Condensing data in pre-QBi QuickBooks

Legacy KB ID: 292

Question

What does condensing data do and how does it work?

Answer

Please review this entire article before condensing your data, so that you have a good understanding of how the QuickBooks condense data feature works and what its limitations are. Please note that condensing data will NOT: * Significantly reduce the size of your company file. * "Archive" your data for easy future retrieval. If you intend to accomplish any of the aforementioned tasks by condensing, you may be disappointed with the results. Please see Starting over with a new company file and Making QuickBooks run faster and improving system performance for conservative alternatives to condensing your data. What happens when I condense my data? When you condense your data, QuickBooks deletes the transactions you no longer need and replaces them them with new transactions that summarize (by month) the deleted transactions. You specify the ending date for the period of time you want to condense; transactions dated after this date are not affected. Of the transactions dated on or before this date, QuickBooks deletes and summarizes only those that have no effect on transactions dated after the ending date. For example, if an invoice has been paid in full, QuickBooks deletes the details and includes the amount in a summary transaction showing income accounts. Neither the customer name nor the items sold are retained. However, if an invoice is unpaid, QuickBooks leaves the invoice in your file so you can apply future payments to the invoice. QuickBooks will not delete these transactions during the condense: * Transactions with an open balance, including partially paid or unpaid invoices, undeposited customer payments, unpaid bills, and unused credit memos. * Transactions linked to another transaction with an open balance, for example an undeposited customer payment that was applied to an invoice. Although the invoice is paid, QuickBooks will not delete the invoice because it has a link to an open transaction (the undeposited payment). * Transactions not marked as cleared, including unreconciled transactions checking, credit card, asset, liability, and equity accounts. * Transactions marked "To be printed," including in invoices, bills, credit memos, sales receipts, and checks in which you selected the To be printed checkbox. (To find these transactions, choose Print Forms from the QuickBooks File menu.). How does QuickBooks condense data? QuickBooks first creates general journal entries in each account for the total amount of the transactions being deleted, then deletes the transactions. Except for transactions that affect the value of your inventory, you can identify these entries by looking for GENJRNL in the Type field in your registers. There is usually one GENJRNL transaction for each month in which QuickBooks deleted transactions. 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. What else do I need to know about condensing? * Once condensed, data cannot be uncondensed. For this reason, QuickBooks requires you to make a backup before condensing your data. * While QuickBooks is condensing data, you cannot use other applications. Therefore, you may want to condense your QuickBooks data when you can leave your computer running for an extended, uninterrupted period of time, such as overnight. * Inventory: QuickBooks will not condense inventory transactions or transactions that contain inventory items. * Estimates and time data: QuickBooks deletes only those estimates or time data that have a job status of "Closed," and deletes time data if it is marked as "billed" or "not billable." If you base your payroll on time data, you must also have paid your employees for the time. For example, if you billed your customer for the time but you have not yet paid your employee, QuickBooks will not delete the time data. Reports: * After the data is condensed, you will lose any cash basis or transaction detail reporting for that period of time. * You can still run summary reports for prior periods in the condensed data, but you cannot run an itemized or detail report because the transactions are no longer there. * You can still create reports that summarize financial activity for the period of time you condensed. For example, if you condense last year's data, you can still create profit and loss reports that compare last year's results to this year's. This is because QuickBooks adds summary transactions to your company file to preserve account balances. * You won't be able to create reports that show daily detail for the period of time you condensed. This is because QuickBooks deleted the individual transactions that would have provided the detail. In addition, you won't be able to create reports that show balances for individual customers or vendors over that period of time. * QuickBooks does retain information about each of your taxable items and your tax vendors so that you can get accurate reports about your tax liability. This is the case even if some of the transactions occurred within the period of time that you condensed. How do I condense my data file? First, make sure that you have read this article before you decide to condense your data file. Second, please see Tasks to be completed prior to condensing data in preparation for the condense. Then follow these steps to condense your data file: 1. From the QuickBooks Window menu, choose Close All. 2. From the File menu, choose Utilities and then Condense Data. 3. In the Condense Data window, enter the desired date in the Summarize transactions on or before field. * For example, to condense data up to the end of 2001, enter 12/31/01. Transactions dated 1/1/02 and later are not affected. 4. (Optional) After QuickBooks condenses the transactions, you may have list items that are no longer in use. If there are any unused list items that you wish to delete, select the checkboxes for those items in the Items to Remove area. 5. Click OK. QuickBooks displays a message stating that it will make a backup file before it condenses 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. If you are backing up to a 3.5-inch disk, be sure that you have a blank, formatted disk in drive A or drive B and that you´ve selected that drive. You can also change the name and location of the backup file. 6. Click Save to create the backup and condense your file. Once the condensing process has begun, your computer may appear to stop responding. However, as long as you notice activity occurring on your hard disk (whirring sounds or blinking lights), you can rest assured that your data is being condensed. The time required to condense your data depends on your computer´s speed, its amount of memory, the size of the company file, and other factors. Condensing can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.

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