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What's an opening balance?

Learn about opening balances in QuickBooks.

In QuickBooks, you use accounts to track your bank and credit card transactions. These accounts need to match the real-life accounts you're tracking.

When you create a new account in QuickBooks, you pick a day to start tracking transactions. To do this, you enter the balance of your real-life bank account for whatever day you choose.

Learn how it works

An opening balance is the starting point for the account you create in QuickBooks. It summarises all past transactions in your real-life account up to the opening balance date. Think of it as a snapshot of the account's history.

Choose an easy date to start your opening balance. If you just opened a new account at your real-life bank, use the day you opened the account. If you've had the account for a while, set your opening balance for the end of the month when you get your next bank statement.

Whatever date you choose, use your bank statement to get the account balance for that day.

Check out a few examples

Let's look at an example. You open a brand new account at your bank with $100. If you create a QuickBooks account and set the "as of" date for the same day, the opening balance is $100.

You can start the opening balance on any day. Many of us choose a date that's in the middle of a bank statement period for accounts we already have. Or maybe you've had your account for a while and now want to start tracking it in QuickBooks. You can start from the end of a recent bank statement so you can just summarise all of your past transactions in the opening balance.

If you set the "as of" date for May 8th, the opening balance in QuickBooks is the balance of your real-life account's balance on May 8th.

Start entering opening balances

Learn how to enter opening balances in QuickBooks Online.

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