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Enter an opening balance for a bank account

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How to add an opening balance for a new bank or credit card account in Sage Accounting.


An opening balance is the balance in your bank account on the day you start using Accounting.

Opening balances can be entered at the same time as creating a bank account or added later from the Settings.


Before you start

  • Check your VAT Scheme and Accounts Start Date is correct
  • Create your bank accounts, including any loan and credit card accounts
  • Gather your bank statements and a list of any unrepresented bank items. These are bank transactions you’ve entered in your previous system but have yet to appear on your bank statement, such as uncleared cheques or recent payment and receipts

What you need to know

The purpose of the opening balance is to make sure the bank balance shown in Accounting matches the balance in your actual bank account before you start adding more transactions.

  • Use the amount from your bank statement on the day before you started using Accounting
  • The date you use for your opening balance must be before the date set as your Accounts Start Date
  • Don't use the amount from your trial balance as this may include transactions not yet reflected on your bank statement

 TIP: Enter a positive bank balance as a Receipt (Debit). Enter a negative bank balance for overdrafts, loans as credit cards as a Payment (Credit).

Enter the opening balance

  1. Hover over Settings and select Business settings.
  2. In the Opening Balances section, select Bank.
  3. Check the Accounts Start Date is correct. 
    If it isn’t, click the date. Then change it as required and click Save.
  4. Enter the details of the opening balance.
    • Date - the date must be before your Accounts Start Date. This is the date you first started using Sage Accounting. If you're not sure, this is the date entered in Settings, then Accounting Dates & VAT
    • Type - choose whether you balance is:
      • Receipt (debit) - positive amount
      • Payment (credit) - overdrawn amount
    • Opening Balance - enter the bank balance on your Accounts Start Date
  5. Save.

Once saved:

  • The balance shown on the bank accounts updates to include the opening balance
  • An opening balance transaction shows on your bank activity, ready to be reconciled

Adjust the opening balance

If you've made a mistake and entered the opening balance incorrectly, you can adjust it.

If you haven't reconciled your opening balance, navigate back to Settings, click Business settings and click Bank. You can change the amount or use the bin icon to delete it.

If you have reconciled the opening balance, you can't amend it. Delete the opening balance instead and re-enter it.

Delete a reconciled opening balance

  1. From Banking, select the relevant bank account.
  2. From the Activity tab, select the tick box to the left of the transactions you want to delete. 

  3. A toolbar now appears above the list.

     From the toolbar, select the Delete icon.

Reconcile an opening balance

We recommend that you reconcile your opening balance straight away. This makes sure that your bank balance is correct and matches the opening balance from your bank statement when you do your first reconciliation.

  1. From Banking, open the relevant bank account.
  2. Select Reconcile.
  3. Enter the following information:
    • Statement Date: Change this to the date of your opening balance. This is usually your Accounting Start Date. This will filter out any subsequent transactions and make it easier to find your opening balance transactions
    • Statement End Balance: Enter the total amount of your opening balance
    • Reference: This is just a label for the reconciliation. If you use Opening Balance this will distinguish it from other reconciliations
  4. Choose Apply.
  5. You will then see your opening balance. Select Reconcile next to the transaction.
  6. To complete the reconciliation, select Finish.
  7. To print details of the reconciliation, click Print.

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