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QuickBooks - how can I archive older years?

QuickBooks - how can I archive older years?

I've recently started working on a QuickBooks file with 20 years' transactions on it. I've previously converted old data to a tb for each year by using Utilities - condense data, but the 'condense data' option doesn't appear on the 2014 or 2015 versions of the programme I'm running. All the results of a Google search suggest using this function that doesn't exist, or the very unhelpful suggestions of starting a new company file (and losing the history), or deleting each individual transaction. Has anyone come across this problem, and if so is there a solution?

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04th Mar 2016 09:22

QuickBooks Archiving

The option to Archive and Condense the QuickBooks Company File disappeared when the software was upgraded from its old flat file proprietory database to the current relational database model in 2008.

Unless the number of transactions, customers or suppliers is truly huge, there shouldn't be any need to archive old stuff - just let it lie there.  You can always make redundant customers, suppliers, employees or even accounts inactive, so they simply disappear from view.  It's not of course an option to start deleting old transactions - that will simply screw up current balances.

Apart from limits to the numbers of transactions in old flat file databases, there were also storage issues relating to file sizes.  Back then, a QuickBooks company file size of 500Mb was considered large - nowadays it's fairly commonplace, and there are of course no longer any significant physical storage and backup issues relating to files of this size.  There are two housekeeping routines called Verify Data and Rebuild Data, which should be run every few weeks to check for broken or missing database links, and the Accountants Edition also has utilities for locating and matching open account balances.

If however it really is absolutely neccessary to reduce the file size, then there's no alternative to the "fresh start" approach, which will of course lose the transaction history.  I'd first export all the file structures (chart of accounts, customers, suppliers, items etc.) to a new file, then post in the trial balances for perhaps two years behind. This will allow comparative B/S and P&L reports to be run in the new file.  The open A/P and A/R transactions should be posted in individually so that payments in and out in the current period can be recorded against the transactions. This would all logically be best done at a year end.  For the first few months, maybe a year at most, it will be necessary to refer back to the old file for information purposes, but it's surprising how quickly the old data becomes more irrelevant as the business moves on.

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08th Mar 2016 20:05

Thanks for such a comprehensive answer. I'll have a go at tidying up lists and making obsolete items inactive - I imagine there will be a few of them knocking around after 20 years. Hopefully that will speed things up enough to avoid having to start again, however should it come to that, I feel more confident about tackling a new start having read your advice. And even after all that, I still prefer QuickBooks to Sage! Many thanks.

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