About Shannon Tucker

President, AccountingUsers, Inc.

What if you could reduce your big QuickBooks file’s size without deleting data. How great would that be?

But wait…Can you have your cake and eat it too?

There is a new feature that is built in to the Condense command starting with the 2019 version of QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Accountant, and Enterprise. This new feature will allow you to run the Condense command and ONLY remove the audit trail from the file.

Sometimes the audit trail makes up the majority of a QuickBooks file’s size. So the ability to remove it, and only it, might allow a user to significantly reduce their file size but still retain all other data.

For years, the built-in Condense command has offered users a way to reduce their file’s size. But many users reported that the command froze, or didn’t do much, or messed up the balance sheet.

That’s why for many years users have come to us to have their data supercondensed as an alternative to the built-in Condense command.

But now QuickBooks 2019 has a new take on condensing: Leave all the data except the audit trail. Will this be effective?

The main problem I foresee is that audit trail removal alone may not make the file perform any faster.

At least, that has been our experience. For awhile we experimented with offering a service to remove just the audit trail from QuickBooks files. We could reduce a file’s size by up to 50% that way.

But users complained that it just didn’t help speed up slow files. The process of saving invoices would be just as sluggish as before. Running complex P&Ls would take just as long as before. Verifying a file would still take as long, etc.

So even though on paper the process reduced the file, in actuality it didn’t make any noticeable difference in QuickBooks’ performance. And it’s all about performance, right? So we discontinued offering that service years ago.

I’ll be interested to run some tests on big files in QuickBooks 2019 to see if removing the audit trail speeds up slow files or not. If you try it, let me know your experience.

      RELATED: Why QuickBooks Files Grow (Fast)

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People often run into difficulties when they need to reinstall their QuickBooks software. Here are some of the most common scenarios:

You can’t find your installation CD. This is actually about the easiest problem to solve. Even if you can’t find your install CD, you can still download the software. As of today, you can download versions as far back as the 2011 version. Downloads are available for US, Canadian, and UK editions. Click here for the download page.

You can’t find your installation codes. This is a tougher one. If you are trying to reinstall a currently supported version, you can check with Intuit support and see if they will help you. Otherwise, you’re probably out of luck.

     RELATED: Why You Should Backup All Your Install Codes Today

You don’t remember your previous registration details. After you install QuickBooks, you have to register it for it to stay activated. Your install codes are associated with your registration details, and they have to match. The registration process has changed some over the years, but you might be required to know your Intuit account number, the originally registered phone number, email, or zip code that was used when you first registered QuickBooks. If you don’t know these things, you’ll have to check with Intuit support.

You want to reinstall your old version of QuickBooks on a new computer that is not compatible. Let’s get specific: If you are trying to install QuickBooks on a Windows 10 computer, you’ll need QuickBooks 2015 or later for it to work right.

     RELATED: Windows 10 + Older QuickBooks = Fail

There are workarounds for running older versions of QuickBooks under Windows 10 — see the comments section in the blog link above.

Have you run into other problems with reinstalling QuickBooks? Tell us your story.

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I spoke with someone recently whose QuickBooks data file had grown by 500MB in six months. Why is it growing so fast, they asked?

I’ve heard variations of that question from many people over the years. So here are a few things I’m aware of that can drive rapid file growth in QuickBooks:

* Increasing transaction volume. This makes sense, right? These days, business is good for a lot of businesses. If your business is growing and you’re plugging more A/R, more A/P, more payroll, more inventory transactions into QuickBooks than you have done before, then your file will grow faster than it has previously. This is a good problem…

* New transaction sources. I spoke with a client recently who has started importing lots of daily sales from Amazon into QuickBooks. This is pumping up their file size fast.

* Complicated transactions. The more complicated the transaction, the more file space it will take up. So invoices with a lot of line items will make the file grow more than invoices with few line items. Inventory-related transactions will take up a lot of space. Payroll transactions will take up a lot of space. Why? Because they are complicated and have lots of backend data connections to maintain. That translates to a bigger data file.

* Upgrading from an earlier version to a later version of QuickBooks. Seems like every new version of QuickBooks makes a file get bigger. If you jump up three or four versions at once, the size increase could be substantial.

Perhaps surprisingly, having large lists of customers, vendors, items, etc. doesn’t make the file much bigger at all. (But it might make your file perform more sluggishly.)

If your file is too big, you can have your file supercondensed, or recreated. Contact us if we can help.

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It’s ironic: A command in QuickBooks that you think will keep it healthy sometimes makes it sick.

I refer to the Rebuild Data command. You access it through File / Utilities / Rebuild Data. But wait, don’t click and launch it just yet!

Sometimes, in our opinion, the Rebuild Data command can damage a QuickBooks file to the point of being irrepairable.

The specific problem to avoid is one where the rebuild command disconnects payments from invoices or bills. This changes balances and is really hard to correct afterwards. See details about this problem here.

RELATED: Help! Paid Bills and Invoices Have Gotten Unpaid!

The Verify Data command, on the other hand, is harmless. You access it through File / Utilities / Verify Data.

