How to restart your QuickBooks company file

Overview of restarting your QuickBooks company file

If your QuickBooks company file has got too big and the archive and condense feature has not significantly reduced its size then you can restart your company file and retain some of the transaction history if you follow the steps in this support article. Essentially this involves creating a new company file and transferring lists and selected transactions into the new company file. You will need to use Zed Axis to export transactions from your old company file and import them into the new one.

Important note: We recommend that you spend some time practicing this approach and that you backup your company file regularly.  This support article is a guide only, if in doubt you should always consult a professional accredited QuickBooks Consultant or Intuit Advisor. 

Here are a list of Data Service Providers and restart consultants we recommend

Company NameContactDescription of data services offered
Behind the ScenesDebra KilsheimerDebra is a Florida based Intuit QuickBooks ProAdvisor who can assist in consulting on QuickBooks set-up, training and troubleshooting.
Q BalanceLinda SaltzLinda (QuickBooks ProAdvisor) specializes in solving problems with QuickBooks company files running slowly and large company files.  She provides a restarting service for your QuickBooks company (US based files).

It is important to considered carefully the following;

  • Opening Balance date and the Start Date (the date that you will start using your QuickBooks file on a day to day basis), many choose the Opening Balance date as your companys financial year start but it is important to be aware of how much detailed transaction history you want and can manage to transfer into the new company file.
  • Setup and configuration of your company file - Restarting a company file means that you will have to reset many of the company file setup and customisations, for example, users, screen customisations, preference settings, memorised transactions, memorised reports and customised templates, although some of these can be exported and re-imported into the new company file it is worth making a note of these and assessing the likely impact.

Stage One:  Setting up a new company file and lists

Before you start: Check to see that the company preferences is is on accrual basis and verify, and rebuild and backup the original file.

  1. Export your lists from your old company file, in QuickBooks go to File > Utilities > Export > Lists and save the file to your desktop.
  2. Start a new QuickBooks company file, skip the main interview and select No Chart Type, and turn on the Sales Tax Preference if required
  3. Import the lists from your old company file, in QuickBooks go to File > Utilities > Import > Lists , and correct errors if they occur.

Stage Two: Transferring open transactions prior to the opening date

You will need decide how much transaction history you want to bring across from the old file, we recommend that you keep this relatively small since large volumes of data may take a long time to transfer.

  1. Export your open or unpaid accounts payable (bills etc.) and accounts receivable (invoices, etc.) transactions from your old QuickBooks company file using the Zed Axis - Exporter module into a spreadsheet or text file and save them to your desktop, you can filter by a transaction date range, and select a filter for transactions that are unpaid.
  2. Import the transactions from your text files or spreadsheets into your new company file using Zed Axis, for more information about this search the knowledge base articles or watch the demo movies.  If you experience errors when importing transactions into QuickBooks read the article Troubleshooting importing transactions into QuickBooks.

Stage Three: Setting Opening Balances

Once you have decided on the opening date for your new QuickBooks company file and you have all your open Payable and Receivable transactions you will need to make sure that the trial balances compare between your old file and your new file.

  1. If you are tracking inventory you will need to import an Inventory Adjustment to make sure you stock levels are set up and average costs are calculated.
  2. Print the trial balance for the closing date of old QuickBooks company file.
  3. Set up a opening balance journal for the new file so that the opening balances match thin your old file, (you can do this in Excel and import it using Zed Axis).

Stage Four: Build up transactions from the opening date to the start date

If you are starting your new company file after the opening balance date then you will need to enter the transactions that have occurred since the opening balance date in order to have a complete transaction history.  You do not have to enter your transaction history before you start using your new QuickBooks company however it is important to remember that your account balances and inventory levels may not be accurate until you have entered your complete transaction history and are completely up to date.

Transfer the transaction history from the Opening balance date to the company start date using Zed Axis Importer and Exporter.

Export the following transactions, and set the transaction date filter for the Opening Balance date to the Start Date from your old QuickBooks company file. Save the files to an Excel spreadsheets or text files and give it a name that you can easily recognize

Then connect to your new QuickBooks company file and import the saved transactions.  To avoid encountering import errors you do not need to map every column follow the instructions on this support article if you do experience problems.  Follow the instructions here to ensure that payments are applied to the correct bill or invoice.

Note: If you use QuickBooks payroll, you will need to enter your historical payroll information so QuickBooks has year-to-date records of wages, salaries and entitlements paid to employees.  You will have to re-key this information as it is not possible to import pay checks or payroll amounts into QuickBooks. You are unable to transfer bank reconciliations from an old file to a new one, you will need to complete the reconciliations in the new file from your opening date, you will be unable to import pay slip transactions history into your new company file, you will need to set these up as year to date amounts.

By Steve Batten