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Intuit

Fix a Balance Sheet that's out of balance

Learn how to fix your balance sheet when it’s out of balance in QuickBooks Desktop.

Your total assets should match your total liabilities on your Balance Sheet. If they don’t, we can help figure out how to fix it.

Tip: Balance sheet reports can be tricky. It’s a good idea to ask your bookkeeper or accountant for help before you continue. If you don’t have one, we can help you find an accountant.

Important: Since you might have to edit transactions to fix this problem, you should make a backup before you continue.

Step 1: Run the report in accrual basis

If you aren’t already, run the report in accrual basis.

  1. From the Reports menu, select Company & Financial and then Balance Sheet Summary.
  2. Select Customise Report.
  3. On the Display tab, select Accrual under Report Basis.
  4. Select OK.

If your balance sheet is out of balance in accrual basis, you should rebuild your company file first. If it's out of balance in cash basis only, or if it's still out of balance after a rebuild, continue to step 2.

Important: Make note whether your balance sheet is out of balance in accrual only basis, or both cash and accrual basis. You'll need this for later steps.

Step 2: Find the date when your balance sheet went out of balance

To locate the transaction or transactions causing the problem, find the date when this report went out of balance.

  1. Go to the Reports menu and select Company & Financials and then Balance Sheet Summary.
  2. Select Customise Report.
  3. On the Display tab, from the Dates ▼ dropdown, select All.
  4. Go to the Report Basis section. If your balance sheet is out of balance in accrual only, select Accrual. Otherwise, select Cash.
  5. In the Columns section, from the Display columns by ▼ dropdown, select Year.
    Select OK.
  6. Compare your Total Assets to Total Liabilities & Equity. Find when your balance sheet goes out of balance.

Once you find the year, follow the same steps to narrow down the exact date.

  1. Repeat steps 1 through 6 above. This time, from the Display columns by ▼ dropdown, select Month.
  2. After you find the month, follow steps 1 through 6 again. Now, select Week.
  3. And finally, once you find the week, repeat the steps again. This time, select Day.
  4. Now that you have the date your report went out of balance, continue to step 3.

Step 3: Find the transactions that are making your balance sheet out of balance

Run a Custom Transaction Detail report for the date you noted.

  1. Go to the Reports menu and select Custom Report and then Transaction Detail.
  2. On the Modify Report window, look for the Report Date Range section. Enter the date the report went out of balance in the From and to fields.
  3. Go to the Report Basis section. If your balance sheet is out of balance in accrual only, select Accrual. Otherwise, select Cash.
  4. In the Columns section, uncheck Account, Split, Clr, and Class. Select Amount. This will make the report easier to read. Select the Paid Amount column.
  5. Select OK.
  6. The ending balance in the Paid Amount column should equal the amount that is out of balance. Look through the report to find the transaction or transactions that add up to this amount.

If you can't find the transactions, continue to Advanced troubleshooting for Balance Sheet issues.

Step 4: Re-date the transactions

  1. Once you find the transaction or transactions causing the problem, change the dates on them. Make a note of their current dates. Then, edit the date on each transaction to a day 20 years in the future.
  2. Save each transaction.
  3. Refresh the report, if you found the correct transactions, the Paid Amount column will now be zero.
  4. Locate the transactions you dated into the future and date them back to their original date.Note: This re-dating step re-links the transactions and can repair them.

If this doesn't work, proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Delete and reenter the transactions

If changing the dates on the transaction or transactions doesn't fix the problem, then you should delete and reenter them.

If your balance sheet is still out of balance after, try Advanced troubleshooting for Balance Sheet issues.

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