QuickBooks 2014 R3 Memo Bug –Fixed!

Written by Charlie Russell

The QuickBooks 2014 R3 Memo bug has created a lot of problems for some businesses. This problem was introduced with the R3 update, but the good news is  that Intuit has come up with a fix for this very quickly and we don’t have to wait for the next major release. Let’s take a look at this bug and how you can get the patch.

The QuickBooks 2014 R3 Memo Bug

In some QuickBooks transactions you can have a “memo” field both in the transaction header as well as for each detail line. For example, here is a Bill transaction, shown in QuickBooks 2013.

QuickBooks 2013 Bill

If we go to a report that shows the transaction details, such as this Profit & Loss Detail, you can see that the Memo column shows the memo from the detail lines. This is an important feature that some businesses rely on.

QuickBooks 2013 Memo in Detail Report

All was fine, this worked the same in QuickBooks 2014 in the R1 release, but if we look at the same transaction in QuickBooks 2014 R3 we can see that the wrong memo shows in the detail report. This is showing the “header” memo, not the one from the detail line.

QuickBooks 2014 R3 Memo Bug

Lots of complaints about this in places like the Intuit Community Forum and comments in our 2014 R3 blog article.

The Fix is Available!

The good news is that Intuit has responded to this issue quickly. Getting the fix isn’t that hard, but it might not be obvious how to do it.

Normally Intuit will release bug fixes in “R-level” releases. Currently we are in the R3 level with QuickBooks 2014. What level are you at? Press the F2 key when you have QuickBooks running and look for this information.

QuickBooks revision level

The next release will be R4, and it takes Intuit some time to come up with these releases. Particularly this early in the development cycle, when there are so many things to fix or update.

Last year Intuit introduced a new way to get “critical fixes” distributed without having to wait for a major R-level release. I referred to this as the critical fix feature, Intuit now refers to them as a ULIP (or Ultra Light Patch). These are, essentially, done in the background by the Update QuickBooks mechanism. Unfortunately, last year, we found that there were some problems with how this was implemented, and many people couldn’t get this mechanism to work easily.

Fortunately, with QuickBooks 2014, Intuit has been able to fix the problems with the critical fix feature, so that these “ULIP” updates can be easily installed without trouble. I’ve tested this, and it worked flawlessly, and fixed the Memo bug.

Initially this is only available if you manually force an update. To do this, on each computer that you are running the QuickBooks 2014 desktop client on (at the R3 level):

  1. Run QuickBooks and open your company file.
  2. Select Help and then Update QuickBooks.
  3. Select the Update Now tab.
  4. Click the Get Updates button.
  5. When the update is complete you will need to close QuickBooks completely and restart it.

The issue should now be resolved. Test it – if the problem still exists, reboot the computer and do the update again. I didn’t have to do that in any of my tests.

At the time I’m writing this you have to perform this manual update to get the fix. At some point in time Intuit will set this to occur as an automatic update, so it should install automatically, in the background (unless you have disabled automatic updates).

How Can I Tell If This Critical Fix was Installed?

This is one thing that I’m not happy that they changed, although I think that I can understand why they might have done this. You can’t easily tell if this critical patch has been installed!

In QuickBooks 2013 we would see some extra information in the Release info, such as this:

QuickBooks 2013 R10 with a ULIP

All that confusing nomenclature after the “R10P” info (the “P” is always there, we ignore it) relates to the ULIP. This indicates that a critical patch was either installed or has been downloaded and COULD be installed. It wasn’t a perfect test – but if it WASN’T there you weren’t patched.

In QuickBooks 2014 there is no way to tell from within the program that there is a critical fix installed. The only way is to look for a timestamp on a program component.

Look for your QuickBooks program folder using Windows Explorer. This can be in one of several different possibly places on your system, depending on if your computer is 32 bit or 64 bit and also if you are using Enterprise or Pro/Premier. In that folder, right click on QBWRPT32.DLL, select Properties, then look for the timestamp on the Digital Signatures tab.

Checking the DLL Timestamp


This timestamp must be November 04 to indicate a successful patch. The older unpatched version will be October 10.

I really don’t like this – I think that there should be some way that you can see if a critical patch has been installed by looking at something in the F2 screen. Or, perhaps, in the information window that opens if you click the “Critical Fixes” link in the Update QuickBooks  window.

