How to Clear Old Transactions in QuickBooks

By Avery Martin

QuickBooks provides professional level accounting software that abides by the industry standard for financial bookkeeping. Essentially, this means that when transactions have been entered, you should void and not delete the transactions. Voiding a transaction keeps a record of the transaction so that you can review removed transactions. This can be useful during an audit or to catch theft within your company. You can also delete transactions, if you're sure you don't need to keep records. Finally, you can condense your data and clear any transactions that appear before a date you specify.

Void or Delete Transactions

Click the "Customers," "Vendors" or "Employees" menu and select the equivalent Center from the drop-down menu.

Click a transaction you want to void or delete.

Click the "Edit" menu and select the void or delete transaction option, depending on your needs.

If you voided the transaction, click "Save & Close" to close the window or "Save & New" to save and enter a new transaction. Otherwise, if you selected the delete option, click "OK" to confirm that you want to delete the transaction.

Condense Data

Click the "Reports" menu, "Company & Financial" and "Open Invoices." Make a list of any invoices that haven't been closed. Close these invoices before running the condense data utility if you want to clear these transactions.

Select the "Reports" menu, "Vendors & Payables" and "Unpaid Bills." Close any bills that appear in the report.

Click the "Reports" menu and "Customer Transaction Detail." Select the "Uncleared Transactions" detail to see any uncleared transactions and use the reconcile tool to reconcile them.

Click "File," "Utilities" and "Rebuild Data." Click "OK."

Choose "Local Backup." Click "Options" and select a location for your backup.

Click "Complete Verification," "OK" and "Next."

Enter a filename for the backup and click "Save." Click "OK."

Close and restart QuickBooks.

Click "File," "Utilities" and "Condense Data."

Complete the information requested by the prompts in the wizard and select a date range for your company file.

Select "Chart of Accounts" and any other accounts you want to include in the condense data process.

Click "Begin Condense" to start clearing your old transactions.


Certain types of transactions can't be condensed, including transactions that aren't properly linked to each other or payments to undeposited funds that haven't been deposited to a bank, estimates, sales not paid with the Pay Sales Tax feature, or transactions that have an invoice and payment spanning over the condense payment cut-off date. Payroll can be condensed if it is from a previous year.

Information in this article applies to QuickBooks 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.