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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 Name Maximum Number of Items
(Simple Start, Pro, Premier)
Maximum Number of Items
Chart of Accounts 10,000 10,000
Items, including Inventory Items
Group Items can contain 20 individual items
14,500 >100,000*
(29,000 in version 6.0 & earlier)
Job Types 10,000 10,000
Vendor Types 10,000 10,000
Customer Types 10,000 10,000
Payroll Items 10,000 10,000
Payroll Items per Employee Record 25 100
Price Levels 100 100
Classes 10,000 10,000
A/R & A/P Terms – TOTAL 10,000 29,000
Payment Methods 10,000 10,000
Shipping Methods 10,000 10,000
Customer Messages 10,000 10,000
Memorized Reports 14,500 29,000
Memorized Transactions 14,500 29,000
To Do Notes 10,000 10,000
Total Names – Employees, Customers,
Vendors, Unit of Measures and Other
14,500 100,000*
(29,000 in version 6.0 and earlier)
Sales Reps 14,500 29,000
Sales Tax Codes 10,000 10,000
Billing Rate Levels 100 100
Fixed Asset Items 10,000 10,000
Ship Via 10,000 10,000
Templates 10,000 10,000
Units of Measure 10,000 10,000
Ship To Addresses Unlimited (?) Unlimited (?)

Additional resources from around the web:

5 Responses to QuickBooks Tip – How Much Data Can QuickBooks Hold?

  • Hi David
    Purchase an inexpensive Flash/jump/USB drive and use that to transport the backup file from the office to home, a 1 or 4 GB jump drive should be just fine.

    It’s hard to say what the average file size is, it will depend on how many years of data there is in the file.


  • I am helping a friend who is going to purchase a new PC for his office. Also he is using a laptop to work from home. He is running Quick Books for his legal business and it is installed on his office PC. He wants to use his laptop to do work from home using quicken workbooks. My thoughts would be to backup and restore data from office PC to laptop and restore back to office PC if he makes changes to his data files. I read at the intuit website you can do this. However I would like to know what the average datafile size is so I can find a device to backup data to.

  • Hi Shannon; thanks for stopping by! Another time that this information is important, is when a company is switching to QuickBooks from another accounting program. I can’t take total credit for the table (as helpful as it might be), it comes straight from within the QuickBooks Help file – the problem is finding it 🙂

  • Great info, especially the table — thanks! Some of our clients find themselves ‘on the border’ between editions, and that’s when it can be a tough call.

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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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