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Intuit
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Fix opening balance issues in QuickBooks Online

Learn how to review your opening balance before you reconcile an account.

The opening balance tells QuickBooks when you want to start tracking transactions in an account. It's also an important reference for reconciliations. The opening balance in QuickBooks needs to match the balance of your real-life bank account for whatever day you pick.

If the opening balance is off, don't worry. Here's how to fix so you can start reconciling. Follow the section depending on if this is your first time reconciling the account.

New to reconciling? Start with our reconcile guide.

Make sure you review your opening balance before checking your beginning and ending balances.

  • Someone entered an incorrect opening balance when you created the account in QuickBooks.
  • Someone adds transactions that are older than the opening balance and doesn't edit the original entry to reflect the change.
  • When you connect your accounts, QuickBooks enters the opening balance for you. Missing or duplicate transactions may affect the opening balance.

This is my first time reconciling this account

Follow these steps if you’re reconciling an account for the first time.

Step 1: Review the opening balance entry in QuickBooks

Double-check what you entered for the opening balance. Sometimes the opening balance doesn't include transactions that were still pending when you made the account.

  1. Go to the Accounting menu. Then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Find the account on the list.
  3. Select View register to get more details.
  4. Search for the opening balance entry. It should have “Opening Balance Equity” in the Payee Account column and “Opening Balance” in the Memo column.
  5. Make a note of the date and balance.If you forgot to enter an opening balance but you're already tracking transactions in the account, don't worry. Here's how to enter an opening balance manually so your accounts stay balanced.

Step 2: Compare the balance to your real-life account

  1. Sign in to your bank's website, or find your bank statement.
  2. Set your account so you can see the balance for the day you set as your opening balance date in QuickBooks.
  3. Compare the balance on your bank records to what you entered as the opening balance in QuickBooks.

If the amounts match, you entered the opening balance correctly. Move on to Step 3.

If the opening balance in QuickBooks doesn't match your bank records, edit it:

  1. Select the opening balance entry to expand the view.
  2. In the Deposit column, edit the balance so it matches your bank records.
  3. Select Save. Then select Yes if QuickBooks asks you to confirm.

Step 3: Review your account register

If you're reconciling an account for the first time, your opening balance should already be reconciled. No other transactions should be reconciled.

  1. Go to the Accounting menu. Then select Chart of Accounts.
  2. Find the account on the list.
  3. Select View register to get more details.
  4. Scroll through the list until you find the opening balance entry. It should have an R in the tick column.
  5. Review the rest of the the list. There should be a or blank box in the tick column.

If there's an R on any other transactions, select the box in the tick column. Keep selecting it until you see a C or blank box. Then select Save.

I've reconciled this account before

Follow these steps if you’ve reconciled the account in the past.

Step 1: Check your bank statement

Make sure you're reconciling the right account for the right month.

  1. Go to the Accounting menu.
  2. Select Reconcile.
  3. Review the account you selected in the Account drop-down menu.

If you have multiple accounts at the same bank, or more than one account of the same type in QuickBooks, make sure reconciling the right one.

Step 2: Match and categorise your downloaded transactions

If your account is connected to online banking, match and categorise all of your downloaded transactions before you start reconciling. Leaving any unreviewed will affect your opening balance.

If your account isn't connected, move on to Step 3.

Step 3: Review any discrepancy reports

If someone makes a change that affects your beginning balance, you'll see a message when you start reconciling.

Follow the link to open your discrepancy report. Use it to decide if and how to make changes.

  1. Select We can help you fix it to open your discrepancy report.
  2. Review the discrepancy report. Before editing any of the transactions on it, talk with whoever made the changes - they may be intentional.
  3. Once you know you can make corrections, edit each transaction on the report one at a time.
  4. Select View to see the history of changes to the transaction.
  5. Review the Change Type column. This tells you what changed.
  6. When you're ready to make edits, select the transaction to expand the view. Make edits based on the message in the Change Type column:

Someone edited a reconciled transaction or moved it to another account. To fix it:

  1. Select the transaction to expand the view.
  2. Select Edit to open the form.
  3. Adjust the total or change the account as needed.
  4. Select Save and close.

Someone unreconciled the transaction. To reconcile it again:

  1. Select the transaction to expand the view.
  2. Select the box in the tick column until you see an R. This reconciles the transaction.
  3. Select Save.

Someone added this transaction to a past reconciliation on accident. To remove it so you can add the transaction to your next reconciliation:

  1. Select the transaction to expand the view.
  2. Select the box in the tick column until it's blank or you see a C. This removes the transaction from the reconciliation.
  3. Select Save.

Someone deleted a reconciled transaction. If this was an accident, recreate the transaction exactly as it appears on your discrepancy report.

  1. Select Create (+) and select a form (invoice, sales receipt, expense, etc). Complete the form and select Save and Close
  2. When you’re done, go to the Accounting menu. Then select Chart of Accounts.
  3. Find the transaction and select it to expand the view.
  4. Select the box in the tick column until you see an R. This reconciles the transaction.
  5. Select Save. If you still see an alert the next time you reconcile, open the discrepancy report. The deleted transaction may still be on the list, but the difference should be $0.00. It won't affect your reconciliation.

After you make changes, the Total Discrepancy Difference on the report should be $0.00. Your beginning balance in QuickBooks should match the beginning balance on your bank statement.

Select Resume reconciling to continue reconciling.

Next steps: Start reconciling again

Once you know your opening balance is correct, you can reconcile the account. If you still have problems when you start, review your beginning balance.

If you’ve followed everything in our reconcile guide but still have questions, connect with your accountant. They can help get your reconciliations back on track.

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