Author Archive

Problems Opening QuickBooks

Sometimes things go wrong with QuickBooks – the application, not the company file, at least not in this case. The installation itself can get corrupted, and a big clean up needs to happen. This is especially true when installing new versions. If you’re having a problem opening your company file, and the File Doctor isn’t really helping, try the following steps:

  1. Look at the Services… If there is more than one DB services manager running, stop and disable all but the newest.
  2. Read this article by Intuit about reboot.bat and follow the instructions to run it.
  3. Where is the company file stored? Move it to a Public Directory. If there are no issues with opening the file, there are permission issues for the QQube network user for the original file location.
  4. Turn off anti-virus temporarily, especially during reinstall.
  5. Confirm that there are no QuickBooks/Internet Explorer security issues.
  6. If UAC was turned to lowest settings during QB installation, uninstall and reinstall with Recommended Settings.
If these things don’t help, you really need to escalate a case with Intuit support.

How to Perform a QuickBooks Rebuild

If we have determined that your QuickBooks data needs to go through a Verify & Rebuild process, please follow these steps. All of this can and should be done by a technical person on your team. The instructions are as follows:

  1. Perform a Verify and Rebuild of your QuickBooks Company File(s).
    1. This should be performed ON THE SERVER OR HOSTED MACHINE where the QB file is stored. You will need to be in Single User Mode
    2. Run a Verify first
    3. IMPORTANT for versions prior to 2018 – if you see ANY reference to an error with “MasterKey encryption” – STOP EVERYTHING and contact QuickBooks support and ask for Intuit Data Services. Proceeding with a Rebuild will likely make your file so corrupt as to be unrecoverable.
    4. Ideally you will perform this first on a restored backup copy as a test. Here are some helpful guidelines, published by a trusted QuickBooks expert in our network:
  2. Perform a “Portable Copy Round Trip”
    1. This step may not be required, but it’s good housekeeping. Especially if you have lots of DB File Fragments. (Open your file, hit F2 on your keyboard to open the Product Info Window – you’ll see how many DB File Fragments are listed. If more than 9, please proceed with this step.)
    2. After rebuilding enough times to get zero errors, follow these steps to both create and then restore the Portable Copy. (Rename your current file by adding the word “Archive” to the file name so you don’t lose it.) This process reindexes the data, reduces database file fragments, and helps with stability.
  3. Reload the QQube. Open the QQube Configuration Tool and go to Manual Refresh. Do this on the Server or PC the QQube Server component is installed. On a Remote Desktop, log in as the QQube_Synch User. Note – this feature is only available on QQube 6.X and higher. Perform a manual refresh after checking the boxes noted here:

If you have any questions, please let us know at

How to Create a QuickBooks Portable Copy

To create QuickBooks Portable Copy First, make sure you are in single user mode. Then go to File > Create Copy…

Create Portable File

Select Portable Company File and click Next

QuickBooks Portable Company File

Give it any name you want and click Save

Portable File Save

You will see the following warning message. Click OK

Portable File Save Confirm

A message appears showing that the Portable File creation is in progress.

Portable File Being Created

When the process is complete, a window appears showing the directory where the file was stored.

Portable File Complete

6 Reasons Dashboards Don’t Work – And What To Do About It

So You Think You Want a Dashboard?

I truly hope not.  That is, I truly hope not if you think it won’t require significant effort on your part.

In case you’ve missed this concept over the past decade, a business intelligence dashboard is a data visualization tool that displays the current status of metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for an enterprise. Dashboards consolidate and arrange numbers, metrics and sometimes performance scorecards on a single screen.

What’s the Problem?

The problem is dashboards are surprisingly difficult to create. It’s not because we don’t have the technology. No – we can build them with our eyes closed. Dashboards are difficult to create for the following six reasons, five of which have everything to do with you.

