It is not uncommon for users to not have a regular plan for cleaning up the data file. This is an important feature of QuickBooks and one that should be used with care and caution.
Some reasons for using the Clean Up Company Data Utility include reducing the size of the data file, cleaning up unused accounts, items, customers and vendors. When you clean up your data file, QuickBooks deletes transactions that you no longer need, replacing them with new general journal transactions that summarize, by month, the deleted transactions. You can also choose to have QuickBooks clean up data by removing list items that you no longer need.
Which transactions are affected?
The ending date, specified for the period of time before which you want to remove transactions, has no effect on transactions dated after the ending date. For example, if your ending date is 12/31/09, all transactions dated 1/1/10 and later remain unchanged in your company file.
Of the transactions dated on or before the ending date, QuickBooks deletes and summarizes only those that have no effect on transactions dated after the ending date.
QuickBooks summarizes deleted transactions
QuickBooks creates summary general journal transactions for the transactions it deletes from your file. Except for transactions that affect the value of your inventory, you can spot the summary transactions by looking for GENJRNL in the Type field of your registers.
There is usually one GENJRNL transaction for each month in which QuickBooks deleted transactions. The transaction amount is the total of the transactions that QuickBooks deleted for the month. For a given month, the register may also show other transactions that QuickBooks did not delete. These are transactions that could be affected by transactions you have yet to enter.
The Clean Up Company Data wizard
The Clean Up Company Data wizard will lead you through the process required to clean up a data file. Before you begin, you should have available media for backing up your data and know that a large file will take a long time to clean up. Be sure to schedule this process when you can afford the time. Note: You will not be able to update any transactions that fall within the period you have selected to clean up.
1. Go to the File menu, choose Utilities, and then click Clean Up Company Data.
2. Choose a cleanup option. You can choose to remove all transactions as of a specific date or you can remove all transactions.
3. Continue through the wizard screens choosing items to be removed.
4. Click Begin Cleanup when you are sure you want to proceed.
QuickBooks displays a message stating that it will make a backup file before it removes the transactions. The backup file ensures that you will still have a record of the details of any transactions that QuickBooks deletes from your company file.
You can change the name and location of the backup file (QuickBooks suggests the name of your company file with a .qbb extension).
5. Click OK to dismiss the message and open the Back Up Company File window.
6. Click Create Back Up.
Before starting the cleanup process, QuickBooks:
• Creates a backup copy of your company file.
If you need to restore your company file to the state it was in before you cleaned up your data, use the backup copy to do so.
• Creates an archive copy of your company file.
If you need to view data that was removed from your company file during the cleanup process, use the archive copy.
• Verifies the integrity of your company file.
Once your data has been verified, QuickBooks begins the cleanup process.