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?

RELATED: My QuickBooks File Is HUGE? What Can I Do?

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.

If you ever need to restore a really old backup of your QuickBooks company, you might be worried about how that will work.

Fortunately, most of the time, the old backups restore without any issues. You just do the “Open or Restore Company” command and restore it just like you would a current backup.

Of course, in lots of cases, the old data was originally created with an old version of QuickBooks – a version you no longer use.

That’s OK most of the time. Whenever you restore a backup in QuickBooks that was originally made with an older version, QuickBooks will automatically update the data to the currently installed version. When the restore process is completed, the update process is completed too, and your data is ready to go.

Sometimes, if the jump between versions is really big (restoring a QuickBooks 99 company under QuickBooks 2012, for example) then there can be restore/update problems. And sometimes there is data corruption (unknown to you) in the old file that would prevent the data from restoring and being updated.

In situations like these, data can be repaired and updated for you.

Here’s a hitch we have heard of: You can’t restore an old backup to a computer running an even older version of QuickBooks. For example, trying to restore a backup made with QuickBooks 2009 on a computer running QuickBooks 2008. That won’t work. QuickBooks can restore backups made from prior versions, but not future versions. In the scenario I described, you’d have to get a copy of QuickBooks 2009 or later to restore a QB 2008 backup.

In most cases, however, old data will restore just exactly as you wish it would.

CAVEAT: One final word of caution when restoring old backups — don’t overwrite your current file. People sometimes do this, not thinking about the implications. If you replace your current file with the old file, then all you’ll have available afterwards is old data. People sometimes call me up and say that their company is now missing a couple years’ of records. Many times, it’s because they restored a two year old backup and that’s all they have available now. Sad! Don’t do that!

I got a nice note last week from Jon Kraut of LogoFit (name used by permission).

He said this about our QuickBooks data repair services:

“Shannon and his team did a great job for us, fixed a difficult database error when Intuit tech support wouldn’t. The communication during the process was very good as well. We recommend them for database repairs.”

I was glad that Jon was pleased with how things turned out. But I was especially happy that he thought we did a good job of communicating during the process.

Customer communication is something we really want to shine at, and it’s nice when the client affirms some success for us in that area. Whether it is communicating by phone or email, we try to be prompt, polite, and reliable. And that applies to initial inquiries, job status reports for working cases, and post-repair follow up.

It just makes things work out better for everyone when the communication lines are open and working. Thanks for the feedback, Jon.

When my daughter lived in Taiwan, I learned a little about the Chinese Zodiac. Basically, depending on your birth year, you are associated with a certain animal — and its traits — within the ancient Chinese tradition. While my daughter, a “rabbit” by birth, lived in Taiwan, it was the “Year of the Rabbit” — an “auspicious time” for all rabbits like her. But then Chinese New Year came along and the Year of the Rabbit gave way to the Year of the Dragon.

How about moose? There are no moose in China. There ARE moose in Colorado. I just had never seen any. Until last week, that is.

I took the family over Cottonwood Pass last week to have a picnic supper over at Taylor Reservoir. About 3/4ths of the way down the Gunnison county side, there was a moose browsing in the grass amongst the lodgepole pines. “Look, a moose!” We all stopped and gawked like tourists. Awesome! After living 18 years in Colorado, the moose drought was broken.

And when it rains, it pours, they say.

On Saturday, we were driving I-70 and coming up to the first exit for Frisco. I became aware of what I thought at first was a skinny horse, bay colored, dancing around in the middle of the freeway ahead of me. No, it’s a moose! Yikes! The poor critter wanted to cross the highway, but there was obviously too much traffic, so he was doing a little tap dance in the eastbound lanes. Fortunately, he came to his senses and bolted back off the road before I had to slam on the brakes.

Wow, two moose in one week!

Later that same Saturday, our business done on the Front Range, we were returning home via US 285. Just on the outskirts of Grant, lurking in an aspen grove, was (I’m not lying!) a moose. Again, for the first half-second, I thought I was seeing a bay horse. Nope. Moose.

A three-moose week — the “Week of the Moose”. An auspicious time? I’ll take it.

We were curious. So we evaluated all of the new members of the QuickBooks Forums so far this year, and tabulated the results by version.

chart of most popular versions of quickbooks
As tabulated by new member data in the QuickBooks Forums

What about editions of QuickBooks? We tabulated the editions that new forum members this year reported using. We limited that to users of 2012, 2011, and 2010 versions. Here’s the breakout:

graph of editions used by quickbooks users
Breakout by edition for users of 2012, 2011, and 2010 versions

“Other” includes Mac, EasyStart, and Plus versions.

Interestingly (to us, anyway), the proportion of Enterprise users to the overall share was much higher for 2012 version users than 2011 or 2010 users. Does that mean that companies that can afford the software and support costs associated with Enterprise can also afford to upgrade to the latest version every year? Perhaps.

Along that same line, the proportion of users using the Pro edition, 2010 version, is much higher than the comparable proportion using the 2011 or 2012 versions. Perhaps there is a greater cost sensitivity, and therefore a lower tendency to upgrade every year, with small business users of the Pro version.

What do you think? Would most Enterprise users upgrade every year as a general practice?

Sporadic errors are the trickiest to troubleshoot.

A nice lady in Canada called us this spring, reporting an error when she opened her company snapshot….SOMETIMES. She needed her data file fixed so it wouldn’t do that anymore.

She uploaded her file to us. We could not reproduce the problem, but did address some minor issues in her file and did a deep rebuild on the file. We sent it back to her.

She called us the next day. The error was back. We hadn’t fixed it. Darn! But she wasn’t angry, she was pleased!

“I can wholeheartedly recommend AccountingUsers, Inc. They spoke to me on the phone, which was a nice touch, and it put me at ease. Unfortunately my file was one of the 5% that are not recoverable, but they did give it a heck of a try, and they got my file back to me quickly. My credit card was NOT charged (as promised), so you have nothing to lose with giving this company a try! I hope I never have a Quickbooks data problem again, but if I do, AccountingUsers will be the first call I make.”
— Christine Kok, Always On Call Ltd.

It turns out that her problem started when she had converted from QuickBooks 2011 to 2012. So she did some uninstalling and reinstalling, and restored her pre-converted backup. The problem went away. Not the best solution, but not a catastrophe either.

How do you feel about doing business with “satisfaction guaranteed” companies versus the “pay no matter what” kind?