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How Well Does the New QuickBooks 2012 Condense Feature Work?

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QuickBooks 2012 introduced a new approach to condensing large QuickBooks data files. How well does the new condense feature work? And how does it compare to the results given by third party data condensing services, like those of AccountingUsers, Inc.?

We did some tests to find out.

We used the new condense function in QuickBooks 2012 (using either QuickBooks 2012 Premier Accountant Edition, or Enterprise Accountant 12) and recorded the results. We then ‘supercondensed’ those same original files. We tested “apples to apples” for seven separate QBW files. Some files were QuickBooks Pro and some were Enterprise.

Results? For 3 of the 7 files we tested, the QuickBooks condense function performed pretty well. Those files were reduced in size by 57%, 58% and 73%. When we supercondensed those same (original) files, we reduced the size of the files by 85%, 69%, and 75% respectively.

For another 3 files, the condense command in QuickBooks crashed and could not complete. For all 3 of those files, we were able to supercondense the files, with file size reductions of 74%, 83%, and 87%.

Why did the built-in condense command in QuickBooks crash for those files? We don’t know. We were watching the Windows performance monitors of CPU and memory usage during the attempted condense, and QuickBooks had plenty of computing headroom during the attempted process. Of the files that crashed, one was a 1.6GB Enterprise file, one was a 2.4GB Enterprise file and one was a 400MB Pro file.

In one case, the error message said to rebuild the file and try again. We did. When we tried the condense command afterwards, it crashed again with the same error.

Our last test file had quirky results. The QuickBooks condense command reduced the file size by only 15% but our supercondense method reduced the file size by 95%. Somehow the built-in condense command could only remove 2K transactions, whereas our method removed 131K transactions. This was for a QuickBooks Pro file. The difference in outcomes was extreme but the client was happy with the results we provided — that’s the main thing.

Bottom line: The new condense feature in QuickBooks 2012 definitely works better than the previous versions’ Clean Up command, and in some cases works well. But with some data files it runs into problems and the need remains for third party QuickBooks data condensing services.

15 Responses to How Well Does the New QuickBooks 2012 Condense Feature Work?

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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