How to Archive QuickBooks Company Files
By David Roberts
When a QuickBooks company file has had many transactions over a long period of time, the space taken up by the QuickBooks software increases. This can cause extreme slowdowns of the QuickBooks operating process. The solution to this is to archive the previous years of your company files. In older versions of QuickBooks, this process was called "archiving"; in the newer versions, it is called "clean up company data." This process condenses the prior year's company files by removing the details of each closed transaction, leaving only the totals.
Create and Save a Backup
Insert a flash drive or CD-ROM into the computer.
Click on the "File" button in the top menu bar, then select "Save Copy or Backup." You will be asked where you'd like to save this backup; choose the flash drive or CD-ROM.
Click in the "Name of File" box and type "Archived" before the extension. Click "OK," and the file will be backed up onto the flash drive or CD-ROM.
Archive the File
Click "File" on the top menu bar and select the "Utilities" option. When the next window opens, click "Clean Up Company Data."
Select "Remove Transactions as of a Specific Date." The date you choose will be the closing date; all transactions prior to that date will be condensed and the details of those transactions will removed.
Click "Next" to open the next window, where you will choose additional criteria for removing transactions. There are four options: remove uncleared bank and credit card transactions; remove transactions marked to be printed; remove invoices and estimates marked to be sent; remove transactions containing unbilled or unreimbursed costs. Click "Next."
Choose to delete items that have no transactions in the next window that opens. These items include accounts, customers, vendors, other names, invoice items and "To Do" notes.
Click "Begin Cleanup." Save the cleaned-up file to the desktop or external hard drive to keep working in QuickBooks.
- Accountants typically archive QuickBooks data after the fiscal year has ended. If you have a number of transactions that have not closed out, you may want to consider archiving transactions starting two years prior.
- Keep the backup file in a safe location in case you need to return to a specific transaction for details on a closed transaction.
David Roberts has been writing since 1985. He has published for various websites including online business news publications. He has over 11 years experience in tax preparation and small business consultation. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. He received a Master of Business Administration from Florida Metropolitan University in 2005.