Ways to Streamline Your Company File
If you’ve been using AccountEdge for years and create lots of transactions you may notice that performance starts to degrade doing certain things like recording transactions or bringing up lists. Also, when you have lots of older transactions or cards, they tend to clutter things up and make it cumbersome to choose a card or find a transaction, etc. Here’s some tips for how to declutter your company file.
If you'd rather watch some videos covering these options, here's a playlist on our YouTube channel.
Consider Purging Data Using Start a New Fiscal Year
There’s a few ways to purge data in AccountEdge. As a starting point, we should consider what your settings are for when you Start a New Fiscal Year. There are many reasons to keep data around for awhile and many of you may already be using the option to retain closed transactions in prior fiscal years. If you have a large company file with many thousands of transactions and you’re taking a hit in performance, you may want to consider a different approach. One approach would be to only retain this year and last year. When it’s time to Start a New Fiscal Year, make a backup of your file and call it 2018. Use this file as a type of filing cabinet to open and pull up old records or run reports for older years. Then in the settings where starting a new year, either uncheck the box for Keep Closed Transactions for Prior Years or only choose to retain last year by picking 2018.
Lastly, on the step for Unreconciled Transactions, be sure that you are only choosing the accounts that you actually reconcile. If you have an account that you don’t reconcile but it is checked off on this list, any transaction that is unreconciled (all of them probably) will be retained even if they are several years old.
Pro Tip: You can choose your existing year (eg. 2018) and perform a Start a New Fiscal Year. This runs the process and follows your settings. So if you choose to now not retain closed transactions from prior years except for 2018 (the current year), it will perform the purging. This would help clean up your file. BE SURE TO BACKUP YOUR FILE in case you make a mistake and check that the file still retains the data you need. You can rename your backup file something like like Mid Year Purge 2018 in case you need to go back and find older transactions.
Manual Purging Options
You have a few options that can be found under the File menu in Purge. For example, Journal Entries, Closed Invoices, Quotes and Cards, etc. These are great ways to declutter your file with data you may not need. As always, make a backup of your file and rename it something that you recognize so that you can go back to this file if you need to find older transactions (eg. the filing cabinet method). Here’s a few purging options that you may want to consider.
This may be the one option that will do the most good when trying to streamline your file. Depending on your settings in Start a New Fiscal Year, you might be retaining closed invoices from 7 years ago which you rarely need. Consider making a backup of your file so you can pull these old records up or run reports if needed. You can choose a date to purge invoice prior to as well as an option to purge the entire invoice or just the details (mainly the lines of the invoice - what you sold). Choosing the option to purge the entire invoice may provide better results in terms of performance since if just details, the transaction itself still exists and will show up when generating reports or other lists. We’ll say it again here… make a backup so you can use this backup file as a filing cabinet.
Sale Quotes and Cards and Purchase Quotes and Cards
These two options were added once we added the ability to create Leads in AccountEdge. The idea was that if many leads are generated and quotes were written for the leads, they may never be converted to sales. Over time these will add up. Even if you don’t use Leads but create many quotes for customers, over time you will end up with quite a few quotes that show up in reports and pop ups when creating sales. These also can have an impact on performance in general depending on the number of quotes you generate.
With this option, you first have the ability to choose which quotes to purge. The next step in this option is to select any customers or leads you wish to also purge. We do this in conjunction because you can’t purge a customer or lead that has a transaction tied to it so we first let you remove the quotes and then the leads or customers. Be aware that there may be other transactions tied to customers and vendors. For example any open A/R or A/P, a credit or debit that hasn’t been settled, other sales, etc. Those customers can’t be deleted and won’t be.
Other Purging Options
There are other purging options from the File menu you should consider including purging old Jobs that are not relevant anymore. Also if you track time, you may wish to purge old Activity Slips especially if you are a heavy user of time tracking.
Mark Cards as Inactive
If you have many customers, vendors, etc. you may find it more cumbersome when choosing a Card in various lists or sorting through data on reports. You have the ability to mark off Cards as Inactive and this prevents the Card from being used (maybe by accident) because it will be hidden in the various selection lists when creating transactions or running reports. It might seem like a daunting task to go through your entire customer list and pick and choose the ones to mark as Inactive but it may be worth the effort. At the very least, it might be a good habit to get into to put aside time or remember to mark a customer as Inactive during the normal course of your business.
Pro Tip - it is possible to export your customer list and open this list in Excel and quickly check off those that should be inactive. Then re-import the list with the option to Update Existing Record when a duplicate is found. If you’re going to consider this option, please make a backup and test the approach. One approach would be to delete all columns except for the Record ID and Card Status (active vs inactive) and import only that data so that other data isn’t mistakenly updated. Excel can do funny things especially when it wants to treat symbols as formulas (think about 11/18. Is that a date?) or when a field should be text but might be treated as numbers.
Deleting Cards, Merging Cards and Marking As Inactive
Here's a video that covers these various options including Combine Cards, Delete and Marking as Inactive
Cards are hard to delete because if there’s any transaction tied to it, you cannot delete them. For example some old open credit or maybe an A/R balance of $.10 because you were underpaid a dime. However if transactions are purged and there’s none tied to a customer, you may be able to delete them. You can do this from the Card file by right mouse clicking on the Card and choosing Delete. It will let you know if it can't be deleted. If you purge transactions or change your settings in Start a New Fiscal Year to not retain old closed transactions, you may be able to delete the cards.
You can also select multiple Cards to delete and it will attempt to delete those Cards. On the Mac you can hold down the Command key to select multiple Cards. On Windows you can do the same using the Control key.
One way to get around the issue of having cards that can’t be deleted because of transactions is to use the Combine Card option. This is also helpful if you want to retain the transactions that are still around but would like to get rid of the Card OR you have duplicate cards listed. (eg. Acme Sales vs Acme Sales, Inc.). This essentially merges the transactions from one card to another and then deletes the one card. Leaving you with a Customer that has invoices and transactions from multiple cards. If you were to look up an invoice from a card that was combined and then deleted, the Ship To info will remain as it did with the original customer name and address but the Customer Field on the top of the window will be the one card that we combined into.
To do this, you would find the card that you want to combine into. This would be the customer that you will be left with. Not the one to be removed. Open that Card and then choose Combine Card from the Action menu (gear icon). You can then choose the card you are looking to remove and move all transactions from this card to the original you choose.
Using the Optimization Assistant to Reindex Your File
From the File menu you will find an option for Optimize Company File. This option more or less reindexes your company file. It’s a good practice to use this option after doing purges as well as starting a new year. Even consider doing this on a regular basis throughout the year if you have a large file. This should help clean up and reorganize your data in the database to be more efficient. You may find it also helps with network performance.