The moral of the story is to verify often, but rebuild only as needed. And when you rebuild, check the results afterwards to make sure it didn’t make something worse (particularly A/R and A/P accounts).

Some users run the Rebuild Data command as a frequent, routine procedure on their file. We do not recommend that. But verifying your file frequently is a great idea.

RELATED: How Can I Keep My File from Getting Redamaged?

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QuickBooks 2015 is a great version. But it’s quickly going away.

Every May, Intuit retires their oldest supported version, to keep their three version support window in sync. So QuickBooks 2015 (all desktop editions) will have “service discontinued” (AKA “sunsetted”) after May 31, 2018.

I thought version 2015 was an unusually stable version, from the point of view of one who sees a lot of QuickBooks data problems.

Note: If you are not using any add-on services to QuickBooks 2015, you will still be able to use the QuickBooks 2015 software. But there will no longer be live support available for it through Intuit.

RELATED:  Handling QuickBooks Upgrades and Updates
How to Transfer Files from Older to Newer Version of QuickBooks

Hasta la vista, QuickBooks 2015!

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For the last fifteen years, almost every day I’ve been in the office, I’ve talked with QuickBooks users who are struggling with data corruption.

There are common scenarios, common causes, common errors, common end results, and I’ve written elsewhere about those.

But what are the options when one finds one’s self in a data corruption mess? I tried to think of every option..

  • Rebuild your file. Make a backup first. Click File / Utilities / Rebuild Data. This built-in command can fix lots of kinds of data problems. Use with caution though…
  • Restore your last good backup. “Good backup” meaning a backup made before the data corruption occurred. Hopefully it is a recent backup, and not much data reentry will be necessary.
  • Manually fix the file yourself. This is easier said than done, but it is possible sometimes, especially if the corruption is limited to just a few records, and you can find out what those records are.
  • Start over with a new file. This is obviously an option with serious disadvantages, but it is an option.
  • Get the file repaired by a pro. There are options there too…
    • Your local IT pro. Depending on their experience on the technical side of QuickBooks, they might be able to help. Even if they can’t fix the file directly, they are a great resource if you are not comfortable restoring backups (many people struggle with this!)
    • A QuickBooks Pro Advisor. Ditto above. Find an advisor here.
    • William Murphy. An Advanced ProAdvisor (and good guy) who has fixed a lot of damaged files. Details.
    • Intuit Data Services. In my opinion, IDS does a good job, but they are slow in their turnaround. They also only work on currently supported versions.
    • Let us help. Overnight or weekend service, guaranteed results, very high success rate. Details here.

“You fixed the Quickbooks file completely and quickly. My client is very happy with your service because you saved them many hours of data re-entry.” – Peter Salzman, CPA

 

“Great experience, got our file working in one business day. We sent it off to Quickbooks and they are still working on it, after a week and 4 days. I highly… highly… recommend going with Quickbooksusers.com. Thanks guys!” – Hunter Eddington, DATCS

 

“I appreciated how fast everything happened and the few details at the end were followed up on quickly as well.” – Connie Dueck, Tristar Dairy Centre Ltd

 

“Shannon was extremely fast with both our data repair and file condensing. He also answered every question I had in an incredibly timely matter. We couldn’t be happier with the service.” – Blake Selover, Air Designs

 

“Our experience was wonderful. I was having an issue that two phone calls and 4 hours with QuickBooks tech support did not help. You looked after my situation in a few days and all was fixed.” – Carolyn Cameron, Noggins Corner Farm

 

“The best service ever. Delivered what they preach. Will use them again if any problem.” – Patrick Faup, The Restaurant Group

 

“The data services and customer service received was excellent. I appreciated the quick responses, communication and turn around time of the file. Thank you for your assistance and efficiency during a crucial time of software repair.” – Marcy Ratcliff, C.N. Copeland Electrical Service

 

“No down time.  Massive data file repaired and condensed.  We are thrilled that we did not have to start a new company file and were able to keep the data years our CPA recommended.  Best customer service ever!  Did what Intuit and 4 business days of down time could not achieve.  These guys get it done!!” – Ann Mahoney, Bates Air Conditioning & Service Co Inc.

Learn about guaranteed data repair services for QuickBooks files here.

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A friend of mine recently had her hard drive crash with QuickBooks on it. She thought she had a good backup on an external hard drive, and additionally, a good cloud backup.

Turns out she had neither. All the copies and backups of her file were copies of corrupted data.

Fortunately, an outside bookkeeper had put a QuickBooks backup on a USB stick three weeks earlier. So “only” three weeks of data had to be re-input, instead of lots, lots more.

What went wrong? In a nutshell: One-generation backups. That means there was only one copy of backups to restore from.

In her case, both the external hard drive and the cloud backup were being updated from files on her hard drive. That’s fine as far as it goes.

But when the hard drive went down and was recovered, a damaged QuickBooks company file was then backed up to all the backup systems. And so any previously backed up “good” data was overwritten by “bad” data.

There existed only one generation of QuickBooks data. That’s bad.

