What are Opening Balances?
Opening Balances are the balances of your accounts at the start of a new accounting period - the balances that you open with. They can also be the balances that you 'open' with if you move from one accounting system to another.
These balances are brought forward using the closing balances of the previous accounting period, or the closing balances from the previous accounting system.
If you're new to Pandle (welcome!), and you have existing balances from the bookkeeping software or method you were previously using, you'll need to enter these into Pandle.
When should I start using Pandle?
While anyone can begin using Pandle on any date, there are certain dates that will make things easier depending on how your business trades.
Starting from a new financial year (usually 6th April for sole traders, or the day after your year end on Companies House if you have limited company) is usually the best option, so that your bookkeeping records are not across two systems whilst preparing your accounts and tax return.
Important: If your business is VAT registered, then we strongly advise you start from the beginning of a new VAT quarter to ensure your VAT calculations are correct. You may need professional support, such as from an accountant, if you move to a new system during a VAT quarter.
Entering Opening Balances
To help make the process a little easier, Pandle includes an Opening Balances Assistant which will explain the best way of entering opening balances based on your circumstances.
Click 'Accounting' in the Pandle navigation bar, and select 'Opening Balance' from the dropdown menu.
The first stage of entering Opening Balances is to enter the date from which your opening balances start. This is usually the date you stop using your old system and start using Pandle, or the start date of your new accounting period.
It is the same date as the closing balance from either your old bookkeeping system (if you're moving) or from the previous accounting period.
Because the closing balances of your previous system are used as the opening balances in Pandle, it's essential to make sure you get things off to a good start and that everything in your existing records is correct. Your accountant can help you with this, or chat to one of our support team for advice.
Use the Customers screen to enter the details of existing customers who currently have an account balance with you (basically, they owe you money). You can add the full list of customers later. Learn more about Customers.
Enter each customer:
Manually by clicking 'Add New Customer'
Using a data upload, by clicking 'Import Customers'.
Use the Suppliers screen to enter the details of existing suppliers who currently have an account balance (your business owes them money). You can add the full list of suppliers later. Learn more about Suppliers.
Enter each customer:
Manually by clicking 'Add New Suppliers'
Using a data upload, by clicking 'Import Suppliers'.
Pandle Pro users will be able to enter stock quantities of items that were on hand at the time of moving from their previous bookkeeping package.
Use the Stock screen to enter each item's details, the purchase and sales categories, and the purchase and sales prices. Learn more about Items.
Add any VAT schemes that you were registered for before moving to Pandle. Learn more about VAT in Pandle.
You might already have entered this information when setting up your Pandle account. It's important to make sure your VAT settings are right at this stage, so that Pandle calculates VAT correctly on Opening Balance transactions.
Enter the details of any invoices which are owed to you, or that you owe to suppliers. If you don't have any, you can skip this stage.
Enter the Opening Balances for each category in the list. The amounts owed by customers and owing to suppliers will be populated for you using the information you enter on the previous screens. The amounts should match your closing trial balance.
You can get this information using the trial balance from your previous system.
Click the menu to add new categories, or to add a bank account.
Pandle will check the new categories which you create, and show an alert if the new category relates to information which should be itemised in one of the previous steps.
This is so that key categories contain essential details, rather than a single balance for the whole category.
Pandle will detect categories that you create yourself which contain the words:
'Debtor' and 'Receivable', because this information is itemised in the Customers tab, where individual customer invoices are entered if they are still outstanding.
'Creditor' and 'Payable' are already included in the Suppliers tab, where you enter any supplier invoices that you owe.
'Stock' and 'Inventory' is detailed in the Stock tab.
If new categories containing these names are detected, Pandle will ask you to confirm that you wish to continue.
What if I have a new business with no previous records?
In this situation, you can start entering transactions in Pandle from the date of your first transaction.
If you are using a bank account with a start balance that did not relate to the business, it is usually easier to make an adjustment rather than going through the opening balance wizard.