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Enter an opening balance for an account in QuickBooks Online

Learn how to enter an opening balance for bank, credit card, and other types of accounts.

When you create a new account in QuickBooks Online, you pick a day to start tracking your transactions. You then enter the balance of your real-life bank account for the day you pick.

This starting point is the opening balance. It summarizes all the transactions that came before it. You enter the same amount in QuickBooks so everything matches your bank records from the start. Here's how to enter the opening balance for accounts you create in QuickBooks.

Enter opening balances for bank and credit card accounts connected to online banking

If you connect your bank and credit card accounts, QuickBooks automatically downloads your historical transactions up to a certain date. It totals them up and enters the opening balance and date for you. You don't need to enter anything.


Enter opening balances for accounts that aren't connected to online banking

If you don't plan to connect your account, you can manually enter the opening balance:

  1. Make sure you know the amount you need to enter for your opening balance. Tip: You can enter opening balances for accounts you just started at your real-life bank, or ones you've had for a while.
  2. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Chart of accounts.
  3. Select New.
  4. Give the account a name, an account type, and a detail type.  Tip: Here are detailed steps for creating a new account.
  5. In the When do you want to start tracking your finances ▼ dropdown, choose when you want to start tracking the transactions:
    • Select Today to start tracking transactions as of today. In the Account Balance field, enter the balance of the account for today. Enter
    • Select Other to pick a specific date to start tracking transactions. In the Select a date field, choose the date you want to start tracking transactions for the account in QuickBooks. In the Account Balance field, enter the balance of the account for the date you pick.
  6. When you're done, select Save and Close.

You can now start tracking new transactions in QuickBooks that come after the opening balance date.


Enter opening balances for accounts that are missing an opening balance

You may create accounts in QuickBooks and start tracking transactions right away. It's possible to skip entering an opening balance. If you did, don't worry. Here's how to enter an opening balance later on.

Edit opening balances

If you need to add transactions that are older than the opening balance, you need to edit the start date and balance. This sets a new starting point and prevents QuickBooks from counting transactions twice.

Learn more about editing opening balances.

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