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Fix beginning balance issues in QuickBooks Desktop

by Intuit Updated 7 months ago

Learn how to fix beginning balance issues in QuickBooks.

When you Begin Reconciliation then select an account to reconcile, the Beginning Balance is zero or incorrect. This may be due to one of the following reasons:

  • The account wasn't set up a balance or with the right balance
  • Previously cleared and reconciled transactions were voided, deleted, or modified
  • You converted the file from another version of QuickBooks
  • Possible data damage

Fix beginning balance issues

Correct a zero balance

Create the opening balance again

If it's your first time reconciling the account, you can create the opening balance again. Create a journal entry and then reconcile to fix it.

Step 1: Create a journal entry

Use the correct date and amount you want to see in the Begin Reconciliation window.

  1. Go to Company, and then select Make General Journal Entries.
  2. Change the date to the correct statement date of your beginning balance.
  3. Select the account you want from the Account drop-down.
  4. Enter the correct opening balance in the Debit column.
  5. Select Opening Balance Equity and then select Save.

Step 2: Reconcile to correct the Beginning Balance

  1. Go to Banking, and then select Reconcile.
  2. Select the account you want from the Account drop-down.
  3. Enter the statement date and ending balance that matches your Journal Entry.
  4. Select Continue.
  5. In Deposits and Other Credits, select the Journal Entry.
    Note: The amount shown for the Difference should now be zero.
  6. Select Reconcile Now.

Fix an incorrect balance

Fix edited, deleted, or cleared transactions

To find the transactions giving you problems, run any of these reports:

Reconcile Discrepancy report

  1. Go to Reports, then select Banking, and then Reconciliation Discrepancy.
  2. Select the Account, and then select OK. You'll have a list of transactions that changed since your last reconciliation. Use this report to identify the transaction(s) causing the issue.
  3. If you find a discrepancy, note the transaction date and the Entered/Last Modified, which will tell you when the change happened.

Audit Trail report

  1. Go to Reports, select Banking, and then Previous Reconciliation.
  2. Select the account you want to reconcile.
  3. Select the most recent statement date. Choose Transactions cleared at the time of reconciliation. (Report shows as a PDF file) then Display. Note the statement and the reconciliation creation date.
  4. Go to Reports, then select Accountant & Taxes, and then Audit Trail.
  5. Set the Account filter to the account you want to reconcile.
    1. Select Customize Report.
    2. Go Filters, and then choose Account from the filters.
    3. Select the account in the Account drop-down.
  6. Select Display. Set the Date filter with the From field blank and the To date set to the statement date and select OK.
  7. Set the Entered/Modified filter with the From date set to the previous reconciliation creation date from the PDF, and the To field as today's date.

See if any of the transactions in the report can account for the discrepancy.

Previous Reconciliation report

If you use QuickBooks Pro, you can only access the last reconciliation report. To keep a copy of the other reports, save a PDF copy on your hard drive. See view previous bank reconciliation reports to learn more.

  1. Go to Reports, select Banking, and then Previous Reconciliation.
  2. Select the Account and Statement Ending Date and then Display.

Compare this report to past statements from your financial institution.

Correct the discrepancy

To correct the discrepancy, you might need to edit or enter the transactions again. You can try one of the following options:

Undo a previous reconciliation and redo it

  1. Back up your QuickBooks company file.
  2. Go to Banking, and then Reconcile.
  3. Select Undo Last Reconciliation.
  4. When prompted, select Continue and then OK.
  5. Close out of reconcile and open it again.

Ignore the discrepancy and let QuickBooks enter an offsetting adjustment

Select Enter Adjustment to complete the reconciliation process. QuickBooks will automatically create a Journal Entry under a special expense account called Reconciliation Discrepancies. You can check and edit it from your Chart of Accounts.

If you need to locate the Journal Entry, you can:

  • Use the Find feature:
    1. Go to Edit, and then select Find.
    2. Select Advanced, and then choose Memo.
    3. Type Balance Adjustment, then select Find. Any balance adjustment will show.
  • View the Previous Reconciliation report.
    1. Go to Reports, select Banking, and then Previous Reconciliation.
    2. If a balance adjustment was made, you'll see a General Journal Entry in Cleared Transactions.

Understand limitations when you switch from other versions of QuickBooks

Since reconciliation works differently in QuickBooks Desktop for Mac and QuickBooks Online, some transactions may get unreconciled. This affects your opening balance.

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