If your QuickBooks (QB) company file has been acting up lately, it may be trying to tell you that it is time for a tune-up. Just like your auto or computer, QB company files perform best if you implement regular tune-ups. If you have experienced any of the following issues with your QB company file, you’ll want to carry out some maintenance to keep things running smoothly.

  • Performance problems
  • Inability to execute specific processes, like upgrading
  • Occasional program crashes
  • Missing data (accounts, names, etc.)
  • Refusal to complete transactions, and
  • Mistakes in reports.

One of the most common reasons QB company files get corrupted is simply that they grow too large. If your business is growing rapidly or you haven’t implemented routine maintenance procedures to keep file size to a manageable level, this could lead to problems associated with corrupt files.

One step you can take to return files to a manageable size is to delete data that is no longer needed. I know this can be a frightening task for those of you who are used to holding on to items and data way beyond their useful life. As long as you approach this task in an organized and methodical way, you should be able to delete only the data that you truly no longer need. You should be aware that QB includes a Condense Data utility that can do this automatically, but the service comes with warnings, precautions and an extensive list of instructions. If all of that makes you nervous, and it should, give me a call.

In fact, I usually recommend against using the Condense Data utility in QB. Rather than take a reactive approach after your files have grown too large, I strongly suggest a proactive approach that involves instituting regular, monthly or so, preventative maintenance. That includes a regular check of your major Lists.

You can run the Account Listing report (Lists | Chart of Accounts | Reports | Account Listing). Use this report to check that all of your bank accounts are still active. If you see accounts that you no longer use or if there are duplicates, make a note of it and then give me a call. I recommend that you don’t try to “fix” the Chart of Accounts on your own. It can be tricky, and the Chart of Accounts is really critical, so it is worth taking extra time to make sure it is set up and structured correctly. Trust me; it will save time in the long run.

Another area to look at is Customers and Vendors. If inactive customers and vendors are still in your QB company files, consider removing them. Of course, you’ll only want to do this after you are certain your interaction with them is history. Use a similar approach to looking for inactive/closed Items and Jobs that can be deleted. Go through the other lists in this menu with a critical but conservative eye. If there’s any doubt, leave them there.

Additionally, the depth and complexity of your company files may have outgrown your current QB version leading to slow or poor performance. If you’ve expanded rapidly, you may want to look at upgrading your QB version.
And finally, make sure that your hardware hasn’t become outdated and is slowing you down. If you have any questions or need help in getting your QB operating at optimum performance, please give me a call.

Randy Randy J. Elder, CPA, P.C.

With nearly three decades of professional experience in public accounting, Randy provides his tax and accounting expertise to new and small businesses in a casual and friendly environment. Before founding Randy J. Elder, CPA, P.C., he held various positions with an international accounting firm, and with regional and local CPA firms. Randy earned his Arizona CPA license in 1988, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accountancy from Northern Arizona University.

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