How to Clean Up QuickBooks Data
Over time, with a lot of transactions, your company file can become large. Handling a large file usually isn’t a big deal, but QuickBooks offers the opportunity to clean up a file if you have a large number of accounts or transactions. Cleaning the QuickBooks data file creates an archive of the data, erases a lot of the audit data in your company file, replaces detailed transactions with general journal entries, and erases no longer used accounts. This can prevent you from running certain detailed reports required for taxes and other records, so you want to use caution when cleaning up a QuickBooks data file.
There are limited times you would want to use this function since it erases so much data:
- You are nearing the 14,500 record limit for customers. QuickBooks has a 14,500 record limit for certain lists such as customers or vendors. If you’re nearing that limit and you have customers from years ago, you may want to use this feature to remove old customers.
- You have very old records you want to archive. If you’ve been using QuickBooks for many years, you may want to archive off old data and clean up your current file.
For most people, we recommend to not run clean up on your data file. It just simply isn’t necessary for most companies.
Before running this utility, we recommend creating a backup copy of your company file. During the process, QuickBooks will ask you to run a backup, but we always tend to be safe, rather than sorry.
- Click on the File menu and select Utilities and then click on Clean up company data…
- First, QuickBooks asks your permission because budget data may be deleted during the cleanup. Click Yes to continue.
- Next, you’re given two choices. You can either select to Remove transactions as of a specific date – removing all of the transactions prior to that date – or you can Remove ALL transactions. Basically, this will remove individual transactions and just summarize the transactions. Click Next to continue.
- If you’d like to select additional criteria, do so, and then click Next.
- If you have unused items, you may want to remove those as well. For example, if you cleanup transactions and you no longer have transactions for a certain vendor, you may want to delete that vendor. If you’d like to select options here, do so and then click Next.
- Click on Begin Cleanup to start the cleanup process.
- Click OK to create a backup of the company file.
- Click Next to backup the company file.
- Select the location for your backup and click OK.
- Create your backup filename and location and click Save.
- QuickBooks will backup your file, then cleanup your company file. When it’s finished, click OK to continue.
Under some circumstances, you may find yourself needing to cleanup your QuickBooks company file. This section of the QuickBooks Maintenance tutorial showed you how to clean it.