What Are the Effects of Running the Clean Up Utility?

When the Clean Up utility is run, the effects on a company file (.qbw) can be significant. The goals of the Clean Up utility are to shrink the company file size and to make using that file more efficient. These gains come with some trade-offs.

Important considerations when using the Clean Up utility are:

  1. Transaction details from the cleaned up period will no longer exist in the company file (.qbw), so detail reports will not be available for the cleaned up period
  2. Financial statements and summary reports for the cleaned up period will be accurate to a given month but not a shorter interval of time, because the clean up process summarizes transactions with a monthly journal entry
  3. Inventory transactions up until the first inventory transaction that can’t be removed will be summarized in an inventory adjustment using the average cost of the items on that date; clean up of inventory items stops after the first inventory item that can’t be cleaned up
  4. Cash basis reports for a cleaned up period will not be accurate because detail transactions are required to determine a transaction’s paid status
  5. Sales tax reporting for the cleaned up period will be accurate because QuickBooks does not delete information required to produce reports on sales tax liabilities
  6. Regardless of the end date specified for the clean up, QuickBooks retains payroll transactions for both the current and prior years based on the current setting of your computer’s clock
  7. Only Estimates with a job status of Closed are deleted; Estimates with any other job status are preserved
  8. Lists elements for 6 lists may be optionally removed if they’re not used in a transaction

The principal trade-off is that detail history for the period cleaned up will no longer be in your primary company file (.qbw). You’ll have to open an archive or a copy to review details from the cleaned up period or run reports that aren’t accurate for a cleaned up period, such as a cash basis report.

The Clean Up utility optionally can remove lists elements from 6 lists that are no longer used in a transaction. These lists are:

  • accounts
  • customers
  • vendors
  • other names
  • invoice items
  • To Do notes

Each of the 6 lists can be selected for clean up individually, as shown in the screenshot below.

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