Starting a new QB file to replace a bloated one
There are two Quickbooks files, the first belonging to my own business and the second belonging to one of my bookkeeping clients, that I intend to discontinue using at the end of 2009. I will create brand new QB files effective 1/1/10. The main reason is the huge size of the existing files (despite data compression), which results in difficulty and extensive wait times when backing up the files. Both files have close to 15 years worth of transactions.
With the goal of doing as much of my own homework as possible before asking for anyoneís help, below is the plan Iíve made for how to do this. Then I have some questions below.
1. Create a new company file with a different name than the existing file.
2. Export from the existing file, and import into the new file, all lists (Chart of Accounts, Customers, Vendors, Employees, Other Names, Items, Classes, Memorized Transactions, Templates, etc.)
3. Delete the elements in each list that I donít expect to use in the future.
4. Complete all December 2009 reconciliations in the existing file.
5. For each balance sheet account, enter the beginning balance as of 1/1/10 (or, for accounts with mid-month statements, the balance as of the reconciliation date in December 2009)
6. For each bank account, enter any outstanding transactions uncleared as of Decemberís reconciliation date.
7. For any transaction numbers that are automatically generated by Quickbooks, such as invoice numbers or estimate numbers, make note of the last number used in the existing file so I can manually start at the next number in the new file.
8. Export from the old file and import into the new file template copies of any custom-designed reports I want to continue using. (Iíve never done this, but I found a great procedure in a QB users forum, which Iíll be glad to share with anyone who requests it.)
9. Review and revise the chart of accounts as appropriate.
10. Enable my own checking account for online download through bank. (Client doesnít use this service.)
11. Rename the old file so that no one can open it accidentally and start entering transactions, perhaps by inserting the word OBSOLETE at the front of the file name.
12. Set up preferences in the new file.
13. Back up the new file, in case I discover after I begin to enter data that I messed something up and need to start again.
14. Heave a sigh of relief, I hope.
A. Is there any reason NOT to do this?
B. Is the above plan comprehensive? Did I miss anything?
C. Is there any way to simplify step 2? Or, rather, any way to avoid the export/import process? It seems to me that I remember an incident many years ago when I made a copy of a QB file with lists intact but stripped of all transactions. I havenít found anything to indicate this is possible, though, so I could be misremembering.
D. Although I use several of them, it has been so long since I have enabled any Quickbooks account for online services that I actually forget whatís involved in step 10. I see that the command is located under AccountóEdit AccountóSet up Online Services. What information must I have with me when I get ready to do this step? Also, do I have to disable the account in the existing file before I can enable the account in the new file?
E. Files are currently in Pro 2009, and I donít have definite plans to buy Pro 2010. But the ďdata entry in a tableĒ feature thatís new in Pro 2010 is something Iíve wanted for years. Any concern I should have if I do buy 2010 and create the new files in that program, especially in terms of exporting from 2009 and importing into 2010?
F. Any other helpful advice? (Howís that for an open-ended question?)
Thanks for any input!
Wow, you've really done your homework.
You seem to have it covered pretty well, but I'd suggest the following:
Leave the online banking thing, at least for the moment. It's been the subject of many threads in this forum, so don't give yourself the complication until you've got everything else settled.
In step 5 you'll need to enter outstanding transactions for A/R and A/P.
In step 11 I'd also change the colour scheme of the old file (to something hideously noticeable) and change the name in the company info section to "*** OBSOLETE OLD FILE ***", and maybe change the user name and password.
It would be really helpful to others if you could make notes of anything that comes up during the process and report back.
Accounting and bookkeeping support, QuickBooks Pro Advisor
Home and small business computer services in Northampton, UK
Last edited by RobJoy; 11-06-2009 at 05:44 AM. Reason: rephrased
Thanks you for those great suggestions -- I have incorporated them in the revised list below. Also, since I posted my original question, I found out that it IS possible to make a copy of a QB file that retains all lists but deletes all transactions. I have incorporated that change also, and incorporated the report template procedure, changed the order of some items, and and made some other language changes so it reads more like a procedure.
The resulting list is here:
Procedure for Starting a New QB file beginning 1/1/2010
1. Complete all December 2009 reconciliations in the existing file.
2. Make a copy of the existing QB file with a different name than the existing file. (For instance, New_ABC_Co.qbw)
3. Open the new file, and choose File – Utilities – Clean Up Company Data – Remove all Transactions. (QB may force you to make a backup before proceeding.)
4. Delete the elements in each list (Chart of Accounts, Customers, Vendors, Employees, Other Names, Items, Classes, Memorized Transactions, Templates, etc.) that you don’t expect to use in the future. This will probably mean deleting all inactive elements and possibly some active elements.
5. Review and revise the chart of accounts as appropriate.
6. For each balance sheet account, enter the beginning balance as of 1/1/10 (or, for accounts with mid-month statements, the balance as of the reconciliation date in December 2009)
7. For each client or vendor with a non-zero A/R or A/P balance, enter the balance in the new file.
8. For each bank account, enter any outstanding transactions uncleared as of December’s reconciliation date.
9. For any transaction numbers that are automatically generated by Quickbooks, such as invoice numbers or estimate numbers, make note of the last number used in the existing file so you can manually start at the next number in the new file.
10. Export from the old file and import into the new file template copies of any custom-designed memorized reports you want to continue using, as follows: (a) In the list of memorized reports in the existing file, right-click on each report you want to continue using, then choose Export Template, (b) Save each file to a suitable location on your hard drive. (c) In the new file, open the memorized reports list, right-click anywhere, and, for each template you saved, choose Import Template, navigate to the template on your hard drive, and click Open. Keep the same name or rename it for your current list if you prefer. The exported report templates will now be in the new file’s list of Memorized Reports.
11. You’ll need to keep the old file around for a while so you can view 2009 transactions when needed. To prevent anyone from accidentally opening the old file and entering or revising transactions, do the following (a) Rename the file by inserting the word OBSOLETE at the front of the file name. (b) change the color scheme to something hideously noticeable, (c) change the name in the company info section to "*** OBSOLETE OLD FILE ***", and (d) change the user name and password. Transactions will still be viewable, but only someone who is totally oblivious would attempt to enter or change transactions.
12. Set up preferences in the new file.
13. Enable any accounts (as applicable) for online download through bank.
14. Make a backup copy of the new file before you begin data entry, in case you discover after you begin to enter data that you messed something up and need to start again.
15. Heave a sigh of relief!
One other option, if I may add it, is our Super-Condense Service for QuickBooks data files. We can shrink big QBW files down as much as 45%.
This last weekend, we took a 1.2GB Enterprise 7 QBW file and reduced its size by 400MB, as one example. We will analyze your file for free to see what we can do with it, and then you can decide if its worth it. Contact me for details.
Thanks for itemizing steps for a manual recreation!
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