Why It is Critical to Verify Your QuickBooks Data

Scott Gregory
September 1, 2009 — 1,241 views  
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Want to ensure that your QuickBooks company file works as efficiently as possible and avoid possible data corruption problems? Make sure you verify the data within the file on a regular basis.

What verify really means...Warning Sign

In basic terms, the data verification process in QuickBooks is a tool that examines the health of your QuickBooks company data file. In many cases, the verification process will run and the end result is a "clean report" that the data has verified successfully. If so, there is nothing else to worry about.

However, in other cases, the data verification process is a really good "early warning indicator" that some trouble is brewing within your QuickBooks data file. In these cases, the verification process simply can't (or won't) finish and you are told to "rebuild" your QuickBooks data file. The "rebuild" is another tool built into QuickBooks for your benefit. It helps put all of your QuickBooks data back in the right place and re-organizes it for optimum usage.

What bad things can happen if you don't take care of your QuickBooks data:

  • Your company data file can become corrupt, and one day it simply won't open.Those are bad days for sure!
  • Your financial reports (profit and loss, balance sheet, etc.) can become out of balance. It's true - I've seen it happen!
  • You won't be able to upgrade to a newer version of QuickBooks and/or QuickBooks Enterprise because the data has too many problems with it.

How often should I verify my QuickBooks data?

If you have multiple users in your QuickBooks file, my suggestion is that you verify the data once per week. If you only have one user in the file, my suggestion is that you verify once every couple of weeks. You can't hurt anything by verifying the data too often!

How do I verify my QuickBooks data?

Fortunately, QuickBooks makes it very easy to verify. There are actually two ways to get it done:

  1. Click File > Utilities > Verify Data and follow the instructions
    Verify Data via File Menu
  2. Via the backup process:
    Click File > Save Copy or Backup. Click Backup Copy, then Next, then the Options box. You will see a box that looks like this:
    Verify Data via Backup Menu

OUCH...

I recently did a work for a new client that was trying to upgrade to QuickBooks Enterprise and had never verified their data (in over 5 years of use). There were simply so many problems in this data file that we had no choice but to create a brand new data file at that time. Needless to say, that wasn't the plan that we originally set out to follow, but we really didn't have any other good choices.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Always run the verification process on the computer where your QuickBooks data file is actually stored!So, if the file is stored on the server, you'll want to log into QuickBooks there and verify.

Scott Gregory

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Scott Gregory is a QuickBooks Specialist, QuickBooks Enterprise Specialist and CPA. He has been helping businesses gain a better understanding of QuickBooks software and improve their accounting systems for over twenty years. Scott has trained hundreds of QuickBooks users as an instructor at his local community college. Prior to forming Bottom Line Accounting Solutions, Scott was the CFO for a manufacturing company, with direct oversight of the accounting, IT, inventory control, purchasing and HR departments. Contact Scott today at www.BetterBottomLine.com.