Eons ago when I recited marriage vows they included the phrase, "For better or for worse, till death do us part..."; well for anyone who has encountered any of the QuickBooks (desktop) errors associated with 'Orphaned Memorized Transactions', that vow may seem to clearly elaborate the 'stick-to-it-tivity' of these pesky errors.
Recently, in QuickBooks (Desktop) 2016 products Intuit ‘changed the way’ that errors are reported when you run the Verify Utility. Even though errors like the one shown below have commonly appeared in the QBWin.log file, because they were ‘warning’ level errors you might not have ever seen them since ‘warning’ level errors do not trigger a ‘failure’ of the Verify Utility. The example below, taken from the new reporting format in QuickBooks 2016 shows an error of the ‘master record’ of an Orphaned Memorized Transaction:
Orphaned Memorized Transaction
Here is an example, of a similar (but not the same) error excepted from a QBWin.log recorded by QuickBooks 2014:
QBWin reported Orphaned Transaction
In most cases this error will be accompanied by one or more other errors that report the ‘target records’ for the Orphaned Memorized Transaction.
I have written about Orphaned Memorized Transactions many times in various forums but I can’t recall writing about it in Insightful Accountant, so I thought I would pen this short article.
Even if you run the Rebuild utility these errors stick around, in fact not only does the Rebuild utility not repair them, but the Rebuild routine will report (in the QBWin.log) that QuickBooks encountered an error while attempting to remove the Orphaned transactions. An example of such a QBWin.log showing the Rebuild failure is shown below:
Unrepaired Orphaned Transaction
The Memorized Transaction List is not so much what you might think of as a regular QuickBooks transaction table, but rather a 'table' of indexes that points to other tables where the components of the transactions were originally resident when the ‘memorization’ took place. In many ways it is more like a ‘snap shot’ or ‘image’ of the original transaction from which the memorized transaction was created than normally organized master and target transaction records in the database.
Because of this atypical structure the transactions listed in the Memorized Transaction List are ripe for corruption. The errors associated with orphaned transactions are encountered because the records are indexed to (pointing at) targets that do not have a source transaction any longer associated with it.
For years, Intuit gave their support personnel (and those of us in the ProAdvisor community) instructions to ‘delete’ the transactions as the only way to resolve these issues, but in reality removal of the affected transactions didn't really resolve the issue, at least not until such time as the QuickBooks file is ‘condensed’. Even if the transactions are ‘deleted’ they still remain within the table; they are just marked as deleted records, but as with other data in the company file, the Verify Utility still reviews each 'bit' during a ‘full verification and validation’ of the file, even records marked as deleted.
At present, under the existing ‘Rebuild’ routines, you could run the Rebuild utility a dozen times and still not repair these errors, nor remove them. For the past several years, after such errors were ‘downgraded’ to warning level errors that only ‘reported’ in the QBWin.log file, rather than produce a Verify fault, they have really posed 'no big deal’. Most QuickBooks Professionals learned that there was little, short of a professional (costly) file repair that could remove these ‘orphans’ from their home in your file, and so we ignored them in the log.
But now with the new reporting in QuickBooks 2016 such errors may become far more disturbing to our clients, especially if they attempt to resolve them using the “See Online Article” resource that is posted companion to the errors (as shown below).
Orphan Transaction Error 173
Of course when our clients attempt to self-repair the errors according to the online instructions, and then they find that their errors are not repaired, our clients will really be disturbed. That’s likely to be the point when they contact you, their ProAdvisor, and start asking for help or crying ‘what’s up’.
You can either give them all the 'mumbo-jumbo' (above) about why Orphaned Memorized Transactions are as common as they are, and can't really be repaired....or then again, you may simply want to tell your client that such errors are here to stay"for better or for worse, till death do us part...".