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How to Safely and Properly Prepare to Upgrade Your Company File

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How to Safely and Properly Prepare to Upgrade Your Company File

With QuickBooks 14 (Pro/Premier/Enterprise) being discontinued at the end of this month, you might be wondering how you safely prepare to upgrade your company file to the next product year.  Do you just upgrade with no preparation?  Are you able to upgrade while people are working in the file?  Does it happen automatically?  These are all questions that need to be addressed.

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The most important thing to note about upgrading your file is that the Admin user is the only user who can upgrade your file.  If you don’t have access to this user you should reach out to your QuickBooks Admin user to see if they are already familiar with this process.  Without having access to the Admin user in your company file, upgrading is not possible.

The next important part you’ll want to check to prepare to upgrade is that you’ll be able to work with the company file locally on a computer.  What this means is that the file is not stored on the server and you’re not accessing it across the network.  This also includes mapped drives.  If you’re not sure where your file is stored at you can press the F2 key while working in QuickBooks which will bring up the Product Information screen.  About halfway down the page you’ll see your company file location pathway.  You may need to check with your IT if that is located on a server or a mapped drive.  Once you know for sure that your company file is on your local computer, either by going to your server itself or making a copy on your local computer, we can continue.

The next thing we need to look at would be to ensure that no one besides you is working in the file.  To upgrade you will need to make sure that you are able to get into single-user mode.  This can only be performed if no one is accessing the file.  To check if anyone is in the file you can through the menu options of Company>Users>View Users.  You can also utilize QuickBooks Messenger if you utilize that feature.  Once you’re the only user signed into the company file and in single-user mode you’re ready to continue.

Before we get to the last step to prepare for upgrading, you will want to make sure you understand that your file, once upgraded, will not be able to be “downgraded.”  What this means, is that if your file was in Premier 14, and you upgrade to Premier 17, you will not be able to open your company file again in Premier 14.  It is a one way path.  Going along with that, if you upgrade from say Premier 17 to Enterprise 17, your file is only an Enterprise file now.  You will not be able to open it again in Premier 17.

The final step you would want to take to properly prepare your file for upgrading, would be to run a verify and check for any potential data damage your file may encounter.  This sounds a lot worse than it could actually be so don’t let the wording scare you off.  A lot of the times these can be easily resolved with a rebuild or a few simple steps.  To run a verify it is recommended you stay in single-user mode, which if you’ve been following along you should be.  To begin the verify, follow the menu prompts File>Utilities>Begin Verify.  A progress bar will show up to track progress and upon completion will either come back saying no issues found, or a notification that there were issues detected.

If you have ran a verify and have issues detected it would be recommended that you call and have a QuickBooks Technical Professional check over the results to ensure they get resolved properly and not compromise the integrity of your company file.

Once you have a verify that comes back with no errors or issues found you should be good to go ahead and upgrade your file.  If you’ve reached this point and have questions or want assistance on how to actually go through the upgrade process please give us a call.  We can go over what the process from this point consists of: installing the new software on all your workstations, configuring and setting up your server to properly share your company files, and making sure that your systems meet the minimum system requirements to work, and making a backup for safe keeping before the upgrade.


Feel free to request our cheat sheet which has a brief recap of the points of interest on this article for future reference or to pass along to a colleague to see if you’re ready to upgrade.  Just fill out your information below and it will be sent directly to your inbox.

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