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Create new company files from existing ones in QuickBooks Desktop

by Intuit Updated 3 months ago

Learn how to start over with a new company file, and include accounts and lists (customers, vendors, items, etc.) from your old file in QuickBooks Desktop.

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.

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

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

  1. Go to File and select New Company from Existing Company File.
  2. Select Browse and find the company file you want to copy.
  3. Select your file and then Open.
  4. Give the new company file a name and select Create Company.

QuickBooks copies your preferences, sales tax items, memorized reports, and chart of accounts to the new company file. It doesn't bring over bank or credit card accounts. It 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. Find where you saved your file by pressing F2 to open the Product Information window.
  3. In File Information, see where you save your company file on your computer.
  4. Back up your company file and rename it when you restore your company file.
    Note: This creates a unique copy of your original company file.  Save the new file to a unique folder.

You will now have two company files, your original file 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 copies over.

  1. Open your new company file.
  2. Go to File, Utilities and 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 transactions.

Step 3: Check your accounts

When you condense the file, QuickBooks removes your transactions. Run a Transaction List by Date report to make your accounts are empty.

  1. Go to Reports and select Reports Center.
  2. Find the Account & Taxes section and open a Transaction List by Date.
  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.

Step 4: Set up online banking, payroll, and other services

If you use different QuickBooks features and services, you can set them up again to manage your books.

When you’re done, you can start to use use your new file.

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