When I get a new client, and they are using QuickBooks Desktop for their accounting system, one of the first things I do, is run a report to see, at a very high level, what we’re dealing with. I want to know how far back the data goes, and I want to be able to do that analysis quickly. This help file video shows you how to find how far Back a QuickBooks data file goes.

Why is it useful to know how far back a QuickBooks data file goes?

Once you have run these reports, you can start to analyze the company’s financial information at a high level. This can give you great insights into what has gone on with the company since the beginning of time. You’re going to want to ask the client, if this is the one and only data file out there. This is to be sure they didn’t at some point in the past, use something else, or start a new QuickBooks file. Once clue when you’re looking at how far back a QuickBooks data file goes is to look at the year 1 activity. Most companies have much less going on in the first year, and this should present itself clearly when you are looking at annual numbers, side by side. If the first year looks too consistent with the subsequent years, then there is a good chance, the QuickBooks data file you’re looking at doesn’t have all of the history.

When you are analyzing how far back a QuickBooks datafile goes, and you don’t see what you expect to see in year 1, ask the client when they started the company. You may find out that the company was started before the first year in the QuickBooks file you’re looking at. Then you have to decide if it’s important to you, to be able to see that information. In many cases, it may not be.

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