Early after QuickBooks Enterprise V12.0 was released there were several bugs associated with the new Auto Cost/Price Update feature, which were reported as being resolved by subsequent updates. However, just recently a new error has started to show up and this error also seems to be associated with the Auto Cost/Price Update feature.
The Auto Cost/Price Update feature was introduced in QuickBooks Enterprise V12.0. It allows you to control how QuickBooks will update the cost, and the sales price, of items that you purchase. One of the early bugs occurred when you changed an item’s sales price or cost – the change could affect another, entirely different item. This was fixed in the 2012 R3 update. Another problem with the new feature resulted in costs and prices being updated incorrectly. This was fixed in the 2012 R4 update.
Now we are seeing reports of a new error related to this feature. In cases where an item’s established cost (recorded in the Item entry/edit window) is Zero, and the Auto Update feature is enabled, QuickBooks may create an “overflow” error when performing updates to cost and sales price. This type of overflow error in QuickBooks occurs when some numeric field is populated by a value in excess of the maximum value allowed for the field.
The Auto Cost/Price Update feature seems to create the overflow errors when the Automatic Cost and Price Updates company preference is set to “Ask about updating item cost” or “Ask about updating sales price”, and the option to use the “Percent over Cost” markup is selected.
If the user selects Yes for the update cost preference and No for the update price question, the on-screen presentation shows an overflow error for sales price. The error does not seem to be posted to the Item record; however, if the user selects Yes to update cost and Yes to update price, the “overflow” error is then recorded in the Sales Price for that Item. As you can see below, the Edit Item window shows that the Cost has in fact been updated, but the Sales Price now reflects an “overflow” error. (Note that QuickBooks also displays the Markup % as still 0.0 %.)
This error seems to be due to how QuickBooks is using the markup on a percentage basis when the recorded cost field for the Item is zero prior to the change. QuickBooks apparently computes the markup percentage improperly when a cost is zero and a price for an Item exists.
These “overflow” errors are corrupting data-files; several users have reported that “overflow” errors are precluding them from performing full file verification as part of their normal back-up procedures, as well as while attempting to run the Verify Data Utility. The screen shot below shows the warning message that QuickBooks displays when the Verify routine fails. Even though the message talks about account balances, the actual “overflow” error exists within one or more items in the Item List.
Details of the exact data corrupted are not easy to find, because these “overflow” errors don’t appear in the QBWin.log files generated from the failed verification. Only after repeated runs of the internal Rebuild Data utility does the QBWin.log finally report the error and then only as an “Invalid price” for the specific item(s). Here’s an example of the Rebuild portion of a QBWin.log reporting the Item error associated with the same item shown earlier
If there are only a few of these “overflow” errors, they can be manually corrected thru the Edit Item window. However, if there are hundreds, or thousands, of these errors, the task can be much more difficult since the QuickBooks Rebuild Utility does not seem to be able to resolve this issue.
Manually Repairing these “Overflow” Errors
As with any “manual repair” of QuickBooks you should always make a “safety copy”. Since the normal QuickBooks backup procedure fails during the verify routine, you should make a Windows copy of your entire QuickBooks directory in order to preserve your file prior to undertaking the following steps.
Since the Verify Data function generates a somewhat fictitious fault message, and the post-verify QBWin.log file fails to provide any really helpful information about the exact cause of the error, you need to take a different approach if you are going to identify and correct these “overflow” errors. One method is to simply scan your Item list, reviewing the “Price” column (which corresponds to the Item’s “Sales Price”) for the Items containing the term *overflow* as shown at the bottom of this sample.
The best way to perform this task is to change the display mode of the Items List to “flat view” and then sort the list by the Price column. All of the *overflow* errors should then appear at the bottom of your list. Now that you have identified all of these errors, simply edit the Sales Price for each item.
While you can accomplish the same task from the Add/Edit Multiple List Entries window, you can only review Inventory and Non-Inventory Item-types there. However, if you have a large number of errors, you can use the “copy-down” feature to set the offending item prices to zero in order to “clear” the errors before making actual Price corrections.
After you have either set the Price of all of the offending items to zero, or the actual amount, you should run the Rebuild utility to ensure that any associated index errors are also resolved.
While overflow errors are not something new to QuickBooks, they typically have been in connection with 3rd party applications that ‘import data’ into QuickBooks. This new type of “overflow” error seems much more significant because it can affect any QuickBooks Enterprise V12.0 user under the right situation.
From a historical perspective overflow errors have been know to produce a general fault resulting in an unexpected shutdown of QuickBooks, and in worst case scenarios these errors can even result in data file corruption that prevents normal use of the QuickBooks Company file.
I am personally aware of three QuickBooks users that have had files suffering from this form of data corruption, because I have repaired those files. I can’t begin to say how widespread this problem really is. However, QuickBooks Technical Support apparently has had sufficient reports that they have identified this as a “programming issue” rather than some user, operating environment, or other cause.
Intuit is reportedly working on a resolution of the “overflow” error causing issue. Hopefully they will have it resolved sooner, rather than later.