In any case, thank you, Intuit, for fixing this quickly (but, darn it, try to not release new bugs when you are fixing other bugs).

About the author

Charlie Russell

Charlie Russell has been involved with the small business software industry since the mid 70's, and remembers releasing his first commercial accounting software product when you had an 8-bit microcomputer with one 8 inch floppy disk drive. He has a special interest in inventory and manufacturing software for small businesses. Charlie is a Certified Advanced QuickBooks ProAdvisor with additional certifications for QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, as well as being a Xero Certified Partner. Charlie started blogging about QuickBooks in 2008 (Practical QuickBooks) and has been writing for the Accountex Report (formerly the Sleeter Report) since 2011. He retired from accounting and QuickBooks activities in early 2018.

Visit his CCRSoftware web site for information about his QuickBooks add-on products. He is also the author of the California Wildflower Hikes blog.


  • Thanks for the heads up about this update. I had to manually download and install it, but it fixed my issue. Now I can open my QuickBooks Premier 2014 Company file without having to hit OK about 20 times to get past this error:
    QB 2014 Error opening Company File

    The file you specified cannot be opened. Make sure that it is not currently being used by another program or a read-only file.

    The Windows error was “The system cannot find the path specified.”

    • Tina,

      This may be a little late, but wanted to post my solution in case others do a search. For my client, it turned out the Intuit QuickBooks File Copy Service was set as disabled. To fix this I went to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services. In the list, locate Intuit QuickBooks FCS. Double click on the service and ensure that the Startup is set to Automatic and click the Start button. If the Start button is greyed out, be sure to switch to Automatic start up and click OK, then go back and you should be able to start the service.

  • When I open an estimate and click on create sales order, we should get an alert for each item that’s out of stock.

    Since we upgraded to QB 2014, we no longer get these alerts accept for the first sales order you create from an estimate after you login to qb, no alerts pop up the second time you create a sales order.

    I updated QB to R3P with all critical fixes installed, still doesn’t work.

    I double checked to make sure inventory alerts are still checked in preferences, if I uncheck it and recheck I will get the out of stock alerts only for the first sales order I create.

  • A word to our UK fellow-users of QB

    This has NOT yet been fixed for the UK version.

    The QB UK Pro-adviser team told me that they ARE working on it, and it will hopefully be fixed soon

    best to all


    • And ANOTHER word to UK fellow-users of QB

      This HAS now been fixed for the UK version – a new update (under “Critical Fixes”) has been issued today.

      installed, restarted – and the normal memo field behaviour has returned!

      Have to give credit to QB for listening, updating and correcting the problem.



  • It appears there may be a problem with credit card masking. I don’t know when it appeared – I’m testing R3. With protection enabled, logged into a file that uses Intuit Merchant Service, I can see the full credit card number in the Customer record, Payment Options screen. I could not see this in the same file, same settings in QBES 2013.

    • Thank you, Tracy. I don’t use Intuit Merchant Services myself, so I can’t check those kinds of things. Yet another example of why I generally recommend waiting when a new release comes out each year.

  • Charlie,
    Great information. Thank you. I’m a small business and my accountant wants me to get Quickbooks. (2014 will be my first year with my accountant.)

    She suggests buying the 2013 version ‘because the newest versions always seem to have bugs and 2013 is already really good.”

    Do you think it’s ‘safe’ to buy 2014 because the bugs are worked out, or do you think I should stick to 2013?
    *For a PC* even though I’m an Apple guy 🙂

    • Adam, that is a very hard question to answer.

      I can’t speak for the Mac version of the product – that is very different than the Windows version. You can run the WIndows version on the Mac using a Windows emulator, or you can use Hosted QuickBooks and access it from your Mac with a web browser.

      For the Windows version, if you already had 2013 and were using that, I would recommend that you wait until January to switch. We hopefully will have another revision, and that gets you past year end. No reason to push into it.

      For a new user – note that you can’t get the 2013 product from Intuit. Be careful buying a 2013 product from a place like eBay since those aren’t always “unopened” copies.

      As far as “safe” – well, there are a lot of bugs in R3. However, many people are not running into those – it isn’t something that you are guaranteed to run into. It is difficult to say if R3 is safe or not as there are many variables. I do believe, however, that another revision is coming up and that this will hopefully resolve a number of these issues (actually, I know when it is coming, but I can’t say when officially, and I don’t know the list of fixes in that).

