QuickBooks users are often plagued with slow performance of the software, and many times it is due to the fact that the QuickBooks file has grown very large. One of the main reasons that file sizes grow large is the Audit Trail function in QuickBooks, which tracks all transactions, modifications and deletions. You can increase the file performance by clearing the data in the audit trail file when it is no longer needed.
Open the QuickBooks software and then select the "File" command in the upper left-hand corner of the window.
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Select "Utilities" from the drop-down menu that appears.
Select "Condense data" if you are working with a version of QuickBooks 2000 or earlier, and you are finished. For versions of QuickBooks after 2000, select "Clean up Company Data."
Select either the date ranges for which you want to clear the audit trail or the option to delete all transactions.
Use your mouse to check all the boxes on the next two screens when prompted so that all transactions and accounts will have their audit trails cleared and then click on "Begin Cleanup" to complete the task.
Performing this operation will delete all cleared, completed and reconciled transactions. This includes the customer job, vendor, audit trail and class information for the dates you specify. Your general ledger account and summary amount will remain.