  1. You don’t know what to measure in your enterprise.
    • The point of a dashboard is to present up-to-date insight on meaningful business success metrics. The instant you see the display, you should know exactly what action to take to move the gauge in the desired direction. If you can’t act, your dashboard design has failed.
  2. Every role in your organization needs its own metrics.
    • In any social group (e.g. business), individuals occupy and perform roles. Roles are made up of organized practices; a unit or set of organized reciprocal behaviors or acts.
    • Since each role is different, you’ll need to measure different things – and have different dashboards.
  3. You are measuring the wrong thing.
    • Measuring quotas and results provides you with less insight than you think. Instead, try measuring the actions you have pre-determined SHOULD produce those results.
  4. Your systems don’t – or can’t – capture those actions.
  5. Recognition and remuneration are not tied to taking the right activities – nor to keeping the data current.
    • If your team members aren’t measured on taking actions and updating the data, you have nothing to measure BUT results after the fact. You won’t know what correction to put in.
  6. Thinking and planning are hard work, and you don’t want to do hard work.
    • Even I find it challenging to sit and really focus in these days of distraction. But that’s what it takes to do good dashboard design. You can’t avoid it by hiring a consultant. They will just hound you until you sit down and answer their questions to draw out your goals.

Excellence Requires Effort!

A few years ago I was working on a project for a major US bank. The bank’s team got very excited when they heard that they could have a “dashboard” – a single view of multiple key performance metrics in graphical form. When I asked what they intended to measure – and what decisions and actions they needed to make based on these measures – the responded with “Well, we don’t know. Can’t you just give us the industry standard graphs?”

Well, uh, no.

Do you want to be “industry standard” or do you want excellence?

If you are willing to do some hard thinking, align your recognition practices, and confront your innate energy-conserving laziness, a dashboard might help your business. The tool you select to display your metrics is the least important and final decision in the process. But the endeavor, if done well, could transform your company’s future.

If you’d like to learn more, or schedule a dashboard inquiry session, we’re happy to help. The same questions that we use for custom reporting apply to dashboards.

How Specialization Saved (and Made) My Career

Angela Meharg's 20 Year Career AnniversaryThe passage of time is mighty sneaky. I realized November 2016 was the 20th anniversary of my first career job. Desperate to work at a software company, especially after reading Microserfs by Douglas Coupland, and having just received a diploma in Computer Systems Management, I was hired as a tech support rep at Seagate Software in Vancouver. The product we supported? None other than Crystal Reports.

It’s unusual, these days, to have a single software application buoy one’s entire career. That’s a testament to the value, utility, and quality of that program. It’s also further evidence that it takes 10,000 hours to achieve mastery. In realistic terms of day-to-day practice 10,000 hours is about 10 years. And now I’m at 20 years.

So what is this thing called a career? Merriam-Webster’s simple definition is:

A job or profession that someone does for a very long time.

I’d say that’s how most of us think of the word “career”. And I almost dumped my career due to that line of thinking.

About five years ago, I started getting very bored with what I was doing in my career, this thing I’d been doing for a very long time. Don’t get me wrong, though. I was very proud of the work that I’d done to help my customers. I was, and am, grateful for the lasting friendships I’ve forged with customers and colleagues around the world, and all the unique experiences we’ve created both inside and outside the work environment. It’s just that I couldn’t see myself doing only that for another 20-30 years. Besides, there are limits to what one person can produce and to how long I can sit on my arse in front of a computer. And I’d reached those limits.

Education Keeps You Passionate

Something that has kept me from getting bored is engaging in education. I especially love learning alternative, cutting-edge ideas on how to live a better life. So this 20-year anniversary coincides with a 5-year anniversary of learning a new, yet very fundamental, approach to achieving satisfaction in many areas of life. It’s called Transactional Competence, and it’s found at Influence Ecology. Without it, I doubt I’d be celebrating the big 2-0.

A More Constructive Definition of “Career”

Here’s how Influence Ecology defines “career”: it’s the help one is known for in specific groups or ecologies – one’s identity in the marketplace. It’s an unavoidable condition of life all functioning adults must deal with. It’s also very distinct from two other unavoidable conditions, ones that are usually collapsed with career: Money, and Work.

