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Fix issues with your beginning balance for accounts you've reconciled before

SOLVEDby QuickBooks91Updated January 17, 2024

The beginning balance, the account’s total at the start of the period you’re reviewing, should be treated like a checkpoint. This is the amount that let’s you know that you’re starting with accurate information.

This page will take you through how to fix issues with your beginning balance when reconciling an account for the second or more time.

Before you start

Consider if you've reconciled this account before.

  1. If not, here's how to fix issues the first time you reconcile an account. 
  2. If you're entirely new to the process, you might want to start with our reconciliation guide.
  3. If you have, you’re in the right place and you can continue with the steps below.
  • Someone entered an incorrect opening balance when they created the account in QuickBooks.
  • Someone added transactions that are older than the opening balance, but didn't edit the original opening balance entry to reflect the change.
  • Someone edited, deleted, moved, or unreconciled an already reconciled transaction. This changes the ending balance of your last reconciliation, which impacts the beginning balance of the next one.
  • Someone manually reconciled a transaction, so it didn't show up on the next reconciliation.

The opening balance is the starting point for accounts in QuickBooks. If it’s incorrect, it affects all future reconciliations.

Make sure your opening balance is correct before checking your beginning balance. Then move on to Step 2.

Make sure you're reconciling the correct account for the correct month:

  1. Go to Transactions and select Reconcile (Take me there).
  2. Select the account that you want to reconcile from the Account ▼ dropdown.

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

If your account is connected to online banking, find and categorise your transactions before you start reconciling. This makes sure that your beginning balance is correct.

If anyone has made a change that affects your beginning balance, you'll get a message before you start reconciling.

  1. Select the We can help you fix it link to open your discrepancy report.
  2. Review the Change Type in the discrepancy report. Use it to decide if and how to make changes.
  3. Before editing anything, talk with the user who made the changes - they may have had a good reason to do so.

Once you know you need to make corrections, review each transaction in the report one at a time:

  1. Review the Change Type column. This tells you what changed. 
  2. Select View if you want to see the historical changes made to the transaction.

Please refer the scenarios below to assess edits based on the Change Type column:

This means 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.

This means someone unreconciled the transaction. To reconcile it again:

  1. Go to Transactions, then select Bank transactions (Take me there).
  2. Select the account you want to reconcile again, then select Go to bank register.
  3. Select Reconcile.
  4. Verify the Account you've selected and change it, if required.
  5. Enter the info from your statement in the Ending balance field and Ending date field. Then, select Start reconciling.
  6. Review the transactions and select those that match the transactions in your bank statement.
  7. Once the Difference is A$0.00, select Finish now, then select Done.

Alternatively, to reconcile a transaction manually,

  1. Go to Transactions and select Chart of accounts (Take me there).
  2. Select Account history in the Action column of your bank account.
  3. Select the transaction that has been manually unreconciled.
  4. Select the box in the tick column until you see an R. This reconciles the transaction manually.
  5. Select Save.

This means someone has already reconciled the transaction by accident. To remove it and add it 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.

This means someone deleted the transaction. If this was an accident, recreate the transaction exactly as it appears on your discrepancy report:

  1. Select + New.
  2. Select the correct form (invoice, sales receipt, expense, etc).
  3. Fill out the form and select Save and close.
  4. Go to Transactions and select Chart of accounts (Take me there).
  5. Find the bank or credit card account that you put the transaction into and select Account history.
  6. Find the recreated transaction and select it to expand the view.
  7. Select the box in the tick column until you see an R. This manually reconciles the transaction.
  8. Select Save. The deleted transaction may still be on the list, but the discrepancy difference should change and it won't affect your reconciliation.

After you review everything on the discrepancy report, the Total Discrepancy Difference on the report should be A$0.00. Check the beginning balance again in QuickBooks. It should match the beginning balance on your bank statement. Select Resume reconciling to continue reconciling.

Next steps

Once you know your beginning balance is correct, you can start reconciling your account.

If you’ve still got questions, your accountant will be able to steer you in the right direction. We can also help you find a ProAdvisor if you don't have one.

Have any other questions for our team?

If any of your questions were left unanswered, we'd love to hear them!
Pop over to our QuickBooks Community's discussion on bookkeeping processes where you can ask your questions, have them answered by qualified QuickBooks Online experts, and hopefully help others with the same questions out in the process.

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