What are Opening Balances?
If your business used a previous accounting system before Pandle, you will need to enter opening balances. 

This is when you would choose a date to stop using your old system and start using Pandle. On this date, your old system will have closing balances, usually in the form of a Trial Balance report. These balances will be things like the value of assets, bank balances, loan balances etc.

These closing balances are also used as opening balances in Pandle, so it's important to ensure that the bookkeeping completed on your previous system was correct and complete up to that date.

To help make this process easier for users we have created an Opening Balances Assistant, which will guide you through the best way of entering your opening balances in Pandle, based on your circumstances.

You can also read all about this below...

What date should I start using Pandle?

While anyone can begin using Pandle on any date, there are certain dates that work better 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, as it means your bookkeeping is not across two systems when preparing the accounts/tax return.

Your business is VAT registered

However, if your business is VAT registered we would strongly advise that you start from the beginning of a new VAT quarter to ensure VAT calculations are correct in Pandle. 

If you start during a VAT quarter then you will need help from a professional to ensure the first VAT return in Pandle is submitted correctly.

How to enter Opening Balances

To enter Opening Balances in Pandle, go to Accounting > Opening Balance. You will then be presented with the Opening Balance Wizard, pictured below.

Customers and Suppliers
The first two steps instruct you how you can add customers and suppliers to Pandle (if you haven't done so already).

You only need to add the customers and suppliers who you owe money to (creditors) and who owe money to you (debtors) at the date you're starting to enter transactions in Pandle. 

If you have lots of customers/suppliers to add, you can also import them.

If your business is VAT registered then you will need to supply your VAT details. 

You may have already entered this information when setting up Pandle originally but if not, you will need to enter it now. 

It is important to get the VAT settings right at this stage so that Pandle knows how to calculate the VAT correctly on the Opening Balance transactions, such as in the amounts owed from your customers.

Outstanding amounts
You will then need to change the outstanding amounts to the same date you began entering transactions in Pandle. 

If you were neither owed money from debtors nor owed money to creditors, you can skip this stage.

If money was owed then all invoices which make up the amounts owed will need to be entered here. You can enter customer and supplier invoices here by changing the 'Type' of transaction on each row.

Opening Balances

The final step asks for the remainder of your Opening Balances, which you can take from the trial balance of your previous system. 

You will notice that the amount owed from customers and amount owed to suppliers have been populated for you. 

These amounts should match those on your closing trial balance - if they don't match you will need to go back to the previous step and correct the invoicing entries.

Please ensure that the date entered (highlighted above) is the date which transactions start being entered from, i.e., the day after the closing trial balance date.

You can also create new categories from the menu.

Pandle will check 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.

Opening Balances can sometimes get complex depending on your previous system and how many balances you have. Therefore if you have any doubts it's always best to ask your accountant.

You have a new business with no previous records kept

In this instance you simply 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 you can make a simple adjustment rather than going through the opening balance wizard. Let's take an example of £5,000 in the bank at your business start date:

Go to Categories and click on the plus symbol then 'New Adjustment'.

For a sole trader, you need to adjust the bank balance against either capital introduced (if a positive balance) or drawings (if an overdrawn balance). For limited companies, the relevant director's loan account would be used.

Please note, for your records a bank debit balance is positive (the banks say a credit balance as it's from their point of view).

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