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?

Please follow and like us:
error

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!

Please follow and like us:
error

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.

Please follow and like us:
error

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.

Please follow and like us:
error

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!

Please follow and like us:
error

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?

Please follow and like us:
error

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.

Please follow and like us:
error

Have you ever educated yourself on QuickBooks using Google’s search autofill?

I asked the classic journalistic questions about QuickBooks in Google’s search box. (That’s who, what, when, where, how and why questions, y’all.)

The autofilled questions that popped up must represent some of the most fundamental queries people make about QuickBooks today. Here are the “journalistic” questions people are asking about QuickBooks as of today:

WHO

who uses quickbooks

Top query: “Who to use quickbooks”. These are literal search phrases, so the slightly-off syntax there might suggest how quickly QuickBooks is growing in the international market where English is not the first language.

WHAT

what does quickbooks do
Most of these questions strike me as ones being asked by people without a whole lot of bookkeeping/accounting background. QuickBooks has long been marketed as the accounting solution for non-accountants. These questions make sense in that context.

WHEN

when to reconcile quickbooks

WHERE

where to learn quickbooks

Interesting question about where QuickBooks stores data. Might need to post a new blog entry on that.

HOW

how to make deposits in quickbooks

We’ve written a lot about that first ‘how’ question.

RELATED: Two QuickBooks Users Deal with Very Large Files
“I Was Told to Re-create My File and Start from Scratch…”

WHY

why use quickbooks
We’ve written a lot about these questions too.

Feel free to search our blog for lots of common and not-so-common topics in QuickBooks. The blog search is at the top of this page.

 

 

Please follow and like us:
error

You buy a used Mustang. Cool. You buy a used TV. Great. You buy a used CD of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Greatest Hits. Awesome! (If you can find that old CD player!)

But you don’t want to buy a used copy of QuickBooks? Why? Because it won’t work, even if you know the original install codes. Actually, it might work for a little while, but you won’t be able to use it on an ongoing basis.

Why? Because you won’t be able to register it, and pretty soon the program will stop opening.

When you install QuickBooks software on your computer, you enter the install codes (the license number and product number) and that lets you open the program. To keep using the software, however, you have to register it. And if your copy has already been installed and registered by someone else, that’s a big problem.

Intuit (QuickBooks’ maker) knows who that copy of the software was originally registered to. When you try to register it (with the original install codes) on your computer, it makes you enter some of the original registration information. Then Intuit’s auto-verification system will confirm that it’s really you by sending you a confirmation code to the phone number or email address of record for that registration account.

And since that’s not you, you can’t get the confirmation code. So the QuickBooks registration process comes to a grinding halt. And so does the software.

That’s why almost all QuickBooks products for sale in the aftermarket are new, and any used ones are sold “as is”, with uncertain claims about registration history. QuickBooks doesn’t work used.

 

Please follow and like us:
error

Let’s say there’s a problem with your QuickBooks file. You get an error when trying to save an invoice or other information.

Or your balance sheet is out of balance. Or you verify your file and it says there are errors and you should rebuild.

How do you rebuild your file? What are the risks? Will it work?

Rebuild Data is a built-in utility in QuickBooks that can fix a lot of different kinds of problems.

It sometimes messes things up, however.

Therefore #1: Don’t run it as a routine procedure. (Running Verify Data routinely, however, is great.)

Therefore #2: Run it on a copy of your company data, not your live file. If you are having a data problems, create a copy of your file, or backup your company and restore it to a different name, and run the rebuild on the copy. It will be a test.

How do you rebuild your test copy? Log in to the copy of your company as Admin, then click File / Utilities / Rebuild Data.

 

It will close all open windows in QuickBooks, and then make you create a current backup (QBB file) of your data. (If you are set up to verify your backups, and verify fails, then you can check the “No Verification” option on the backup window. Otherwise, you’re in a Catch-22.)

After the backup is made, the rebuild will immediately commence.

To rebuild a file may take only a few minutes for a small file. But it sometimes takes a long time (hours) with a big file or a badly damaged file.

In older versions, you’d get a message at the end that says that the rebuild succeeded or failed.

With the 2017 version, you see this:

Click the View Issues button to see what happened. It will pop up a window with a report of what it fixed, or didn’t.

If rebuild succeeded and thinks it fixed everything, don’t pop the cork on the champagne just yet. Sometimes rebuild will significantly change account balances, or customer or vendor balances, without warning. So you should print out a balance sheet, a customer aging report, and a vendor aging report, and see if anything has changed.

Since this is a copy of your file, you can run reports from this rebuild copy, and then open your live file, run the same reports, and compare.

Pay particular attention to your balance sheet. Rebuild can change any account significantly, but especially check your inventory account, your accounts receivable and accounts payable accounts, and your bank accounts.

Check out your P&Ls also. They can sometimes get changed in unexpected ways.

Of course, it may be that the balances were incorrect before, and they are correct after the rebuild. But you want to be aware. Sometimes the rebuilt balances just don’t conform to reality at all.

Another fluky thing that rebuild can do, to your detriment, is to somehow disconnect transactions that should be connected. For example, a bill payment can get disconnected from the bill it paid. That reopens the original bill, and it throws off that vendor’s balance. That’s why you should check your aging reports and compare the rebuilt numbers to the original numbers. If a vendor bill got unpaid, as an example, then your aging buckets will be off.

If your review of the rebuilt file is favorable, then hooray! You can likely feel good about making the rebuilt file your main working file going forward.

But sometimes you might see this:

 

If rebuild did not succeed, don’t despair just yet. It means that you’ve got data corruption in the file that is serious, but you still have options. I suggest you approach your options in this order:

  1. Rebuild again, and yet again. It seems a bit strange, but if you run the rebuild command multiple times, it will sometimes fix problems that don’t get fixed in the first rebuild pass. I don’t know why. But many consultants in the QuickBooks world will confirm this by their own experience. Rebuilding three consecutive times seems to be magic sometimes. Again, do this on the test copy of your file, not your live file. And if it appears to succeed, check out the results per the paragraphs above before putting the file into production.
  2. Restore your last recent good backup that was made before the problem occurred. This would be a backup or copy of the file that verifies without errors, where the balances are correct and the transactions are linked together properly, and doesn’t generate any runtime errors. If this backup was made a day or two ago, perhaps it wouldn’t be too inconvenient to rekey a day or two’s data.
  3. If you’re still in a pickle, get professional help. We have provided guaranteed data repair services to Quickbooks users since 2001, and our success rate is high. Intuit and a few other outfits can help as well. The “contact support” link in the rebuild report, per the screen snippet above, will get you into Intuit’s system, if that’s where you want to go.

RELATED: “We Were Told Our QuickBooks File Was Corrupted Beyond Repair”

RELATED: Some Data Problems We’ve Seen in QuickBooks 2016

Please follow and like us:
error