It Worked!

"I just wanted to provide you with the link to the blog post I did today for our company's blog: in which I talked about the Quickbooks 14500 club. I have happily decreased my customer master file by half - thanks to you and your wonderful program. Thanks again for your help."
Benecia Beyer - Accountant
DiVita & Associates, Inc.

Thanks Mark. We have a lot of repeat customers whose information we probably lost but we were able to cut our customer list down by thousands. I'm glad I found your program!
Regards Jack & Debbie LaBrake - LaBrake's Garden Path & Pond LLC -
ANSWER: No Information was lost in this process - Check the "Retail" account and you'll see that everything's there. Besides, you've got your backup.

More painful than a root canal, but definately less painful then moving to a new accounting package is the dreaded...

Company File Reset

(I considered downloading a chord from a horror movie to play with the words "Company File Reset", but I figured if you're on this website, you're freaked out enough already)

As far as I can tell, the problem with Quickbooks that causes all the headaches here is that when calculating an account balance., for example, "Sales to ABC Company", Quickbooks goes all the back to the beginning of time and adds up ALL the transactions involving ABC company. This is why Quickbooks can't let you delete a 10 year old invoice -- it still uses that invoice to calculate.

A company reset involves manually doing what most accounting packages do called a "Year End Close."

  • Take the ending balances of all accounts at the end of last year and make them "Beginning Balances" for the first day of this year.
  • Delete all transactions from before the first day of this year.

Sounds pretty simple but, for whatever reason Quickbooks can't do it. We need to do it by hand.

  • Create a new company
  • Transfer all lists - customer, inventory, accounts, etc.
  • Take the ending balances of all accounts at the end of last year and make them "Beginning Balances" for the first day of this year.
  • Move all transactions this year from the old company to the new company.

Again, sounds easy. It isn't. I've done it. The software you need costs about $300. It took me three weeks to complete with about 40 hours of my time and 60 hours of my bookkeeper's time. It was challenging for me, and I'm a ggek.

Of course, I looked into alternatives. Sage Accounting gave me a quote of about $50,000 with a migration time of 8 - 12 weeks -- during which time I would need to run systems in parallel. This included the necessary re-training of all employees. Other accounting packages were the same or more. I've been through this -- changing accounting systems -- with other companies. When I had my own computer consulting company "Computer & Network Services" I took several companies through this process as a consultant. UGH.

So here's the Company File Reset Process as I experienced it:

Go to This is Karl Irwin's site. He is a BRILLIANT programmer and he has provided utilities for accomplishing this. They are technical and somewhat difficult to use, but he offers excellent technical support. All of the manuals need to be read and understood thoroughly. The website has the complete information, this is only a brief summary.

On a backup, if quickbooks allows you, do a COMPLETE clear all transactions. This will empty your company file and leave you with only your lists. If quickbooks does not allow it, you'll need to transfer the lists by hand (not too difficult).

Purchase the Balance Transfer Utility and transfer the year end balances to the new (empty) company as beginning balances.

Purchase the Data Transfer Utility and transfer all transactions through the end of last month. By doing to end of last month I was able to identify problems with the data file and correct them while still using the accounting system for day-to-day business.

This is a four-step process with a number of pretty serious pitfalls. Some of my sales receipts did not transfer because there was a 0 in the wrong place ("Can't have 0 Quantity of this type of item"), or a space before the transaction type -- little things like this that caused me to have to go back and correct several hundred old invoices and sales receipts. Other problems happened when a customer did not transfer properly so, therefore, his receipts, payments, and deposits did not transfer. A numbers of transactions, such as negative deposits (where returns were higher than sales) had to be re-done manually.

After teo few weeks, the transactions through the end of last month transferred and I was able to compare balance sheets and income statements to find and correct any discrepencies. There were several.

Once I knew where ther problems were, I made necessary corrections on my live data file to this month's transactions and, over a weekend, transferred all data to the current day, printed and compared reports, fixed discrepencies, and went live with my new data file on Monday morning.

Another utility deletes unused customers and vendors. Several optional utilities, some free, are available to support this whole process.


Now, my data file is tiny in comparison, Quickbooks is "Quick" (sort of) again. If a customer calls from last year, I open a READ ONLY copy of my original data file so I can look this up.

Overall, it was actually worth it. Staying with Quickbooks is far, far easiet then moving accounting system and I figure I'm good for another 5 years or so. Maybe by then Quickbooks will have a year-end close feature.

If you want to call me to discuss this, I'll try to help if I can. Depending on my schedule, I may be available as a consultant to do this for/with you. I can do everything remotely.  I would expect the cost to be about $1,000 plus the cost of Karl Irvin's software.






Your program worked PERFECTLY! Thank you so much for having the smarts and making the effort to build this program. We upgraded all our software and computers, only to have the POS integration fail because of our 10,000 customers + vendors and items exceeding the 14,500 limit. All Quickbooks said was too bad, upgrade to Enterprise, which was totally unnecessary for us...a small chocolate/candy store that uses Quickbooks Point of Sale and never should have been transferring customers to Quickbooks in the first place...totally not needed. Thanks again. Probably the best $75 this store has ever spent!

- Tim Downey

You are a GENIUS!! Thank you for coming up with that script. I have successfully merged all my customers so I can now import new orders into QB. This has been a tremendous help.
Discount Catholic Store, Inc, Charlotte, NC 28273
[Thanks, but if I'm so smart how come I'm using Quickbooks?]

  Hi Mark,
I just finished using your program to reduce the size of my Quickbooks customer list and would like to say that it works exactly as you advertise. I would recommend it to anyone that runs into the 14500 Quickbooks customer limit. I was not about to spend $3,000 to upgrade to Enterprise just because I am unable to remove old customers. I own a rapidly growing company ( and can find other more important places to spend $3,000. Thank you for a great solution to a problem that many Quickbooks users will eventually face.
Best regards, Rob WagnerPresident - LandAirSea Systems, Inc