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Are there any options for cutting down Quickbooks size?

For small companies, growth is not too significant, but for larger companies, especially where stock and invoicing are involved, the file size can grow hugely in the course of a year, meaning that reports and backups can take longer and longer.

Sage has an option to clear out completely older entries and significantly reduce the file size, but is there any equivalent for Quickbooks or any decently priced third party utilities that might do the same.

Ideally, I would like the option to take out all entries from a particular date on the nominal ledger, and replace any balance sheet items with just an opening balance. Quickbooks smaller sibling, Quicken (no longer available in the UK, but still active in the USA) could do that easily. Sage can do that. But with Quickbooks it seems that entries are kept in virtual perpetuity.






Cutting down QuickBooks size

Karen Warne | | Permalink

On older versions of QuickBooks there used to be a facility to Archive and Condense data but that seems to have disappeared at least on QB 2008/2010.


An alternative way round this would be to start a new company file each year and just put opening balances in - QuickBooks is multi-company so this would be possible.  If you named each data file as "Company Name/Year" you could keep track of old data that way but I think its a rather long-winded way round this issue.






jdstone's picture

cutting down

jdstone | | Permalink

You used to have an archive facility within QuickBooks, but from memory that ceased in the UK 2004 version.

Where clients had used it there were sometimes problems with the data, and as a firm of accountnts we tended to discourage it.

I have not tried this but I suggest that you have a look at http://www.q2q.us/index.htm - I have used their data transfer utility in both 2005 and 2008 versions and I achieved what was needed - the transfer of data entered into the wrong data-set, usually when a back-up had not been restored and then a load of sales invoices had been produced.

From reminding myself of what they have to offer their range of software should enable you to do what you want - it looks like there are even some detailed instructions to help youwith the task.

Needless to say this is a third party supplier, so there is a cost involved.

coolmanwithbeard's picture

Condensing Data

coolmanwithbeard | | Permalink

Up to 2006 there was a feature "Archive and condense" which said it did this, very rarely did it work well. I actually discouraged clients from using it.

As a result of your query I looked at 2010 and it has gone - nor is it in the help - see I hadn't missed it!!. A quick look online would indicate that US 2010 has it and so it may reappear at some point.

Depending on what comparatives you want and how complicated your data is you could start a new data file each year (or couple of years). Standing data is easy to transfer from one year to the next and this can include opening balances for suppliers and customers if done correctly.

It is not possible to import transactions into QuickBooks with the software as is but there are 3rd party tools that say they can do this - I have not mastered them!!

If you retain your existing file you will have access to all old transactions should you need them.






"Clean up company data"

Martin Telfer | | Permalink

I'm still on 2006, and "Archive & Condense" is still in the menu.  Intuit make no mention of it disappearing in the 2010 version and, if it has gone, that's one more reason I'm glad to be sticking with the 2006 versions.  There's some comment on the internet that in some countries the command has changed, and is now under "Clean up company data".  Could that be the case in the UK version?


Malcolm Veall's picture

Is VAT the fly in the Ointment?

Malcolm Veall | | Permalink

Am I right in saying that the main processing difference between US & UK versions is the building in of VAT?   Perhaps it is the archiving/condensing of this that is difficult for Intuit UK?

coolmanwithbeard's picture

Condensing Data

coolmanwithbeard | | Permalink

Martin - the new name is not there in 2010 and the functionality just appears to have been removed - whther it's the VAT or something else I dont know. It can't just be the move to SQL though as US versions appear to still have it. As I said in a previous post it may reappear. Perhaps someone from Intuit could comment?

If you are still on 2006 and intend to use the feature a couple of pointers:

Take at least two reliable back ups and keep them off the machine you will be working on - the process is very disk intensive and there is the possibility it could munch and ageing HDD.

The archive process takes a long time, dependant on the size of the original file and the number of transactions. If QuickBooks operation is mission critical to you or your client then do it over a weekend.

Only do it if you have a good datafile - one that is generally error message free and where verify reports no issues. If there are issues with your datafile this process will make them worse. If verify reports issues these must be sorted before you continue - if rebuilding the file doesn't work there are other things to be looked at.

Dont be overambitious with what you archive - i.e. don't archive 10 years at once.

Thoroughly examine the finished file, compare TB with the old file at a couple of year ends relevant to your archiving. Make sure you verify the finished file.

QB 2006 was patched to make it work on Vista/Win7 due to the software's illegal use of the registry - I dont know if this creates an extra issue or not but if you are on the later operating systems it may be another risk factor.


As a further thought try other methods to speed up:

an upgrade to 2010 - you can get a trial version - although the new data files are larger the software does run more quickly

a faster PC with more memory






Cutting QB down to size.

IanF | | Permalink

The facility in QB 2003 (and I believe QB 2006) did not reduce the audit file so it reduced the size by eliminating the figures (the interesting bit) but left the audit trail that was no longer relevant.  The effect was that file sizes did not reduce by nearly as much as they should.

We had an error with the foreign currency figures created by QB in the condensing journals which did not show up when verifying data in QB2003 or 2006 but which stopped verification in QB2010.  This prevented a straightforward upgrade.  Third party software used from the QB website did not work too well partly because foreign currency data was not available for export, I was told, so foreign currency values were estimated using home currency values and the exchange rate.  This often caused small differences.

Intuit seem to think that if a facility does not work well, it should be abandoned even though a small non-growing company will out grow QB  just by staying in business.  Their technical people in India tell me that Intuit are looking at this but feedback is lamentable and I am not yet confident that they will address the isue as they should.  It seems impossible to speak to anyone in the UK about these issues.

Another interesting effect is that in QB2010 when matching foreign currency credits to invoices, the exchange rate of the credit will be adjusted to match the invoice even if that credit is in a closed period in the previous financial year and that period is 'closed' to the user.  I do not think the ICAEW where aware of this when they gave their imprimatur.

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