The definition of “too large” in QuickBooks is vague. You can hit a ceiling based on the sheer size of the file (defined in megabytes, or MB) or by what’s in the file itself. You may have a small file in term of the amount of space it takes on your hard drive and still reach a limit based on how you use QuickBooks.
Theoretically, there is no limit to the size of your file, but in practicality, assume that you are stretching QuickBooks Pro and Premier when you get to around 150MB. QuickBooks Enterprise starts straining at around 1GB. Above these limits, QuickBooks becomes painfully slow and the database tends to get corrupted easily.
There is a limit to the number of list items (classes, customers, jobs, classes, etc.) that you can have in your file. This limit is different for each type of item and for each version of QuickBooks and it changes year to year, so it’s a hard target to keep track of. Here’s a good rule of thumb to use: if your total number of items is below 10,000 overall, you’re safe with QuickBooks Pro and Premier. The same number is 100,000 for Enterprise.
If decreasing the size of your file is your choice, you have 3 options:
- Use QuickBooks’ “Clean Up Company Data” feature to condense the past years.
This feature replaces most of the transactions from the previous years by much smaller monthly journal entries. The details on your previous years are gone, but the P&L and balance sheet “should” remain intact.
- Use QuickBooks’ “Clean Up Company Data” feature to remove ALL transactions.
The same Clean Up feature mentioned above also allows you to create a new company file without any transactions left, but with all your lists of items intact (customers, vendors, etc.). In this scenario, you need to manually recreate the opening balances for all your accounts, starting from a certain date, including open invoices, open bills, inventory, bank accounts, etc. It can be hard work. It’s as if you started with a brand new company file, exept that you don’t have to recreate your item lists.
- Start a brand new company file
This approach requires you to recreate all the opening balances and all your item lists.
SuperCondensing your file
The SuperCondense service will shrink the size of your data file to almost 50-80% of the original file size.
This service has been used by hundreds of satisfied customers the UK. Since QuickBooks does not have a condense feature in the UK versions of QuickBooks. this service will allow users of Quickbooks to continue to use their existing data files rather than create a new data file and lose history. Also, even though the US version of Quickbooks does have a condense feature, it does not work correctly with data files with Inventory or Advanced Inventory. The SuperCondense service will work in such cases.