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Opening balances

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How to enter and adjust opening balances in Sage Accounting.


Enter opening balances to make sure you have a true picture of your finances when you start using Accounting.

Enter opening balances for

  • Bank accounts
  • Ledger Accounts (trial balance)
  • Customers and suppliers


Before you start

Sage recommends to start Accounting at the beginning of a new accounting period.

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Enter the start date in the settings: Navigate to Settings, select Accounting Dates & VAT, and enter your Accounts Start Date in the relevant field.
  2. Submit your final VAT return using your previous system.
  3. Print the trial balance from your previous system.
  4. Create records for customers, suppliers, and bank accounts in Sage Accounting.

Information you need

  • A list of outstanding (unpaid) transactions for your customers or suppliers
  • Balance for each bank account from your bank statements
  • Balance of each ledger account from your trial balance

How it works

You can enter opening balances all at once or at different times, depending on your preference and situation. If your accountant has processed your accounts but hasn't sent the full trial balance yet, you can still enter opening balances for customers, suppliers, and banks. Later, you can add the remaining values from the trial balance when available.

You can enter opening balances either as a single value or as a list of transactions. If you have unpaid invoices from your previous system, it's advisable to enter them as separate values. This allows for easier matching with payments later on.

If you have a large number of customers or suppliers, consider importing opening balances from a CSV file, see Import opening balances

How to enter opening balances

Once you’ve done this, you can enter opening balances for the following:

How opening balances work in Sage Accounting

All transactions have to conform to double entry bookkeeping rules so opening balance must have both a debit and credit value.

The ledger account entered or linked to the bank, customer, or supplier record records one side of the transaction.

You record the other side of the transaction against the Opening Balance Control ledger account, typically labelled as 9998.

Adjust your opening balances

If you've made a mistake, you can edit or change an opening balance at anytime.

How you make the change will depend on the type of opening balance and it's status.

Change an opening balance for a bank account

Change a customer opening balance

Change a supplier opening balance

Change an opening balance for a ledger account

When you adjust an opening balance, the system adjusts the corresponding ledger accounts. It documents any discrepancies found between the total debits and credits across all opening balances in the Opening Balances ledger account (9998).