If your QuickBooks company file gets flippin’ big, it can start to slow you down. Invoices take a while to save. Reports take minutes to generate. Maybe QuickBooks randomly crashes.

What can you do? One classic approach is to recreate your file. A recreated file is started from scratch. Then you add in to it as much data as you need for it to be current and usable. Some companies do this as a regular procedure every three to five years.

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

How do you do it? First, you have to decide on a cutoff date for your new file.

The cutoff date represents the point in time at which you want to bring transactions and balances from your old file into your new file. The cutoff date is usually the end of a fiscal year.

Here are the general steps to recreate a company file:

  1. Create a new company file in QuickBooks
  2. Export from the old company, and import into the new company, all of your chart of accounts, customers, vendors, employees, inventory items and any other list items. If you want to clean up your lists, you can do so in Excel in between the export and import steps.
  3. Edit customers and complete their credit card number. QuickBooks only transfers the last 4 digits.
  4. In the new company, bring over all the open or pending accounts receivable and accounts payable transactions as of the cutoff date. The transactions you add in to your new company can be manually entered, or you can buy and use 3rd party utilities that can export and import certain kinds of transactions.
  5. Input all the outstanding checks and deposits for all your bank accounts
  6. Input all balance sheet and profit & loss year-end figures as of the cutoff date and verify that they are the same as in old set of books; make needed adjustments
  7. Input all outstanding sales orders, purchase orders and estimates
  8. Input all transactions entered after the cutoff date: invoices, credit memos, sales receipts, credit card receipts, bills, bill payment checks, checks, transfers, receive payments, deposits, and vendor credits
  9. Recreate all payroll checks
  10. Recreate all employees’ personal data — assign their earnings, taxes and deductions
  11. Set up each  employee’s year-to-date earnings, tax deductions, loan repayments
  12. Reset all government tax forms and sales tax payments
  13. Set up beginning balance inventory figures
  14. Adjust and re-reconcile all inventory after all data is imported
  15. Remove any inactive customers, vendors, chart of accounts, items
  16. Re-link credits, vendor credits and payments
  17. Re-reconcile all bank accounts and credit card accounts
  18. Re-reconcile all income accounts, expense accounts, asset accounts and liability accounts
  19. Re-reconcile A/P and A/R
  20. Recreate memorized reports
  21. Recreate memorized transactions
  22. Recreate templates
  23. Make sure everything balances to the last balance sheet from the old file and make any necessary adjusting entries
  24. Set up users and privileges
  25. Verify and rebuild the file; make sure there are no errors

Complicated? A bit. Time-consuming? Yep. But sometimes you don’t have a choice — you have to take action — things can’t go on as they have.

It’s better to plan and execute a company recreate before it’s an emergency.

Have you ever recreated your file? How did it go?

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