If a Customer in the system has invoices or activity tied to it, the customer can not be deleted. This is a safeguard to protect against accidently deleting customers or activity that should not be deleted. So then, how do we reduce our customer list so that older entries are removed?
A: You have a couple of options:
1) Mark the Distributors that you no longer want to see as hidden (the "Hide" checkbox on their company card). The reports have options to not show hidden customers. The Customer listing has the option to not show hidden customers under the "Customer" menu. The advantage of doing this is that the customers are still in the system should you look back further at their sales history; they are just removed from the default listings so that they don't create clutter.
2) Since they are out-of-business, it is fairly safe to get rid of their individual entries. The easiest way to do this is to use the Remove Duplicates feature to merge the Customer entries together. What I usually recommend is that you create a new company called "zzDelete" (zz makes it appear at the end of the list, and you can also mark them hidden to hide them from the default list as well). Merge the out-of-business customers with the zzDelete entry, which will take care of all their invoices, customer entries, activity, etc. The advantage of this is that you have reduced your overall customer list by eliminating these old entries, and you do still have these entries' sales as part of the total should you look back at older sales number -- our main goal in removing customers is to make sure we don't create false information in the system by changing our historic sales totals.