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Make Your Life Easier with ‘Period Copy’ in QuickBooks

The “Period Copy” in QuickBooks Premier Accountant Edition and QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions allows you to share data for a specific time period with others, such as banks, investors or the Internal Revenue Service. Until this new feature, businesses had to hand over a copy of the entire QuickBooks file to interested parties. Not a first choice for many business owners. The Period Copy now makes it possible to drill down into your file and choose a specific time period to share.


Here’s an example. Let’s say the IRS is requesting an audit of your books for a particular tax year. Most users would simply create a backup of the entire QuickBooks file and send it to the auditor. That file would, of course, include financial information for all years — years not even pertaining to the audit. The Period Copy feature is designed to allow users to make a copy of their QuickBooks file that includes ONLY the data they wish to share.

Here’s how it works. The Period Copy is part of the Condense Data Feature, which is accessed from the File Menu under Utilities. As with any Condense Data activity, budget information may be removed during this process. For the purposes of the Period Copy this is not typically a concern. To create the Period Copy, select the transaction dates for the period you want to keep in the Condense Data window.

Click Next and select the Preferred Summary Journal Entry format.

A single summary journal entry is recommended but monthly entries can also be created. There is also an option to bypass the creation of summary journal entries altogether. This option will result in inaccuracies in the company’s financial results and would require manual entry of beginning balances. You can also elect to summarize inventory transaction information and remove various types of other transactions and unused list entries.

Once you’ve indicated the settings of the Period Copy click “Begin Condense” to create the new file.

NOTE: The original working file is not affected. Be patient. It can take time to create the file. Once the process is complete, the new Period Copy file will be opened. You can access and use the original complete company file at any time.

So, your smaller Period Copy is now available to share with third parties.  Please contact Dominick Bellia if you have questions.

Councilor, Buchanan & Mitchell (CBM) is a professional services firm delivering tax, accounting and business advisory expertise throughout the Mid-Atlantic region from offices in Bethesda, MD and Washington, DC.