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Chart of account opening balances

When setting up the Chart of Accounts, do I add the opening balance for liabilities as a negative number?

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QuickBooks Team

Chart of account opening balances

Hello JDeacon,


Welcome to Community!  Entering an opening balance is essential in ensuring your bank and credit card accounts match your bank records.  QuickBooks Online provides the option to add or edit opening balances, so your accounts remain aligned.  I'd be glad to help!


If you haven't reconciled the bank account, you can record the opening balance with a journal entry.  Here's how;


1. From the left menu, open +New and select Journal entry

2. Enter a date that comes before the oldest transaction in the account.  This will be the opening balance date.

3. In the first row in the Account column, use the ▼drop-down menu to choose the account you want to enter the opening balance for

4. Enter a note in the Description field so you know what the journal entry is for.

5. On the second row under the Account column, select and choose Opening Balance Equity, from the ▼ dropdown menu 

6. Use your bank statements to enter the opening balance for your real-life account for the date you picked as the opening balance. You'll need to enter both a debit and a credit to keep things accurate. 

7. When you're ready, hit Save and close.


Next, you'll need to mark the journal entry as reconciled.  The ensures it doesn't show up on future reconciliations.  


Follow these steps to reconcile the journal entry;


1. Go to your Settings ⚙ and select Chart of accounts

2. Locate the account and click on Account history from the Action column

3. Find the journal entry you just created, then click on it to expand the view

4. Select the box in the checkmark column until you see an R. This reconciles the journal entry.

5. Hit Save.

This should balance your accounts and you can follow the usual steps to reconcile the account.


If you have any other questions, I recommend reaching out to your accountant.  If you don't have an accountant,  We can help you locate a ProAdvisor in your local area.


Feel free to reach out again, if any other questions come to mind.  We are always happy to assist! 

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