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Create new company files from existing ones in QuickBooks Desktop

SOLVEDby QuickBooks33Updated October 31, 2023

Learn how to use an existing company file to create a basic framework for new ones.

You don’t need to start company files from scratch. You can copy and use accounts, lists (customers, vendors, items, etc.), templates, and preferences from an existing company file to get started.

First, create a copy of an existing company file. Then condense the file to remove all the transactions. This gives you a basic framework to use for your new company file.

Important: QuickBooks won’t be able to remove the payroll transactions of the current year. Check out Use the Condense Data utility to learn more about condense limitations.

If you use Enterprise or Accountant, you can use a feature to quickly create new company files from existing ones. Think of it as a way to create company file templates.

  1. Go to the File menu and select New Company from Existing Company File.
  2. Select Browse and find the company file you want to copy.
  3. Select the file and then Open.
  4. Give the copy company file a name.
  5. When you're ready, select Create Company.

QuickBooks copies your preferences, sales tax items, memorized report, and chart of accounts to the new company file. However, it doesn't bring over bank or credit card accounts. It also doesn't copy sensitive info, like Employer Identification Number (EIN) or payroll.

Step 1: Create a copy of an existing company file

  1. Open QuickBooks Desktop and the company file you want to copy.
  2. Press F2 to open the Product Information window.
  3. Look in the File Information section. This shows where your company file is saved on your computer.
  4. If you haven’t already, follow the steps to back up your company file.
  5. Use the backup to restore your company file.
  6. Rename the file when you restore it. This creates a unique copy of your original company file.  Save the new file to a unique folder.

You should now have two separate company files: the original and the one you restored from a backup.

Step 2: Remove transactions from the copied company file

The backup you restored creates a new company file with the same accounts, lists, templates, and preferences.

To start fresh, delete the transactions QuickBooks also copied over.

  1. Open your new company file and review it.
  2. Go to the File menu and hover over Utilities. Then select Condense Data. If you receive a message about removing budget data, select Yes.
  3. In the Condense Data window, select All Transactions and then Next.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to remove the copied transactions.

Step 3: Check your accounts

When you condensed the file, QuickBooks should have removed your transactions. Run a Transaction List by Date report to make your accounts are completely empty.

  1. Go to the Reports menu and select Reports Center.
  2. Find the Account & Taxes section and open a Transaction List by Date report.
  3. Adjust the date range for the report so it starts before the oldest transaction in the file you copied.

There shouldn't be any transactions on the list. If there are, edit and delete them.

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