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Fix an opening balance to match a bank statement

Learn how to update an opening balance to match a bank statement.

Are the beginning balances for your QuickBooks Online account and bank statement mismatched? If so, you need to resolve these before you can reconcile your accounts.

Depending on the situation there's a variety of solutions. We explain them in the sections below.

For more information on beginning balances: see Why doesn't my QuickBooks Online beginning balance match my statement?

Check balance for new or never-reconciled accounts

If you have a new, never reconciled or bank feed account, check the beginning balance.

Not sure if the account has been reconciled? Look under the Ending date field for the Last statement ending date. If there isn't one, this account hasn't been reconciled before.

  1. Go to the Settings ⚙ icon.
  2. Select Chart of Accounts.
  3. Locate the account in the Chart of Accounts.
  4. From the Action column, select Account history.
  5. Check the account's opening balance.
    • If it's incorrect, you'll need to edit it.
    • If there isn't one, you'll need to enter it.

Check bank feed accounts

First, check the account history for downloaded transactions that cleared the bank before the statement's start date. Delete these transactions to correct the beginning balance.

When you connect your bank, it automatically records a beginning balance based on the downloaded transactions (usually from the previous 90 days). If the account has any transactions before this time period, the automatically-recorded opening balance may not be the correct beginning balance.

Fix a beginning balance alert

You'll see a beginning balance alert when:

  • A transaction's amount or date needs to be edited
  • A transaction is unreconciled
  • A transaction was reconciled in error
  • A transaction was deleted

You can't proceed with the reconciliation until all the transaction discrepancies are resolved. To update the transactions follow these steps.

  1. ​Select the link in the Beginning balance discrepancy alert to open the Discrepancy report.
  2. Locate the transactions the report identifies.
  3. Based on the change type for each transaction listed in the report, fix the transaction:
    • Needs to be edited: Make the necessary edits to the account or amount information.
    • Unreconciled: Change the status to reconciled (R) in the status (tick) column.
    • Reconciled in error: Change the reconciliation status back to cleared (C) or no status. If a transaction is marked as cleared (C) in the Account history, it will have a check mark on the Reconcile screen.
    • Deleted: Recreate the deleted transaction, locate it in the Account history, and select the status (tick) column until it is marked reconciled (R), then re-open the Reconcile page. If there is still a discrepancy alert, select the link and verify that the deleted transaction remains in the report but that the difference changed to reflect the amount of the recreated, reconciled transaction.
  4. Save the changes you made to any transaction. With every transaction you fix, the transaction disappears from the discrepancy report and the discrepancy difference gets closer to $0.00.
  5. Fix additional transactions until the difference equals $0.00. When it gets to $0.00, your beginning balance in QuickBooks Online now matches your statement.
  6. Select Resume reconciling.

Fix a beginning balance discrepancy (when there's no alert)

If you don't receive an alert, yet your beginning balance still doesn't match, check to make sure you're reconciling the right account for the right month. This is an easy mistake to make. Especially if you have multiple accounts with the same bank.

  1. Go to the Settings ⚙ icon.
  2. Select Reconcile.
  3. Carefully select the account you want to reconcile.
  4. Verify that the last Statement Ending date, listed below the Ending date field, is the day before the start date of the statement you're currently reconciling.
  5. Make sure the beginning balance is correct.

Are you still not seeing an alert and your beginning balance is wrong? It's possible that the account has never been reconciled using the reconciliation tool. Call your accountant or us to help you sort this out.

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