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QuickBooks Tip – How Much Data Can QuickBooks Hold?

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how much data will Quickbooks hold?How much data can your QuickBooks company file hold before it becomes “stuffed”, overflowing like a file cabinet, and SLOW?  This is a very good question that most people don’t take into consideration — well because it’s software and should hold an unlimited amount of data.

QuickBooks Pro and Premier are designed for small businesses with 20 or fewer employees and annual revenues of less than $1 million per year, according to the latest information from the ProAdvisor certification study materials.  It is intended to store at least 2 years of detailed information in a company file – this allows you to compare your current business years performance with that of a previous year.

Quickbooks Enterprise is designed for larger businesses having 20-250 employees, needing up to 30 simultaneous users, stricter user access to financial information with 115 different permission settings, want to connect multiple locations, perhaps have remote workers, need to combine financial statements from multiple company files, and have more than $1 million in annual revenue.

How fast a QuickBooks file grows varies significantly from one company to another.  there is no “average” or “typical” company file size, since every business tracks different information.

How quickly a data file grows to “overflowing” will depend on the number of transactions that are entered, the amount of information entered per transaction, and the number of “links” per transaction.

For example, a company that enters 500 1-line invoices per month might find that their data file is smaller than another company that enters 100 5-line invoices per month.  Another example would be a company who usually receives 5 separate payments per invoice would have a larger data file than a company who receives one payment per invoice.

A good way to estimate the growth of your QuickBooks company file is to take the average number of monthly transactions (keeping in mind that an invoice, a payment and a deposit represent 3 separate transactions; while a bill and a bill payment represent 2 transactions), and multiply that by 2 KB to determine approximately how much your file will grow each month.  You can then take the monthly amount and multiply it by 12 to determine an estimated yearly data file size.

According to Intuit, QuickBooks can handle a maximum or 2 billion transactions, however, they do not state which version, (Pro, Premier, or Enterprise) this figure applies to.

In addition to estimated annual file growth and a maximum number of transaction that QuickBooks can handle, business owners must also take into consideration the maximum number of List items that QuickBooks can can accommodate.

The table below indicates the maximum number of items that can be held in individual and combines lists.

List NameMaximum Number of Items
(Simple Start, Pro, Premier)
Maximum Number of Items
(Enterprise)
Chart of Accounts10,00010,000
Items, including Inventory Items
Group Items can contain 20 individual items
14,500>100,000*
(29,000 in version 6.0 & earlier)
Job Types10,00010,000
Vendor Types10,00010,000
Customer Types10,00010,000
Payroll Items10,00010,000
Payroll Items per Employee Record25100
Price Levels100100
Classes10,00010,000
A/R & A/P Terms – TOTAL10,00029,000
Payment Methods10,00010,000
Shipping Methods10,00010,000
Customer Messages10,00010,000
Memorized Reports14,50029,000
Memorized Transactions14,50029,000
To Do Notes10,00010,000
Total Names – Employees, Customers,
Vendors, Unit of Measures and Other
Names – COMBINED
14,500100,000*
(29,000 in version 6.0 and earlier)
Sales Reps14,50029,000
Sales Tax Codes10,00010,000
Billing Rate Levels100100
Fixed Asset Items10,00010,000
Ship Via10,00010,000
Templates10,00010,000
Units of Measure10,00010,000
Ship To AddressesUnlimited (?)Unlimited (?)

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About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert


I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.


QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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