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QuickTips for QuickBooks: Archive & Condense / Clean Up

If you have been using your QuickBooks company file for more than two years, you probably have historical details you rarely need to access. After two years you should have created needed reports as well as filed tax forms and tax returns.

When you no longer use these details on a regular basis, condensing your company date file summarizes the transactions and reduces the size of the file. If you later need to check the details of a transaction, you can restore the backup file (*.qbb) or open the archive files (*.qbw).


QuickBooks Delete Unused Lists Delete Never Used Inventory Parts Condense Closed Transactions Condense Closed Inventory Transactions Archive Company File
1999 - 2001 Yes Yes Yes No No*
2002 - 2006 Yes Yes Yes Yes** Yes
* QuickBooks 2002-2006 makes an Archive Copy of your .qbw during the condense/clean up process. You can use MS Explorer to copy and rename your QuickBooks 99-2000 .qbw as an archive file.
** Condensing a company file removes all inventory transactions until QuickBooks 2002-2006 detects one that cannot be removed. At that point, an inventory adjustment is created to reflect costs up to the date of the unremovable inventory transaction.





Q:  

How do I remove historical details from QuickBooks 99-2006?

A:  


Condense/clean up closed transactions and remove unused list records.

  1. Open your QuickBooks company file.

  2. For your previous fiscal year(s) (for example, 12/31/04 and earlier):

    1. reconcile bank/credit card accounts or verify you have previously reconciled all needed accounts.
    2. run reports (especially budgets) or verify you have previously run all needed reports.
    3. print forms or verify you have no forms to print (Choose Company > Reminders; in QuickBooks 99 choose Lists > Reminders).
    4. email forms or verify you have no forms to email (QuickBooks 2002 and later).

  3. Press Ctrl+1 to display Product Information.

  4. In QuickBooks:

    1. 2002-2006 note the Condense/Clean Up Information on the right side of the screen. "Last run" and "Last as of date" will display None or dates. If you use Inventory, "Last inventory deleted" will display None or a date.
    2. QuickBooks 99-2001 does not display Condense Information.

  5. Note the Total Transactions in the lower left (for example, 837).

  6. Choose OK to close Product Information.

  7. Choose Window > Close All.

  8. In QuickBooks:

    1. 2006, choose File > Utilities > Clean Up Company Data.
    2. 2002-2005, choose File > Archive & Condense Data.
    3. 99-2001, choose File > Utilities > Condense Data.

  9. You may receive the message, "Budget data may be removed during Condense. Do you want to continue anyway?" Choose Yes because Budget data will be preserved during the backup in a later step.

  10. Choose the date to remove closed transactions. For instance, if your fiscal year ends on December 31, enter 12/31/04. This keeps open transactions from previous years plus current year (2005) open and closed transactions in your condensed/cleaned up company file.

  11. In QuickBooks 2002-2006, choose Next.

  12. In QuickBooks 2002-2006, you have the option to select additional criteria for removing transactions:

    1. uncleared (unreconciled) transactions, such as bank/credit card
    2. closed transactions marked 'To be printed.'
    3. closed transactions marked 'To be sent.'
    4. closed transactions containing unbilled (unreimbursed) costs.

    In QuickBooks 99-2001, you have to complete steps a, b and d. For example, you need to reconcile accounts and print the transactions (or uncheck the print box on each transaction).

  13. In QuickBooks 2002-2006, choose Next.

  14. You can select additional criteria for removing data from lists. Check the "unused" boxes if you want to remove unused accounts, customers, and so on.

  15. In QuickBooks:

    1. 2002-2006 choose Next.
    2. 99-2001 choose OK. In QuickBooks 99-2000, you may receive messages about condensing information used in payroll forms. Because you are closing the previous fiscal year (2004), you should have filed all payroll forms. Choose OK if you have filed the payroll forms.

  16. In QuickBooks:

    1. 2006, choose Begin Cleanup.
    2. 2002-2005, choose Begin Condense.

  17. QuickBooks Information explains a backup file will be made.

  18. Choose OK to close the message.

  19. Note the backup directory.

  20. In QuickBooks:

    1. 2003-2006 choose OK.
    2. 2001-2002 choose Back Up.
    3. 99-2000 choose Save.

  21. After the condense/clean up finishes:

    1. note the archive filename and location in the "successfully condensed" in QuickBooks 2002-2006. For example, "Archive Copy 10-15-2005 sample_manufacturing business.qbw" (10-15-2005 is today's date, not the fiscal year condensed/cleaned).
    2. QuickBooks 99-2001 does not make an Archive Copy. You can use MS Explorer to copy and rename your QuickBooks 99-2000 .qbw as an archive file.

  22. Choose OK to close the "successfully condensed/cleaned" message.

  23. Press Ctrl+1 to display Product Information.

  24. In QuickBooks 2002-2006, note the Condense/Clean Up Information in the upper right. "Last run" and "Last as of date" will display today's date as "Last run" and your previous fiscal year as "Last as of date." As indicated in the introduction, the "Last inventory deleted" date may be earlier than the "Last as of date."

  25. Note the Total Transactions in the lower left (for example, 514 indicates 323 of 837 transactions were removed by the condens/clean process).

  26. Choose OK to close Product Information.

  27. If you use Budgets, run your current/next year Budget reports.

  28. If condense/clean up removed current/next year Budget data, you can:

    1. re-enter the current/next year Budget(s) in your condensed/cleaned company file.
      OR
    2. export and import the Budget data into your condensed/cleaned company file.

  29. To export Budgets in QuickBooks:

    1. 2002-2006, open your Archive Copy created above (for example, Archive Copy 10-15-2005 sample_manufacturing business.qbw).
    2. 99-2001, restore your backup .qbb to an Archive Copy (for example, restore to Archive Copy 10-15-2005 sample_manufacturing business.qbw).
      IMPORTANT: You must restore the QuickBooks 99-2001 backup to a different filename (*.qbw) so you don't replace your condensed .qbw.

  30. Export the Budgets to *.iif.

  31. Close the Archive Copy *.qbw.

  32. Open your condensed company file *.qbw.

  33. Import the current/next year Budget(s).

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