The Condense Data utility
The Condense Data utility stream lines your company data file by condensing closed transactions into summary journal entries and removing unused list elements. The utility can create a journal entry for each month in the selected period. The summary journal entries affect your accounts in exactly the same way as did the detail transactions.
CAUTION: If you are having performance issues, the Condense Data Utility is your last option to try to improve performance.
What you need to know before you Condense
Be very sure that running the Condense Data utility is your best option and that the time and effort you put into it will be repaid by future cost savings. Please do not run Condense Data just because you can. You need a really good reason to run it.
- Your data file is so large that it slows QuickBooks’ performance, and you have done all you can to enhance your performance.
- You are bumping up against a list limit.
- You have done all of the economical hardware upgrades. You can add a new server to your network to increase QuickBooks’ performance, but if you cannot afford the expense, then your best economical option may be running the Condense Data utility.
- You have consulted your accountant and technical support and discussed other options:
We cannot predict if the Condense will affect the size of your company file.
- Most often, it reduces the size because it removes transaction detail and list entries.
- If you use inventory items, Condense may not be of much benefit. Very few transactions may be condensed, your lists will not be reduced and the size of your file changes little.
- If you have a lot of open transactions, they will not condensed and the size of your file decreases only a little.
If your company file is damaged, or has been damaged, before you condense, Troubleshoot for data damage.
If the Condense makes damage impossible to repair, you have only two options.
- Restore the back up that made when you ran Condense Data or
- Create a new company file.
- Payroll transactions if the condense date is before 12/31 or if an employee’s W2 is not reviewed.
- Invoices, Payments, Credit memos and Refund Checks not properly linked to each other.
- Payments recorded to Un deposited Funds that you have not deposited to a bank account.
- Bills, Bill Credits and Bill Payment Checks not properly linked to each other.
- Estimates linked to invoices. Estimates are non-posting and cannot be condensed into journal entries which are posting. It is best to delete them.
- Sales tax not paid in Pay Sales Tax. Paying sales tax with checks leaves invoices open. Replace checks with sales tax payments. Be sure to enter the same dates and amounts as on the checks. You will have to reconcile the sales tax payments.
- Transactions linked to a non-condensable transaction. Suppose you enter an invoice for 12/15/2009, then enter a payment on 1/15/2010 and then run the CD U through 12/31/2009. The payment is not condensed because it is outside the condense period and the invoice is not condensed because it is linked to a transaction that is not condensed.
Suppose that you ran Condense Data as of 12/31/2013 and it is now 9/30/2014. Your current company file does not have 2013 detail and your Archive Copy does not have 2014 detail. To see how your company is doing this year compared to last year:
- Export current data from your company file.
- Open the Archive Copy and export historical data.
- Combine the historical data and current data in another program.
Reports will be incomplete or incorrect
- Account-based reports for the condense period will be accurate, because entries to accounts are not affected:
- Profit & Loss (accrual).
- Balance Sheet (accrual).
- Statement of Cash Flows (accrual).
- Trial Balance (accrual).
- Item-based reports will be largely blank for the condense period because all of the item data is gone.
- Sales and Purchase reports.
- Job Costing reports.
- A/R and A/P Aging reports.
Your cash basis reports for the condense period will be inaccurate. There are no links from Cash In to Income or from Cash Out to Expenses. Enter an invoice on February 1st and a payment on March 1st. The histories show they are linked. QuickBooks knows to include the invoice in cash basis income for March 1st. After running Condense Data, the income is condensed into the February nth journal entry and the cash is condensed into the March 3 1st journal entry. The invoice and payment no longer exist and QuickBooks does not know that an invoice for February 1st was paid on March 1st or that the invoice and payment ever existed.
Similarly on the A/AP side, bills and bill payment checks no longer exist and the expenses are no longer linked to cash payments, so QuickBooks cannot know when to show cash basis expenses.
Any transactions summarized by the utility will not have classes assigned. Running a Profit and Loss by Class report will show all amounts in the unclassified column.
Invoices with sales tax no longer exist. A condensed journal entry has an amount credited to income accounts, but QuickBooks has no way of knowing what part of the income is taxable and which part is non-taxable. Also, the Tax Collected comes from the invoices, which no longer exist, so it shows as zero.
These reports draw their data from items on invoices and bills. Since there are no more invoices and bills, there are no more items and the reports are blank.
Your A/R balance is correct, but the A/R Collection Report shows the condensed journal entries under “No Name.” The condensed journal entries have entries to A/R that are not linked to closing transactions and are considered as open. The total below is zero because all of the invoices in this trivial file are paid.
A/R Aging reports do not show the condensed journal entries because they have a default filter of Names = All customer:jobs. Remove this filter and the A/R Aging reports include the condensed journal entries.
Condense Data removes transactions from your company file, and it removes them from the Audit Trail report.
- The opening balance for your next reconciliation will be correct because condensed journal entries are cleared transactions.
- Your checks and deposits no longer exist, so your reconciliation reports may be incorrect or they may be gone.
- The statement date may be incorrect because the last reconciliation may be gone.
Remember that your original reports are preserved in the back up copy and in the Archive copy that the Condense Data Utility creates, and in any other backups that you create.
Before running the Condense, reconcile all accounts, print all reconciliation and discrepancy reports or save these reports in PDF format, and backup your Company file.
This report is new in QuickBooks Premier 2012 and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions (QBES) V12. This report shows the logic QuickBooks uses to determine which transactions it will not condense. Each non-condensable transaction has a link with which you can bring the transaction to the screen. You can print the report and work from the print out or you can work from the screen display using the links. For example:
- An invoice shows as unpaid on the the report.
