Learn how to enter an opening balance for a bank, credit card, and other types of accounts.
When you create a new account in QuickBooks Online, pick a day to start tracking all of your business transactions. You enter the balance of your real-life bank account for the day you pick so QuickBooks matches your bank records from the start.
This starting point is the account's opening balance. It summarises all the transactions that came before it. Here's how to enter an opening balance for accounts you create in QuickBooks.
Enter an opening balance
Before you start, make sure you know what to enter for your opening balance.
You can enter an opening balance for a real-life bank account you just created, or one you've had for a while. Follow the steps based on how you use the account in QuickBooks:
For accounts connected to online banking
If you connect your bank and credit card accounts, QuickBooks downloads the last 90 days (or more) of transactions. It uses them to create an account and enter the opening balance and date for you.
You still need to categorise the transactions, but QuickBooks takes care of the rest.
For accounts that aren't connected to online banking
If you don't plan to connect your account, you can manually create it and enter the opening balance.
- Go to Settings ⚙ and select Chart of Accounts.
- Select New.
- Follow the steps to create a new account. Give the account a name, an account type, and a detail type.Add any other details, such as the default tax code, as necessary.
- From the When do you want to start tracking your finances from this account in QuickBooks ▼ dropdown, select an option:
- Select Today if the account is brand new at your real-bank and in QuickBooks as of today. In the Account Balance field, enter the amount in the account as of today.
- In other cases, select Other. In the Select a date field, enter the date you want to start tracking transactions in QuickBooks. In the Account Balance field, enter the amount in the account as of the date you choose.
- When you're done, select Save and Close.
You can now add new transactions following your opening balance as of date.
An account you've had in QuickBooks but forgot to enter an opening balance
Sometimes you create accounts in QuickBooks and start tracking transactions right away. You might have accidentally skipped entering an opening balance. If you did, don't worry. Here's how to enter an opening balance later on.
Edit an opening balance
If you want to add transactions that are older than the opening balance, you'll need to edit the date and balance. This sets a new starting point and prevents you from counting transactions twice.
Learn more about editing and fixing opening balances.