The Value of Specialization

Discovering that I could transact to be known for some kind of specialized help allowed me to expand my thinking and acting about how I wanted to be known. Consequently, I was also able to earn more money.

What’s so special about specialization? Well, everything. When you want your home’s toilet fixed, you want someone with loads of experience who can quickly and accurately identify and solve the problem. You want a residential plumber. You don’t look for a general contractor.

Five years ago I truly believed I was as specialized as I could get. I was known as the Crystal Reports Goddess. That started out as a catchy thing to say, but then a former boyfriend registered the URL as a surprise gift. It stuck. I really was one of a handful of go-to-folks for Crystal Reports. And I really am great at designing and building amazing database reports. Sometimes what I come up with reminds me of what Charlie Parker said about playing music.

You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail.

Yes, I probably sound arrogant – but from what I’ve learned in my studies about Transactional Personalities, arrogance is both an asset AND a liability. It’s not a surprise I was frustrated by the constraints of being an employee, that I get bored easily, or that I have enjoyed the thrill of parachuting into the back-end systems of hundreds of organizations. A consultant is expected to navigate many different database systems, and quickly identify database structure, bad design, dirty data, and possible solutions – within hours of arriving. Not to mention ferreting out who needs what data, and in what format. All of this is simply puzzle-solving, and for me, that’s pure fun.

So clearly I was a specialist. And now I was being challenged to specialize even further? You can read the story of how I arrived at my new hyper-specialization in this post – but the short version is that we build custom reports and dashboards for QuickBooks – ones that QuickBooks actually can’t do. We use a third party tool to work our magic.

Making that leap to super-specialization produces often unexpected benefits. The first is that it becomes incredibly easy to articulate what you do: We do one thing. And in our case QuickBooks is well-known enough that people instantly grasp what we do. They will even say “Oh – I know someone who could use your help.” They also tend to recall what we do long after we first meet, simply because we’re the only ones doing it.

Tune Out the Naysayers

The marketplace vacillates between encouraging generalists and specialists. I definitely receive some dissent about what we’re doing. “Why limit yourself that way? Why don’t you also work with Sage or Microsoft Dynamics?” I appreciate that these folks would like our help. But we won’t – because of the other benefits our level of focus affords:

  1. We only have to learn one system. It’s easy to install, easy to teach, and easy to maintain.
  2. It’s a system that doesn’t accommodate many customizations. This means we are dealing with the same system with every customer. That helps maximize our efficiency. Even when they use it slightly differently – or even incorrectly – we are so familiar with it we can identify the differences very quickly.
  3. Our own systems are less costly to support. We need just three applications to do what we do.
  4. We can work remotely and deliver remotely. No centralized systems required.
  5. We don’t need to sell our solution. We just need to make the right people aware of it. When they come to us, they already know about the problem.

I think I can now bring these ideas full circle – back to career. Applying what I’ve learned with Influence Ecology has, without a doubt, enhanced my career, as well as my enjoyment of it.  It would have been a tremendous waste to turn my back on 16 years of specialized knowledge, experience, and good reputation just because I was bored.

But I’m one of the fortunate ones who had focused enough to have a career foundation on which to build. I know plenty of lovely, ethical, hard-working people who are all over the map when it comes to career (and subsequently, money). I fear Millennials, if what the media says about them is true, jumping from job to job dissatisfied if not given promotions, raises, or sufficient responsibility, will suffer from misguided, incorrect thinking about career, work, and money. There is another dimension they may need to learn and practice, and that’s Transactional Competence.

QuickBooks Custom Reports Experts


I’m grateful for the meaningful work I’ve been able to contribute to the success of my customers. I’m grateful for being treated fairly and well in the many environments I’ve worked. And most of all I’m grateful for the fortuitous introduction to the curriculum at Influence Ecology. Looking forward to the next 20 years!





We get it, At this point in your career, every hour, even every minute you spend wrestling with a spreadsheet is costing your company a pretty penny. Datisfy is here to give you back what you need most - your time, improve your bottom line, and make you and your data look even more competent. Just like we did for these fine folks: