Monday, February 18, 2008

Beware of QB Clean Up Function

I routinely request my clients and their bookkeepers to clean up their QB data before sending it to me to use for their tax returns. I had a shocker a few days ago while reviewing the data file for a client who had recently switched to the QB 2008 program and had sent me his file to use for his 2005 1040.

I sent him the following email:

I downloaded that newest QBX file and tried to set up the main reports I need for the 2005 tax returns. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the reports that I need, especially the P&L with columns by Class.

I'm not sure if there was a miscommunication in my general advice to clean up the data files before sending them to me, or what happened. I actually wasn't aware of this change in the program, but it looks like Intuit recently changed the terminology for condensing large data files from the long used "Archiving" to the new term "Clean Up." It appears that you or someone ran this new Clean-Up feature on your data file and it removed all of the details for the 2005 transactions, including all of the class postings. At first, I thought you had just forgotten to include classes in your postings, until I figured out what had happened. I will have to start using a different term than "Clean Up" because I definitely do not want anyone to use that specific function from inside the QB program again. It is very important to retain all of the details; not wipe them out.

Fortunately, I had a copy of the data file that you had sent me back in September from the QB 2006 program. I verified that the totals for 2005 match those in the most recent file, but that older file has all of the details intact for 2005; so I have been using that to assemble the reports for these tax returns.

I created the following screenshot as a warning:

(Click on image for full size)