Opening balances for P&L accounts on general ledger summary

Dear @lubos

Can you help me, please?

It turns out that the report that can support me in the task is General Ledger Summary, however, it does not show the opening balance and closing balance for the expense and income accounts.

In my country it is strictly necessary to use the opening balance and closing balance for expense and income accounts.

I ask you to please help me with such need. At least a report appears in manager that supports me in doing such a task.

In the following picture I show you an idea taken from manager:

Thank you!

The opening balance for Income & Expense account is zero for each accounting year

The Net movement column shows the net movement for the year

I understand that, however, in my country they ask for it in the way I described it. That is why I am asking for help to see if @lubos create a report that includes the opening balance and closing balance for expenses and incomes accounts.

I don’t quite understand this requirement. General Ledger Summary is not exactly core accounting statement. So the argument this is legally required is not convincing.

However, it could be done. The report could have a checkbox where you could enable opening balances for income/expense accounts by specifying start date for these accounts.

I’ll move this under ideas just to see what others think.


I really appreciate it @lubos. You are very kind.

This seem not only unnecessary, but practically infeasible. Income and expenses must, by definition, be determined over a specified time period, call it Y to Z. There is no income and there are no expenses before the initial date of the report, Y.

Think about it. If you have an opening balance for an income or expense account, that implies you are really accounting for a period that started earlier. So you have to define that earlier date, call it X. Now you no longer have a report for Y to Z, but for X to Z. And what do you do for an opening balance on Day X? You need to define an even earlier date, W. So you have a report for W to Z. And it goes on forever.

Balance sheet accounts can have opening balances because they are permanent and go back to the inception of the business.

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@Tut The idea is to obtain balances in the same period (for expenses and incomes account). It is logical that if we try to extract balances between different periods, then the logic is distorted. For example, make reports to February 2021 to May 2021 or October 2020 to December 2020.

I don’t get that logic. And I am not dismissing your use case for it but I really can’t see how this would benefit 99% of users.


GL report and it’s variations aren’t your typical day to day management reports. It’s a report specifically requested for by auditors and finance managers. For those users, this is the link between core accounting statements and their testing and sampling and it’s one of the ways the auditors test the linkage between opening balances and closing balances.

Also the first sanity check auditors do on a GL report or any variations of it would be to check if the total ties in to zero – which wouldn’t be the case if opening balances of P&L are introduced.

Imo, that this idea would be of benefit to a tiny niche, and while we don’t here much from majority of users for now, the said changes will most likely have many users flooding the forum when they hear what their auditors think of the report.

So I really hope whatever changes to be done are optional because there isn’t any available substitutes for this report.

Exactly. The idea is that be optional with a checkbox.

Making it optional does not overcome the logical flaws.

I agree that most of the users won’t find it useful, as it isn’t a legally required information. At least not in my country.

However, it would be interesting for internal analytical and control uses. I’m thinking, for example, monthly checks of integrity and classification of expenses. I use a wide variety of expenses accounts that I have to go through to check everything is booked in the appropriate account. With this you can not only check the movement of the month but also the overall balance of the account at the beginning and end of the period selected.

Create a P & L report with columns for each period you are interested in - these could be months or year to date, whatever period you need


Can anyone give me any information about this?

I can give you information:

  • The developer specifically put this into ideas just to see what other users think.
  • Feedback was almost entirely opposed.
  • @Joe91 pointed out that comparative P&L statements already provide the information you want.
  • Three forum moderators liked @Joe91’s comment.
  • With no groundswell of support, the developer has done nothing.

Considering that history, I believe the developer should remove this from the ideas category. Were it up to me, I would do so; but he is the one who put the topic into ideas, so I think it should be up to him to decide whether to take it out.

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Too bad that idea is not taken. I have spoken with colleagues from other Central and South American jurisdictions and they have all agreed with me. That proposed solution that you offered would have been very functional. For the time being, I still have to manually register the opening and closing balances month by month for the income statements, something that becomes quite cumbersome.