Beginning Balance Alternatives - Accounting Software Secrets
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Beginning Balance Alternatives

Beginning Balance Alternatives

Beginning Balance Alternatives

Entering opening balances is not necessary if the QuickBooks file is created when the business starts.  Obviously this is the exception rather than the rule.

The process available through the chart of accounts set up in QuickBooks with the exceptions for the bank accounts, Accounts Receivable, Inventory, Accounts Payable, and the income and expense accounts works well if the information is being transferred from another system and the detail (i.e. outstanding invoices and bills) is desired.

If the balances for the chart of accounts, items, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable are only needed in total it is possible to import the beginning balances when the lists are imported from Excel.  This process is equivalent to entering the balance and as of date at the bottom of the new list entry form.

There are also several tools to make starting a new QuickBooks file from an existing QuickBooks file more efficient.  They fall primarily into two categories:

Beginning Balance Transfer – tools that make the transfer easy to transfer the balance information.  There is one tool that uses IIF technology, which means that the information can be edited prior to import (i.e. if the business is cash basis, for example, the account used for recording the transactions can be changed to an income or expense type account rather than Opening Balance Equity).  The other uses XML which has the benefit of pre-import report and error checking upon import.

Transaction Copiers – If the conversion to a new file does not occur right at the end of the period, it may be nice to actually enter beginning balances as of the beginning of the period and then transfer in the transactions.  Again, the tools available either use IIF technology which means the transactions are simply imported without any bells and whistles, or the other which uses XML with the benefit of the links between transactions are preserved plus error checking is available.  Both tools only transfer supported transaction types (i.e. those transactions which Intuit has included access to in the SDK) so other methods will need to be used for paycheck, payroll liability checks, payroll liability adjustments, etc.

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