- Click the link and bring the invoice to the screen,
- Click the Apply Credits button to link the invoice to existing credits.
- Click Save & Close on the invoice.
- The invoice no longer appears on the report, nor do all of the transactions that it was blocking.
To run the report:
- In the menu bar, select File and then Utilities and then Condense Data.
- In the first window of the wizard, select Transactions before a specific date and enter the appropriate date.
- Put a checkmark in the checkbox labeled: Optional: Create a report showing which transactions cannot be removed.
- Click Next and select the radio button Create one summary journal entry (recommended).
- Click Next and select the radio button Summarize inventory transactions (recommended).
- Click Next and select the transaction groups you wish to be removed.
- Click Next and select the unused list entries you wish to be removed.
- Click Next and click the Begin Condense button. BIG NOTE This does not start the Condense: it starts the report.
When the report populates, work through it fixing every transaction that you can. When you have fixed as many transactions as you can, skip the next section and continue preparing for the Condense.
- Remove your data file Closing Date. You may not condense data for periods after the closing date.
- Run the P&L and B/S, accrual basis, all dates, by year, to find transactions entered before your company starting date. If these transactions are not edited to a proper date, you cannot fix them after the condense.
- Resort your lists.
- Run the Rebuild Data utility.
- Run the Verify Data utility to assure there is no more data damage.
- Copy your company file and back it up. Store the copy and backup in safe places.
Run these reports before running the Condense Data Utility and then compare them with the same reports that you run after running the Condense. Print the reports or save them as PDF's:
- The accrual based Profit & Loss for all dates.
- The accrual based Balance Sheet for all dates.
- The Statement of Cash Flows.
- The A/R Aging Detail for all dates, as of the report date.
- The A/P Aging Detail for all dates, as of the report date.
- Any other reports that you, your accountant or Technical Support recommend.
Running the Condense
- Give the Condense Data Utility enough time to complete. The time depends on your company file size and complexity and the system resources available to QuickBooks. You may want to start the Condense Data utility at the close of business and let it run over night or over the weekend. To maximize resources available to QuickBooks while running Condense Data, do not run other applications.
- Do not run Condense Data across the network. Run it on the computer where the company file is stored. If the company file is on the server, run Condense Data on the server or copy the company file to a workstation and run Condense Data locally.
- Windows may display a message that QuickBooks is not responding. Ignore this message. We see it when QuickBooks is running Verify, Rebuild or Condense Data or when updating the company file to a newer version.
- WARNING: If the Condense Data fails, or if you abort Condense Data, you cannot continue using the data file. You must restore the backup you made when you started the process.
- In the menu bar, click File, then Utilities and then Condense Data.
- Step through the wizard and choose the options you need.
- Click Help for assistance.
- Select the lists you want to clean up. You might run the Condense Data utility because your company file is almost to a list limit. Selecting lists enables you to maintain some lists while cleaning up other lists. For example, you can choose to maintain your Chart of Accounts and clean up your customer:job list.
- The Begin Condense button is your last chance to stop the Condense Data utility if you have any misgivings or second thoughts. Once you click Begin Condense, you must not to stop it until it finishes. If you do abort, your data file will be toast and you will have to restore the backup that you just made.
When you start Condense Data, QuickBooks makes another backup of your company file. Do not to overwrite previous backups. Use a separate location or a DVD or flash drive and keep this backup secure.
After making the backup, QuickBooks copies your company file and labels it as an “Archive Copy.” The archive copy will always display the words Archive Copy [date archive was created] of [company file name]in the title bar of QuickBooks while the file is open.
Use the Archive Copy to retrieve historical data that is not in your current company file. Be aware that the Archive Copy is a regular QuickBooks company file. You can work in the Archive Copy just like you can work in your real company file. You can enter, edit and delete transactions.
After making the backup and the Archive Copy, QuickBooks begins condensing transactions and reducing your data file size. QuickBooks combines multiple detailed transactions into a few journal entries. The condensed journal entries are always dated on the last day of the month. Since there is no account on the first line of a journal entry. a condensed journal entry has no source data.
Be aware that you cannot edit or delete condensed journal entries.
If your post-Condense Data reports are different from your pre-Condense Data reports, then you will most likely need to restore your back up, fix damage in your company file and try the Condense Data again.
After the Condense
After running the Condense Data utility, much of your detailed data no longer exists. Summary reports are not affected. Detail reports and reconciliation are incomplete or missing because their data is condensed into a few journal entries. All of this data is included in the back up that you made at the beginning of the Condense Data and in the Archive Copy. You may want to keep extra copies of the backup and the archive copy in a safe place like your safety deposit box.
Rerun and print (or save as PDF) these reports:
- The accrual based Profit & Loss for all dates.
- The accrual based Balance Sheet for all dates.
- The Statement of Cash Flows.
Compare them, line-by-line to the reports you saved before running Condense Data. Since these are accrual based summary reports, they should be identical to the pre-Condense Data reports. If you find any discrepancies, restore the backup that you made as part of the Condense Data process.
Your options include:
- Determining which transactions are damaged, repairing them and rerunning Condense Data. Repairing the file may require that you send it to Intuit Data Services.
- Using the restored company file without rerunning Condense Data.
- Creating a new company file.
You may want to consult with a QuickBooks Pro Advisor and/or with Intuit Technical Support. They can help you determine which option is best for you and they can help you implement the option you select.