QuickBooks Tip – How Much Data Can QuickBooks Hold?

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
Chart of Accounts10,00010,000
Items, including Inventory Items
Group Items can contain 20 individual items
(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
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
(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
Units of Measure10,00010,000
Ship To AddressesUnlimited (?)Unlimited (?)

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5 thoughts on “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.


  • David Brown

    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 🙂

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