The Solution to Slow QuickBooks Files

Slow File

We frequently get calls for help because a company’s QuickBooks file is so large that it has become cumbersome. The system may be bogged down with unused data, corrupted data, un-reconciled accounts, unused list items and old transactions that are just TOO much for the system to handle.

How do you know if your QuickBooks file has an issue? Here are a few guidelines:

  • Poor performance. When the file becomes sluggish or unstable – meaning, it takes a long time to process or crashes frequently – that’s when you need to think about condensing.
  • File size. It’s hard to put an exact number on this; it could be that your Enterprise file has gotten to 2GB. Enterprise was designed to hold more data, so for Premier files, around 100-200 MB can be an issue, and Pro files slow down at around 80-100 MB. Regardless, go by the performance before you worry about the file size.

Once you’ve confirmed you’re having a problem, now what?

Fourlane has come up with a File Repair, Condense, Optimize offer. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Diagnosis. You don’t expect your doctor to prescribe a medicine before examining you, so the same is true for your QuickBooks file. To ensure we don’t do more damage when implementing a solution, we spend a couple of hours analyzing what’s really going on with your QuickBooks file so that we can determine next steps. We charge a $250 fee for this service and it is applied to the project if you move forward.

Step 2. Solutions. Like any good doctor, the prescription depends on the diagnosis. We provide a detailed list of recommendations for cleanup and condensing, depending on the issues we find during the diagnostic phase.

  • File Repair and Condense. This option gives the best of both worlds. Fourlane corrects the errors, first, so you have a clean file. Then, we condense it to take out transaction and list items that have been unused, prior to a date you specify File sizes are dramatically reduced, sometimes more than 50%.
  • Optimization. When we can’t condense the file for technical reasons, we do the next best thing: optimize it. This means the data stays intact, but we eliminate all of the corruption. File sizes are frequently reduced and functionality improves.
  • Repair Only. For clients who have data corruption with files that don’t need condensing, we offer repair service only. Depending on the repairs required, the process may shrink the file size. Pricing depends on the amount of repairs needed.

Step 3: Project implementation. Our services team contacts you to request a backup file. Upon sign off on the scope of work, we clean up the live file and send it back. All work is done offline. Because you must stay out of their file for a short time, we schedule this work at a convenient time for you, generally over a weekend.

Can You Just Do the Work Yourselves?

Many of our customers decide to try fixing their files with the QuickBooks Condense/Cleanup utility. There are several things to be aware of if you decide to go this route:

  1. File size is sometimes negatively. Unfortunately, this tool doesn’t always work the way you expect. Many times, the file size isn’t significantly impacted.
  2. Condensing doesn’t solve the problem. Because the utility doesn’t offer a diagnosis, just shrinking the file may not solve the problem.
  3. Running the utility can result in more problems than you started out with.
  4. Your system may freeze up and crash using the utility. Just be aware.

If you decide to do the work yourself, BACK UP THE FILE first. We’ve answered the phone more than once to a panicked accounting team who lost data using the Condense utility.

We’re always just a call away (1-800-931-2120), should you want advice on how to handle your sluggish QuickBooks file.


About Marjorie Adams

Our head QuickBooks trainer and guru, Marjorie Adams, is Founder and CEO of Fourlane, Inc., an award-winning consulting firm and Intuit’s #1 QuickBooks Reseller Partner. Fourlane’s team of experts offers several QuickBooks oriented services including consulting, training, programming, integration, and more. Over the years, Fourlane has helped over 10,000 customers across many different industries with their QuickBooks accounting software. Marjorie Adams is considered one of the top QuickBooks trainers in the country. She was listed on CPA Practice Advisor’s 40 Under 40 in 2014 & 2015, and has been recognized as Intuitive Accountant’s 2015 QuickBooks Desktop ProAdvisor of the Year. Marjorie sits on Intuit’s VIP Program, is a frequent contributor to Inuit Accountants News Central, and has developed Intuit’s QuickBooks Enterprise Certification training. She has also been published in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, BusinessWeek, American Express Open, the Huffington Post, and Inc. Magazine.

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