Cleaning Up Your QuickBooks File at Year End

Are you in the habit of cleaning up your QuickBooks file at year end?  If not, it’s a good habit to get into as few of us ever think about including our QuickBooks file when we think of year-end cleanup.

Cleaning up your QuickBooks file at year endIf you’ve been using QuickBooks for any length of time (like I have) or inherited the company QuickBooks file from one or more previous bookkeepers, I’m betting that your QuickBooks Lists are just full of “things” that are no longer used. Let’s go take a look shall we?

Let’s start with your Chart of Accounts:

  • Can you still see that checking account listed there that you (or someone else) closed a year or two ago?
  • Do you see an account used for the same thing but listed with several different names – for example: Office Supplies and Supplies-Office?
  • How about individual accounts for Credit Card Processing Fees and Credit Card Fees?
  • Can you tell, just from looking at your Chart of Accounts how much you owe for State Withholding?

What about your Items List:

  • Do you see items listed that you haven’t used in a year or two?
  • Perhaps you see items that you haven’t used in any transactions since you took over doing the books “x” number of years ago.

How about Vendors and Customers:

  • Do you see Vendor names that you’ve never even heard of?
  • How about Customers that you no longer work with?
  • Jobs that have been long finished?

Keeping your QuickBooks Lists neat, tidy, and organized means that you have to scroll through fewer things to actually find what you are looking for. A cluttered QuickBooks List can often mean visual overload and accidentally selecting the wrong thing. So let’s clean up your QuickBooks Lists.

Before you start this task – MAKE A BACKUP OF YOUR QUICKBOOKS FILE, talk with your accountant, and remember these important guidelines.

  • • You cannot delete anything from a QuickBooks List that has been used in a transaction.
  • • You can make entries in QuickBooks Lists “inactive” – they will still exist in your QuickBooks file but you just won’t see them in the List anymore.
  • • You can merge List entries to combine transactions for similar things – for example, you can combine or merge an Office Supplies account with a Supplies-Office account – or vice versa.

A clean QuickBooks file will help you find things from your various Lists faster, allow you to process transactions faster and eliminate data entry errors caused from visual overload.  While you’re at it, rebuild your QuickBooks data file and check to see how big it is.

Is cleaning up your QuickBooks file on your year end to-do list?

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