing a report every week is a good idea, and I've thought about doing it, but never do. Probably because I'm not as busy as other facilities and it seems like a waste of paper and toner. The whole time Sitelink was down yesterday, I had one tenant come in wanting to know when he was paid thru.
      Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by DairyGirl View Post
        I use Silelink too and experienced the same issues. I'll take cash or check payments and issue a hand-written receipt. I don't have the old-fashioned card swipe thing like Kris does, and most of my tenants will not allow their card numbers to be written on anything, even with a promise to shred later. Printing a report every week is a good idea, and I've thought about doing it, but never do. Probably because I'm not as busy as other facilities and it seems like a waste of paper and toner. The whole time Sitelink was down yesterday, I had one tenant come in wanting to know when he was paid thru.
        Well, yes, cash payments are easier to handle. And as for credit cards, then yes, me too, I haven't seen that swiping paper machine for ages. Plus I don't think our customers will feel comfortable with any of us making a paper copy of their card. Most people use chip-and-pin cards anyway and they even frown upon our antiquated setup with the electronic swiper, let alone doing it on paper.

        What I was mostly asking about is the way to use our database while offline? Is there a fallback app we can use for that? I am not the one who chose our accounting software. But when selling it those companies must provide some way to access our data while the Internet or their servers are down, don't they?

        As a wiorkaround I was trying to search with Microsoft Access to see if I can open it but I couldn't find any way to do it.

        Comment


        • #5
          If it's just an internet issue, you can work offline. It should be updated with most recent online activity and paid-thru dates so you will have some info to work with. One drawback is when you have internet again, any payments you did need to be entered again. If I remember correctly, new rentals can't be done when offline. I don't know if we can work offline with a server issue like we experienced yesterday. I didn't even try because I couldn't even get to the login page. I'm leaning toward Kris's idea of printing any necessary report(s) at the beginning of every week to have info on hand to give to tenants. Hope this answers your question.
          Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by DairyGirl View Post
            If it's just an internet issue, you can work offline. It should be updated with most recent online activity and paid-thru dates so you will have some info to work with. One drawback is when you have internet again, any payments you did need to be entered again. If I remember correctly, new rentals can't be done when offline. I don't know if we can work offline with a server issue like we experienced yesterday. I didn't even try because I couldn't even get to the login page. I'm leaning toward Kris's idea of printing any necessary report(s) at the beginning of every week to have info on hand to give to tenants. Hope this answers your question.
            Well, yes, printing everything is one way to go. Kinda wasteful though. It will take multiple pages. Plus how often do we need to do it? Every day? I don't think our info will be relevant on Saturday if it was printed on Monday. Also we're in 2018, almost 2019 now. Aren't we supposed to have software solve all those problems now

            I'm not sure what you mean by saying that we can work offline. Can you show how? In our case it was totally borked up. I actually made a screenshot. It will first show this and then the screen will go totally blank and stay that way:





            I tried calling support phone line and it told me "the line is not in service." So I had to email it. That is why I started thinking, "what are we gonna do if it never comes back."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by bnr_manager View Post

              Well, yes, printing everything is one way to go. Kinda wasteful though. It will take multiple pages. Plus how often do we need to do it? Every day? I don't think our info will be relevant on Saturday if it was printed on Monday. Also we're in 2018, almost 2019 now. Aren't we supposed to have software solve all those problems now

              I'm not sure what you mean by saying that we can work offline. Can you show how? In our case it was totally borked up. I actually made a screenshot. It will first show this and then the screen will go totally blank and stay that way:





              I tried calling support phone line and it told me "the line is not in service." So I had to email it. That is why I started thinking, "what are we gonna do if it never comes back."

