11 Tips to Prevent File Corruption
There are numerous tips and tricks you can use to avoid data file corruption in QuickBooks® desktop, including Enterprise Solutions. Here are 11 that are the most current and most impactful:
#1: Make sure your hardware is up to date and virus free. Work with an IT specialist to make sure you have enough space. We use an Intuit® recommended hosting provider. This ensures an expert manages the hardware portion and allows us to access our data from anywhere.
#2: If your performance slows, consider reducing your file size. Our rule of thumb is 100 Meg for QuickBooks Professional Edition and Premier Edition. Their data file size limitations are the same. For QuickBooks Enterprise Edition you can take that to 10 times the file size, which is 1Gig easily, although there are some files that are able to operate with up to 2.5Gigs without an issue. Keep an eye on performance, if it takes a long time for reports to load, it’s time to reduce the file size.
#3: Upgrade to Enterprise if you are on Pro/Premier and your file size is larger 100,000K. The way to tell is to press F2 inside your data file and look for the number. Do not be afraid of Enterprise. It’s the natural progression for small businesses that grow. The upgrade is seamless, you do not have to learn anything new and your file will speed up. If you wait too long, your file will become corrupt.
#4: Do not use the condense feature inside QuickBooks. It’s available as a utility inside the QuickBooks file, but has been known to cause data file corruption. We recommend third-party vendors to safely “shrink” the data file. Our go-to person is qbornotqb.com. Please note that QuickBooks 2019 has updated the condense feature to remove the audit trail that shrinks the file by 30 percent. The condense tool was upgraded and fixed in V19, so should not cause problems as long as you are on V19
#5: Always log off of the data file. Use File, exit. If you click the x in the upper corner of the file this is similar to unplugging your computer from the wall and causing it to reboot. This will create many issues that can lead to data corruption.
#6: Do not delete users. This is connected to the audit trail. Simply rename them to X-Donotuse Mary so that they fall to the bottom of the list. I would even remove their access to view only and set the password to something new.
#7: Do not turn on enhanced inventory without full understanding. Enhanced Inventory Receiving is only available in Enterprise. It should never be turned on in a file with existing inventory receiving and accounts payable history, as the process of conversion will alter the financial history of the file. This feature cannot be turned off so do not flip it on without fully understanding the full impact.
#8: Never delete or merge inventory item. Instead, do an audit of the transactions and correct them, and update where necessary. Clean them up and inactivate them if necessary. Inventory items are possibly connected to bills, checks, invoices, sales orders, estimates and more, so if you delete an inventory item, you will risk breaking those connections. This will not only corrupt the data, but change balance sheets in prior periods.
#9: Avoid iif files. If you need to use a tool to bring data into QuickBooks, we recommend using TPI or something safe that is designed for moving in data. Please note: the IIF import was changed in V19, so that process is safer in this edition.
#10: Back up your file and perform complete verifications. This resets your TLG file and can warn you if there is any data corruption. Please note: in the 2019 version you can use the online backup to do this for you. It will send you an email when complete.
#11: Do not use wireless internet for on-premise QuickBooks. When the data is moving back and forth, there can be errors when using this less than ideal connection. To feel more freedom with a laptop, we recommend hosting.
These are some of the rules of thumb we use. Even though a few of these issues have been reported to the product developers, I would always be cautious until you have solid feedback that it’s been resolved. For on-premise software installations, always use the latest version of QuickBooks; it has up-to-date safety features and will be fully supported. Make sure your hardware is up to date and secure. A flexible option to consider is to consider hosting. If you haven’t upgraded to Enterprise yet, we recommend bundling the QuickBooks Enterprise with hosting. The pricing is excellent.
Finally, do not be afraid to upgrade to Enterprise! It is designed for growing small businesses and the natural next step when you are using QuickBooks Pro or Premier. If you are ever concerned about which version to buy or any of these tips and tricks, be sure to reach out to a QuickBooks Solution provider that can discuss your overall needs for your financial software accounting system.