To avoid the system becoming cluttered with irrelevant information you need to do regular housekeeping to tidy up accounts and prepare for the removal of unwanted records. There may be landlord/property/tenant combinations that just never got off the ground. If there are no transactions do you really want to keep them? If not delete them or transfer the property to a "never got of the ground" portfolio and make used of the "hide" facility discussed below.
If you are using the system to record your casual lets and generate your Properties to Rent report as a handout or for transfer to your website either reassign the properties you have "lost" to a portfolio called "Let By Other Agents" (or similar) or delete the property and landlord records from the Aspect Property Manager.
Have you got vacated tenants who have not been vacated in the system? These will show up on the Arrears and Paid To reports as having large balances. If so vacate them, which will remove all the never to be paid Rent Inv records as well as eliminate them from some reports, and then clear their account.
Do not attempt to delete transactions so "dead" master file records can be deleted except where no receipts or payments have been made in the account. Accounts must be made to have a zero balance and contain no transactions before they can be deleted. Transactions are normally removed from the system using the Purge process. B/Fwd records are not transactions and are retained in the account and when the B/Fwd records all have no balances an account may be deleted.
Are you carrying tenant debts that will never be paid? Look at deleting or reversing the debt records to stop reports being cluttered.
When a tenant vacates the account often has a balance remaining in any of the Rent, Debt, Letting Fee and Bond grid columns which will never be settled. There may even be money in the tenant Held column. Multiple balances may even "cross add" to give the overall account a zero balance but they will stop the tenant being deleted and those balances must be removed. See
Clearing a Tenant Account.
If you have defunct landlords with balances you must pay them any positive balance held in the system and if you have accidentally overpaid them you must either recover the overpayment from them or make it good from your trading account or Fees and GST account. Their account must have a zero balance before they can be deleted. See Clearing a Landlord Account.
Similarly defunct suppliers with balances must be paid any positive balance or over payments recovered. If the overpayment can not be recovered you will need to make it good from your trading account so their account has a zero balance and they can be deleted. See Clearing a Supplier Account.
Are there suppliers on the system that you never use? Can they be deleted?
To remove unused master file records there can be no balance in the account or transaction records in the system. The Purge process removes the transactions but if you need to enter a transaction to clear the account balance that stops you deleting the master record until the next purge cycle which may be 12 months away.This means that if you do not clear accounts as soon as you can, you may have to keep the account on the system for much longer than necessary.
For example, assuming an annual tax year (April to March) purging and the retention of the last tax year's transactions:-
If the Purge is run sometime in April 2010, and the cutoff month is March 2008, if a one cent opening balance exists on April 2008 that account can not be deleted until April 2012. This is because a clearing transaction entered now, in April 2010, will not be deleted when the Purge is run in April 2011 which only deletes transactions up to March 2009. So the account can not be deleted even though the balance is zero because the April 2010 clearing transaction exists. The result is you'll be carrying an account for two years longer than necessary.
If you have a portfolio for lost managements you can assign dead properties to it which will exclude the landlord, property and tenant(s) from many reports.
Over time you will have a number of accounts which will no longer be used, tenant's will have vacated, landlords will have withdrawn their properties from management and so on. These records clutter up the main screen displays and you can "hide" them from display by using the Details > Other Details > Hide this Landlord/Property/Tenant/Supplier ? checkbox. Hiding records should only be done once the account is completely cleared, that is no outstanding balances. Hidden records can be displayed by ticking the Setup menu > Preferences > Show Hidden Records checkbox and is terminal specific. That is one user in a network can elect to display those records marked as hidden and another user no to do so.
Also consider editing the Sort Key for landlords, tenants and suppliers and the Street Name for properties and placing a lowercase "zz ", (zed, zed space), at the front. This will push the records to the bottom of all alphabetic ordered reports and screen displays when the preference is set to display them.
The ability to save reports for future viewing is a two edged sword. It's handy but takes up disk space, makes your back-ups longer and makes any saved report you really do want to find just that much harder. Remember too that most reports can be reproduced while the transactions remain on the system or from the archive. Can you delete some of them?
Periodically run Admin menu > Utilities > Clean up Temporary Files to remove files left behind as a result of unanticipated failures such as Windows crashing, power failures etc.
Housekeeping is boring and unsatisfying while you are doing it but does need to be done on a regular basis, even if it is only on rainy Wednesdays, if you want to keep your system in a nice tidy state.
I'm sure you can think of other things to do better than I can. Once again set up an administrative Bring Up Note to remind you of these jobs.
Clearing a Tenant Account
Clearing a Landlord Account
Clearing a Supplier Account
Adding, Changing and Deleting Records