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Should I Void or Delete to Fix a Problem in QuickBooks?

Ever run into the situation where you entered a transaction twice in QuickBooks? Don't worry - these brain cramps happen to all of us periodically.


The question then becomes - how do I get rid of the duplicate transaction?

While your first thought might be to delete the transaction, that choice is NOT your best one. Let me explain...

Whenever you have a situation where something has been duplicated, the best practice in addressing it is to VOID the transaction, NOT delete it.

Let's say you have entered the check below twice into your register:

Voided Check

If you right click on the check (as shown above using QuickBooks 2009), or click Edit in the menu bar, you will find the options to either Delete Check or Void Check. (if you use an older version of QuickBooks, you will not see the Delete Check as a right click option)

Either way, be sure to choose the Void Check option. By choosing the "Void" option, you leave the transaction intact within QuickBooks - the only thing that changes is that the amount of the transaction is reset to $0.

Why is the Void option better?

  • It keeps your outside/tax accountant sane. If you delete a transaction, it is completely gone from QuickBooks (other than a record in the audit trail being created). Your outside accountant normally creates workpapers and reports based on your QuickBooks data. In many cases, they use those numbers on an ongoing basis. If you delete a transaction that affects one of those numbers, you've immediately introduced heart palpitations and created a "Tums Moment" for them, as their numbers won't match because the transaction doesn't exist any more.

    Granted, even if you void the transaction, their numbers won't match. However, it's a LOT easier for them to deal with something that is voided than it is with something that is deleted.
  • You can include a helpful note on a voided transaction. The fact that QuickBooks retains all the other details of the transaction allows you to add a note for future reference as to why this transaction was voided. Deleting does not allow for that option. See my example below (double click on it to enlarge the picture):

Voided Check with Comment

BEST PRACTICE: Every transaction entry screen (invoice, bill, check, credit card, etc.) in QuickBooks has the option to Void or Delete. Choose Void - your outside accountant will hug you for making this choice!


Find QuickBooks confusing?

Fight back and end the confusion - contact Scott Gregory, a specialist with QuickBooks Pro, Premier and Enterprise. Connect with Scott at Bottom Line Accounting Solutions today!



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F Horvath:

Many accountants and CPAs would disagree about the deletion of anything from the accounting records of a business...

Scott Gregory

If you have duplicated it it is in twice. DELETE it. Why would you preserve something that is already in yur books. GET RID OF IT.

I'm with Frank - void it.

Void it in my opinion...

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