It’s true that there were IT protocol errors made in the attempted recovery, but the vulnerability was always there: If you have only one generation of backups, you can get burned.

The best way way to backup your QuickBooks data with current technology is to backup to a cloud-based system. And that system must both automatically backup your QuickBooks data in real-time and keep many generations (meaning days) of backups available.

For example, with Carbonite, you can set it up to maintain a rolling 90 day window of backups. It will make a backup every day for 90 days before the oldest file “falls off”. If you need to restore a backup, you can go back as far as 90 days to look for an uncorrupted file. That’s pretty great.

Have you been burned by one-generational backup systems? Or saved by multi-generational backups? Tell your story.

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What did QuickBooks users read about in 2017? Of the more than 300,000 views our blog will receive in 2017, here are the 10 most-read articles from this year:

  1. How to Transfer Files from Older Version to New Version of QuickBooks
  2. How to Open QuickBooks When It Won’t Open
  3. How to Restrict User Access in QuickBooks
  4. How to Transfer QuickBooks from One Computer to Another
  5. What to Do When QuickBooks Is (Not Responding)
  6. How to Create a Customer Statement in QuickBooks
  7. 13 Steps to Implementing Job Costing in QuickBooks for Contractors
  8. Windows 10 + Older QuickBooks = Fail?
  9. User Permissions: What Is Possible, Impossible to Restrict
  10. 10 Common Mistakes When Using QuickBooks for a Construction Business

Thanks for reading in 2017! Be seeing you in 2018!

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QuickBooks Desktop 2018 was released to the public in October. What new features are being introduced? Are there some new capabilities you’ve been waiting for?

Here are some excerpts from online reviews by QuickBooks experts to help you get a handle on just a few of the most important 2018 distinctives. Click the links to read the full reviews.

QuickBooks 2018 Desktop: What’s New – Our Summary — William Murphy

Multi-monitor support (for up to three monitors) makes it easy to move a QuickBooks window to a different monitor than the monitor where QuickBooks was resident. It also means that pop-up windows associated with the working window will appear on the correct monitor. That means no more having to track down pop-up messages hidden behind an un-associated window.

Top 5 New Features Right Networks Customers Need To Know About QuickBooks Desktop 2018 — Mike Ferrigno, Right Networks

Past Due” Stamp — Nobody likes to think about a situation where they might not get paid on time, or perhaps not paid at all. But most accounting professionals and their clients can probably recall a time where they’ve written “PAST DUE” on an invoice… maybe you’ve even done it with a big, red marker – hoping that might help hurry things along.

With 2018, a neat new feature is available where QuickBooks can automatically add a “past due” notice onto overdue invoices for emailing or printing.

QuickBooks 2018 Security, Accountants and More — Charlie Russell

Merge Vendors. This provides you with the ability to merge up to 4 vendors at a time.

This is a change that will save you time and effort if you find that you need to merge multiple vendor records often. It isn’t something that I come across often (since I don’t do “cleanup” work), but apparently it is something that many accounting professionals have requested.

New and Improved Features in QuickBooks Desktop 2018 — Laura Madeira

Payroll Liability Payment Reminder. Helps make sure you and your clients are reminded of upcoming payroll liability payments. On the Home page, QuickBooks displays a red reminder badge seven days prior to the scheduled payment due date. This reminder prominently displays on the Home page, helping to increase peace of mind that future payroll liabilities payments are not missed.

Intuit Pushes Through Big Price Increases on QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop 2018 Edition — Scott Gregory

First wave of price increases starts October 2017. The list price of QuickBooks Enterprise Desktop 2018 was raised 10% for BOTH the monthly plan and annual plan options as of 10/1/2017. This is the first price increase on the subscription model since it was introduced in 2015. This pricing will apply to subscription renewals that come due in October 2017 or for new subscriptions that begin in October 2017.

So what do you think, users? Any of the new features particularly grab you?

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Last month we took a survey of what people liked most and least about QuickBooks. If you took the survey, thanks!

It is easy to summarize what people liked the most: More than half of the respondents said that they liked how easy QuickBooks is to use. Easy.

It’s a little harder to summarize what people didn’t like, so I’ll just list some categories of gripes:

  • Password requirements. Several people complained about being forced to use passwords. Kinda like seatbelts, I guess
  • Specific reporting limitations (e.g. Can’t print 1099-INT, G/L by class, no report totals)
  • Limitations on doing one thing in QuickBooks when someone else is doing another thing
  • Problems with crashes, freezes
  • Limitations on inter-company data transfers (can’t automatically split a trans across companies)
  • Limitations in functionality in QuickBooks Online compared to Desktop (e.g. backups, groups)

I can’t imagine anything relating to passwords ever reversing course and becoming more lenient until a new kind of security tech is distributed that makes the whole idea of passwords obsolete anyway.

A lot of those other things people complain about should improve over time.

Until then…ain’t QuickBooks easy?

Oh, one other thing. Almost no one complained about the price of the software itself. Nor did anyone commend the price of the software. Pricing perfection.

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