You can easily enter an opening balance for an existing account by creating a journal entry to offset the Opening Balance Equity.

  • For assets and expense accounts, QuickBooks Online debits the new account and then credits the Opening Balance Equity account.
  • For liabilities, equity, and income accounts, QuickBooks Online credits the account and then debits the Opening Balance Equity account.

For accounts with a register, once you have entered the beginning balance, you need to mark the transaction as reconciled.

Enter an opening balance journal entry

To enter an opening balance journal entry:

  1. Select the Plus icon (+) on the Toolbar.
  2. Under Other, select Journal Entry.
  3. Enter the Journal date.
  4. On the first line, specify the Account to enter the opening balance for.
  5.  Enter the opening balance amount in either the Debit or Credit column, depending on the account type.
    • For assets and expense accounts, enter the opening balance amount in the Debit column
    • For liabilities, equity, and income accounts, enter the opening balance amount in the Credit column
  6. In the Name field, specify one of the following, depending on your entry in the Account column:
    • Specify a Customer name if you selected Accounts Receivable/Debtors
    • Specify a Vendor name if you selected Accounts Payable/Creditors
  7. On the next line, select the Opening Balance Equity account in the Account column
  8. Enter the opening balance amount in either the Debit or Credit column, making sure that you enter it in the opposite column than the one you used on the first line.
    Example: If you entered the amount on the first line in the Debit column, you must enter this amount in the Credit column.
  9. Select Save.
  10. (Optional) Enter a Memo for the transaction, and identify the Location and Class, if you have those preferences turned on.

If the account has a register, such as a bank or credit card account, go to the register to mark this transaction as reconciled.

Mark the transaction as reconciled

To reconcile the opening balance transaction:

  1. Select the Gear icon on the Toolbar.
  2. Under Your Company, select Chart of Accounts.
  3. Locate the appropriate account for the transaction.
  4. From the Action column, select View Register.
  5. Select the Opening Balance transaction.
  6. Select the column labeled with a check mark until a letter R appears, indicating the transaction has been reconciled.
  7. Select Save.

Now you know how to enter an opening balance for an existing account by creating a journal entry to offset the Opening Balance Equity.