An introduction to opening balances

Whether you’re just starting your business or changing from another accounting system, you’re likely to have opening balances. Without accurate opening balances, the reports produced can’t give you a true picture of your financial position.

In Sage Business Cloud Accounting Start, you can enter opening balances for:

If you want to enter opening balances for outstanding customer or supplier transactions, you must upgrade to Sage Business Cloud Accounting.

In order to enter your opening balances, you need your closing trial balance from your previous accounting period and your bank statements. You also need a list of your unrepresented bank items from your previous accounting system. Unrepresented items are bank transactions you’ve entered in your previous system but have yet to appear on your bank statement, for example, uncleared cheques.

We recommend you start using Accounting Start from the beginning of a new accounting period, whether this is a new tax month or quarter or the start of your financial year. You should also complete your final VAT return using your previous system. You can then produce your final trial balance from this system to use when entering opening balances. This ensures that all the values you enter in Accounting Start are accurate and have been reconciled.

You can enter all of your opening balances at once, or you can enter them at different times. For example, if your accountant previously processed your accounts for you, they may not have sent you your full trial balance yet. You can still enter your bank opening balances and then enter the remaining values from the trial balance at a later date.

Before entering opening balances, you need to check you’ve entered your VAT scheme and the start date for your accounting transactions. You also need to create your bank account records, including loan accounts and credit cards.