      Clear as mud? I tend to be cautious…

      • Ok, that’s helpful. Do you mind answering another question?

        If I were to purchase 2014 TODAY, when the ‘revision’ comes out in January, will I be eligible for it? In other words, how does a user get the revision? Is it free? I assume it’s a software update within the software?

        Thanks for your help.

        • Adam, if you purchase the 2014 product then any updates that are released FOR the 2014 product are available to you for free. They can be downloaded manually (I’ll publish a release note when it is available) or you can have it downloaded automatically if you have your system set up that way (you choose when to install it), which often occurs a week after the manual update is available. You can see release notes as examples in this blog, such as https://www.sleeter.com/blog/2013/10/quickbooks-2014-r3-released/

          Intuit will “sunset” support for the product after three years – at that time no more updates will be released and some “service” oriented feature will no longer be available (anything that requires an Intuit server or service).

          These are “updates”. An “upgrade” is moving from the 2014 product to a subsequent year, such as 2015 when it comes out. That is NOT free, you have to buy the product again.

          The exceptions to this are if you get QuickBooks Online (you pay monthly, there is only one version normally), if you subscribe to the “Pro Plus” or “Premier Plus” subscription version (pay monthly, get the next upgrade for free), if you are a member of the ProAdvisor program (pay an annual fee and get the new product each year), or if you have a Full Service Plan with QuickBooks Enterprise.

  • I have a specific report that I run and last month it worked this month it does not and the ‘bug fix” did nothing. I use the memo field in an invoice to put the customers name when they are random, but I have to pull those names to do another report and instead of displaying what I have typed into the memo field it is bringing up the product description. Can you help?

  • In the Customer Center when I select a Customer and in the pane on the right side I select under Transactions, show: Sales Orders, filter by: Open Sales Orders, I don’t see partial Invoiced Sales Orders, I only see Sales Order which none of the items have been Invoiced. In QB 2012 I did see partial open sales orders under transactions.

    Is this a bug?

  • Is it possible that “Memo: Sales Order XXXX” at the bottom of purchase orders is not printable? I do not see the option under templates. I am using 2014 R4P.

    We also ran into some issues using multiple currency when it comes to changing a part that used to be purchased in USD to a vendor that sells in CHF. Quickbooks actually crashes when attempting to save a purchase order that has an item that was originally entered in USD (then switched to a CHF vendor) and another item that was originally entered with that CHF vendor.

    • Sven, often the “memo” field in QuickBooks transactions won’t be available to print on forms, as you see in PO’s. That is the way they work (that bugs me, though). You can use a “custom field” for a short memo that you can print on the forms, but it won’t automatically fill in with info from a sales order, etc.

      As far as multiple currency, I have to admit that I haven’t played with that very much in the 2014 product yet.

  • I run QB Enterprise 2014… i came across this article because I need my report to do the exact opposite (basically I need the transaction header memo to show on the report instead of the detail line memo).

    I understand they came out with a fix, but some of us want the option to choose both fields or not. I can’t get that general memo (header) on the bill to show on any reports.

    Any one know how to do this?

      • Hi Charlie,

        Thanks for the quick reply. I ran a detailed report to see transactions within a given GL account. I had mapped certain “items” towards a specific GL account.

        I need to see the transactions that hit that GL account along with the general memo. Is there summary level report that will give me this?

        • No – a summary report will show just information from the overall transaction, not including details. A detail report shows just information from the details (for the most part), not the overall transaction. Reporting in QuickBooks is very, very simplistic and limited, which is why we often resort to an add-on product like QQube, XpandedReports, and others.

  • Hi Charlie,

    I notice my Vendor Quick Report only shows the memo field from Transaction Header field.

    Is this correct?

    I am running release R7_3 and my qbwrpt32.dll file is dated 06/26/14.

    Thank you for this article!

  • Hi. I am using QB Pro Accountant 2014. The critical fixes update won’t install. I’ve tried it with the Help, Update QB method and through the Intuit web patch and I still have the memo line issue not showing what I typed on the invoice, sales receipt, etc. I have also restarted my computer several times as instructed. I went to the file QBWRPT32.DLL and it shows the date at 6-26-14 so it appears its not installing. Can you please help? I need that memo line to show what I typed. Thanks so much!

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