This is a great time of year to prepare your QuickBooks file for 2014.

If your file has gotten too big, slow, or unstable, why not take action now so that QuickBooks will work better for you in the new year? Big files have a tendency to get slower and less stable over time. File size growth is an inevitable progression if left alone.

If you get your file supercondensed, however, your file’s size will drop by 60-80%. You’ll notice that your bottleneck processes in QuickBooks speed up, and that QuickBooks will be less crash-prone.

If you are using QuickBooks 2012, 2013, or 2014, you can try running the built-in Condense command and see what it does. When it works, it works great. We hear from a lot of users, however, who have problems of one type or another when trying to run the built-in condense command. That’s where supercondensing comes into play: We can supercondense files that fail a regular QuickBooks condense.

When we supercondense a file, you upload your file to us and tell us what cut off date you want us to use. We remove almost all of the closed transactions dated before that cut off date. This will reduce the file’s size significantly. The file we return to you is smaller, faster, and more stable.

Your balance sheets and profit and loss statements for the years after the cut off date will be correct and your customer and vendor balances will not change. Your file will be not only small, but healthy: it will pass verify and rebuild without problems, even if your file fails those processes in its current condition.

If you need to run reports or queries for transactions before the cut off date, you simply open a copy of your original file that has been left on your system.

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 Interview/Case Study – QuickBooks User with Large File

Turnaround for supercondensing is over a weekend, so there would be no weekday downtime for your critical accounting operations.

Get more details about having your QuickBooks file supercondensed here.

 

QuickBooks being a bit sluggish for you?

Apart from adding newer, faster hardware (think solid state drives) or having your file supercondensed, here are some less obvious ways to possibly get a speed increase.

1. Turn off the built-in search indexing in QuickBooks. This is a company preference that enables you to do the quick, global search with F3. But that instant search capability comes at a price: slower performance for other functions, particularly saving new transactions. This is particularly true with very large files, or with version 2013 files.

So try this: Click on Edit / Preferences / Search / Company preferences. Uncheck the search box, or the search update automatically box, depending on your version of QuickBooks. Rebuild your file. Close out of QuickBooks, then open it up again. Are formerly sluggish processes faster? They might be. (If the rebuild step failed, your file has other issues.)

(Note: you can still search in your company file after turning off Search, but it will take longer.)

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2. Get rid of unneeded memorized reports. Some users save a bunch of memorized reports over the years that become irrelevant later on. Get rid of the memorized reports you don’t need anymore.

We have seen cases where QuickBooks performance slows way down if you have memorized reports numbering in the dozens. Not sure why this is exactly. Maybe QuickBooks pre-populates at least some of the information in the memorized reports whenever you save new transactions? Maybe. In any event, we’ve seen performance increases sometimes when you parse the list of memorized reports down significantly.

To delete unneeded memorized reports, click Reports / Memorized Reports / Memorized Reports List. Right click on any unneeded report and select Delete Memorized Report.

3. Delete the TLG file. The TLG file – transaction log file – is an auxiliary file that QuickBooks automatically creates and maintains alongside your main file. The TLG file doesn’t have to be there for QuickBooks to work correctly; it can be deleted without data loss. (It sometimes is useful in data recovery situations, however.)

If the TLG file gets very large — say, over 1GB — then it might start to slow down QuickBooks, especially when you are adding new transactions.

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The simplest way to delete the TLG file is to just make a verified backup of your file in QuickBooks. That will blank out the TLG file and start it over again.

You can simply click File / Create Backup / Local Backup, and click the Options button. Make sure that “Complete verification” is selected. Finish making the backup, and the TLG file will be reset to a blank file. (If there are problems verifying the file, contact us for help.)

You should make sure that your automatic backup system is backing up the TLG file in addition to your QBW file, in case you need it later. Or, you can just manually move it in Windows from its current folder to a backup folder that you have created.

Anybody tried any of these techniques? How did they work for you?

lady waiting at computerI had written before about when QuickBooks is “Not Responding”, particularly when doing data-intensive tasks on large databases. The “wait time” can be reduced by supercondensing large files, but even users of medium-sized files sometimes experience the “not responding” phenomenon.

I was watching the performance graphs in Windows Task Manager during a QuickBooks company verify (with the “not responding” message in my QuickBooks windows tab). Guess what? QuickBooks wasn’t using much CPU power or memory:

task manager screen during quickbooks verify
Verify not taking advantage of available computing resources

Why is that? Why didn’t it use more of my Intel i7-2600′s processing power? Why didn’t it want to use more of my 6GB of RAM? Dunno. It did have some peaks at about 22% CPU usage, but no more than that.

I was verifying a large company under Enterprise Solutions 12. Enterprise is said to take better advantage of extra RAM than Premier and Pro editions, and I think it probably does. But even so, it seems to me to be leaving lots of computing power on the table.

I’ve read about people doing hacks on their Windows registry so that QuickBooks uses more resources and things happen faster. Anybody tried that?

Also, I’ve read that if you keep your QuickBooks information on a solid-state drive (SSD), that speeds things up quite a bit — your hard drive is kind of like extended memory, so there is no mechanical movement associated with reading and writing data. Anybody have a word of experience on that?

Otherwise, as far as QuickBooks itself is concerned, here’s my wish: that future versions use more memory and processor resources than currently available versions do. That would save us — millions of QuickBooks users and pros — a lot of time. Just an idea.

I talked with Karter Kenney, of Pioneer Broadband, about the challenges of running a large company data file in QuickBooks. He told me how he dealt with QuickBooks performance problems by having his file supercondensed.

Shannon Tucker: Karter, can you tell me a little about your company, and your role there?

Karter Kenney: Pioneer Broadband is an Internet Service Provider deliver high speed internet via Fiber, DSL, and Fixed Wireless. I am one of the founding members and now am the VP of Finance

Shannon Tucker: What edition of QuickBooks do you use? And what does your office use QuickBooks for?

Karter Kenney: We are using Quickbooks Enterprise. All billing, A/R and A/P.

Shannon Tucker: Were there any particular things that led up to your contacting us about your QuickBooks file? How was QuickBooks working for you before?

Karter Kenney: Before contacting you, our QuickBooks was crashing constantly and very, very slow to do anything.

Shannon Tucker: What did you hope would result from getting your file supercondensed? Did you have any particular expectations?

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Karter Kenney: I was hoping for more stability and faster reaction.

Shannon Tucker: What was the process like…the steps you took to send your file, the scheduling and turnaround, etc.?

Karter Kenney: As easy as it could possibly be. Took mere minutes to create the portable backup on Friday afternoon, and I got an email Sunday night that the work was complete. Restored the file Monday morning.

Shannon Tucker: How did your supercondensed QuickBooks file work for you when you got it back from us?

Karter Kenney: I cannot put into words how much better it works. It exceeded my expectations tenfold. I knew that QuickBooks had slowed down over the years, but forgot just how fast it could be. We have not had QuickBooks crash once since the supercondense. It was worth every penny.

Shannon Tucker: Thank you, Karter.