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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.

Your accounts in QuickBooks need to match the real-life bank and credit card accounts you're tracking. When you create a new account in QuickBooks, you pick a day to start tracking transactions. Then, you enter the balance of your real-life bank account for whatever day you choose. This amount and start date set the account's opening balance.

Tip: QuickBooks tracks all of your opening balances for all of your accounts in an Opening Balance Equity account. This makes it easy to go back and look at what you entered later on.

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, select an Account Type and a Detail type. Add any other details, such as the Default Tax code, as necessary. Tip: Here are detailed steps for creating a new account.
  5. Choose when you want to start tracking your finances. In the Balance field, enter the amount in the account, and determine the as of date. Enter today's date if you want to start tracking immediately.
  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.

  1. Go to Settings ⚙ and select Chart of accounts.
  2. Locate the account and select Account history.
  3. Find the opening balance entry. Tip: Sort the date column to show the oldest entries first. 
  4. Select the opening balance entry.
  5. Edit the date, then the amount. If needed, select Edit to make your changes. 
  6. Select Save.

If you're trying to edit an opening balance when reconciling an account in QuickBooks Online with your bank or credit card statement, see fix an opening balance to match a bank statement.

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