              SiteLink Services Incident Update
              Data Center Disruption
              Current Status: Service Disruption
              Current State: Investigating
              Started: 12/26/2018 1:52pm (-0500) EST
              Affected Services: SiteLink API (3rd Party Integrations), SiteLink Data Centers, SiteLink Merchant Services, SiteLink Servers

              Update Message:
              We are investigating a service disruption at our Raleigh data center. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
              Manage Your Subscription | Visit Status Page

              I got that same message. Above is one of the emails I received yesterday about the outage. Since it affected their servers, and everything else, there would have been no way to access any tenant information. I'm sure it's possible to export a report to be able to access it elsewhere w/o having to print it; I've never tried it though. Usually, if you have no internet connection but try to log on, it will ask you if you want to work offline. In this case, we had no choice but to wait it out.
              I agree about printing a large report being wasteful, mine is 13 pages. That's a lot of toner and paper for something that I may never use that week. The Occupied Unit Report, for example, includes the following: unit #, tenant name, unit size, rent rate, lease date, & pad thru date. You could cross off those that paid, and easily count the number of days a tenant is past due just with the info listed. You could also print/export a vacant unit list. We can't do move-ins offline, but you would at least have some info to give customers. I hope this helps.
              Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, Sitelink is down again. Appears to be the same issue as yesterday as the email I just got is identical to the one posted above. Yay!
                Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DairyGirl View Post
                  Yes, Sitelink is down again. Appears to be the same issue as yesterday as the email I just got is identical to the one posted above. Yay!
                  Or crap, yeah. I signed up here for email notifications. And just got this one:

                  The Raleigh data center has confirmed another networking issue similar to yesterday's event. Please do NOT force a live update and do NOT clear your site's local cache. This will not resolve the issue and will cause latency when once the data center resolves their networking issue. Continue to monitor status.sitelink.com for updates.
                  I'll try to print the report you suggested. Hope it prints!

                  By the way, Site Link users, any idea what's going on there?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Instead of printing the report, you can export it. I just tried it, and it works best if you save it as a word document. You could do it at the end of every day, or first thing in the morning and have current information to work with. You could even do it with your past due report and vacant unit reports.
                    Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DairyGirl View Post
                      Instead of printing the report, you can export it. I just tried it, and it works best if you save it as a word document. You could do it at the end of every day, or first thing in the morning and have current information to work with. You could even do it with your past due report and vacant unit reports.
                      Oh wow, thanks. Saving it in Word seems to be much better than printing. When printed it is quite cumbersome to use. It's sorted in some weird way, what looks like by unit number but then unit ten-one seems to be in front of one-one. Anyway, go figure. But most importantly in Word if you hit Ctrl+F you can search it by customer's last name or their unit number (which you can't do with a printed report.) It's not very user-friendly but at least better than nothing.

                      Also couple more advice for people dealing with all this cloud based bs that I learned yesterday:

                      1. If you have a credit card electronic swiper gizmo, like this one:

                      715dZ063YUL._SX425_.jpg

                      you can open Notepad and swipe credit card into it. This way you can have the card number in notepad and copy-and-paste it from there later when the online payment is back up and accepting payments. I'm sure it's not what credit card companies will be happy about, but at least you can run a customer's payment and not alarm them too much about making a carbon copy of their card. PS. Just make sure to close that notepad window after you're done with it without saving it.

                      2. If you ran a credit card payment in Site Link and it got "stuck", like it was doing yesterday, it may still show the credit card number in a grayed out window. To save it go to Start in Windows and search for Snipping Tool. Then make a screen-grab with it. This way you will have a credit card number to re-run later when the service is back up online.


                      Lastly, I'm still interested to know what's going on with their servers? If anyone learns anything please post it here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Is it STILL down? That's crazy!
                        Don't be so hard on yourself. The mom in E.T. had an alien living in her house for days and didn't notice.

                        WA State

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KrisinNC View Post
                          Is it STILL down? That's crazy!
                          It went down again briefly. Same issue as Wednesday. Sure would like to know what it is that affects the entire system.
                          Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DairyGirl View Post

                            It went down again briefly. Same issue as Wednesday. Sure would like to know what it is that affects the entire system.
                            Must have been connected to the nationwide Century Link outage?
                            Don't be so hard on yourself. The mom in E.T. had an alien living in her house for days and didn't notice.

                            WA State

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was pretty disappointed with this outage. We were down as well. I remember one of the selling points of Sitelink web edition being able to use software even if the internet went down since a local copy was stored on the PC. This was definitely NOT the case at all since the software would crash/freeze just trying to login with no way to get around.

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