What You Need to Know Before You Start Entering Your Opening Balances in Sage 50

By Jane E. Kelly

Following is a short list of items that you need to have to hand before you start the process of entering your opening balances in Sage 50. You will need some peace and quiet in order to complete these tasks, so be sure to allocate some space in your diary when you’ll have no interruptions.

Here’s the stuff you will need:

  1. Be absolutely sure that you know the correct dates for your opening balances. Your accountant can help you with this if you’re not sure.

  2. Obtain an opening Trial Balance (TB) from your accountant (or one that you’ve printed off from your previous accounting software).

  3. Have an up-to-date Aged Debtor report, showing a list of itemised sales invoices outstanding at the same date as the opening TB.

  4. Print off an Aged Creditor report, showing a list of outstanding purchase invoices owed by the business at the same date as the opening TB.

  5. Make sure you have copies of bank statements at the closing point of the prior period and also the next few statements, if you have them. (Just to prove when the un-presented cheques actually cleared).

  6. If you carry stock you’ll need an up-to-date stock list showing what items were in stock on the first day of the opening period.

Sage 50 has a useful wizard which helps you process the open balances in a systematic way. It will walk you through the whole process and clearly show you what steps you have completed by entering a tick through each step as you progress through. You must ensure that you methodically work through the opening balances check list, and ensure that a tick is placed in each section.

One of the steps talks about ‘reversing the nominal balances in preparation for entering the Trial Balance’. This might sound like gobbledygook, but actually all it is doing is ensuring that you don’t double count your Aged Debtors and Aged Creditors totals. As long as you tick all the boxes as you work down the checklist, Sage will post the appropriate journals for you!

Having some peace and quiet while you work through this process is worthwhile, as you will need to double check and triple check the reports that you print off, such as checking your Aged Debtors and Creditors reports and ensuring that you’ve entered the opening Trial Balance correctly. So, make sure that you switch off your phones, stop all interruptions and close the office door, but don’t forget to make yourself a nice cup of coffee first!