Starting Balances Tab Not Showing up in Settings

Hello Forum Members,
I can not find ‘Starting Balances’ or ‘opening balances’ tab in my manager Settings (Desktop Edition) . Here is a screenshot:

It was Working fine before. I want to know if it is a bug or i have messed up with my settings.

  • Start Date is Set Already

  • Lock date is not set

The method for entering starting balances was updated. In essence, you will find/enter them in their tabs or subledgers, though some will be entered in “Chart of Accounts.” This is the applicable guide;

1 Like

This is not true. Under the new scheme, only the start date itself is set there. All starting balances are entered elsewhere.

My mistake; I meant to refer to “Chart of Accounts” (it was late…). I’ve updated my post accordingly.

That seems like a huge downgrade. The previous method was much better, now it’s a pain. I wonder if @lubos might consider bringing the old starting balance workflow.

I think that if you actually try the new scheme, you will find it’s much easier than the old one. Much less jumping around, and no drilling down. Now, everything you need to know or do as you set up an account, an asset, or an employee is on the same form/page. And pre-start-date invoices for customers and suppliers don’t have to be entered differently from regular invoices. They are entered in the regular tabs and just get dates before the start date. Remember also, you only do it once. So there is no reason to be going back to the Starting Balances page in Settings.

Interestingly, since the change was introduced 3 weeks ago, there have been no questions on the forum about how to use it. There have only been a couple about how to find starting balances since that heading disappeared from Settings. There were routinely questions under the old system.


That’s a huge plus in my book, however, starting balances used to be a process controlled and monitored by the Starting Balances screen, and now it’s up to the user to do more to ensure that he doesn’t make a mistake, and that’s why I said it was a downgrade.

I am all for not making starting balances “special” in any sense, but what if we kept the old starting balance entry screen and gave the user links to other tabs and settings where he can do his job and come back to the starting balance screen to see his progress; what he did, what he missed.

The Starting Balances report accomplishes what you suggest and is fully clickable.

1 Like

Thank you for all the help!
@p4unger @tut

I had to revisit the starting balances for one of my businesses. I found that the guide for the new starting balance configuration was totally inadequate in regards to equity. I was only able to figure it out by using a test database.

There is only one sentence in the guide about setting up starting balances for equity and the wording is somewhat confusing. There is nothing about needing to set up either capital accounts or a chart account for equity to enter the starting capital balance(s) which defaults to retained earnings account if this is not done.

Also, the wording for the options when entering a starting balance in the capital accounts tab is confusing. The options are “Paid in advance” or :“Amount to pay”. I couldn’t work out from these terms which was for positive or negative equity without performing trial and error test

There are several reasons:

  • Entering starting balances for equity accounts is not different from entering starting balances for asset or liability accounts. You will notice there are also no instructions specifically for those. The differences on how you enter starting balances have only to do with whether the starting balances relate to ordinary accounts, subsidiary ledgers, or pending transactions. This is stated near the beginning of the Guide under the heading, Enter starting balances. The rest of the Guide is organized to match those three options.
  • You do not need to set up either capital accounts or any other form of equity account. As you correctly observed, any imbalance will be taken up in Retained earnings. This is because, if you have entered your other starting balances correctly, it cannot be otherwise. (See the point below.) It is possible to have a business entity with no form of equity account except Retained earnings.
  • When it comes to entering starting balances, you should be matching your prior accounting system. If you had a closing balance in a capital account, you need to mirror that structure in the new business in order to have a place to entering the corresponding starting balance. If you had a closing balance in some other equity account, you should mirror that.

Thanks @tut everything you say is correct. I think that some of the terminology used could be changed to make it clearer and some reference be made as to how retained earnings brought from another system is set up as it is not possible to enter a starting balance for Retained earnings directly.

It wasn’t that difficult for me to figure it out, but I was trying to put myself in a less experienced persons shoes and I felt that it could be a bit confusing.

Good suggestion, @AJD. I initiated a change to the relevant Guide explaining how the starting balance for Retained earnings works.

I can testify that for purposes of entering starting balances the starting balance report is absolutely useless.

As a start, it gives you no clue on what you should do.

We have to jump around everywhere without any fixed place. If you spend just a little bit too long in one tab you will definitely forget what you were working on.

Dear @lubos, please do something here, entering opening balances now feels like juggling balls while balancing on a ball, to me this is a big downgrade. Could you at least provide some clue on why you think that having a linked lead sheet for entering starting balances is not a good idea. It’s very puzzling to me.

In my opinion, @Ealfardan, you are looking at the Starting Balances report the wrong way. Its purpose is not to provide a place to enter starting balances, but to see in one place what has been entered. If there are any starting balances, everything is clickable. So it can be useful for troubleshooting. But if you enter starting balances correctly, you may never need to look at it.

I find the current entry scheme reduces jumping around. You set the starting balance when you create an account or a subsidiary ledger. You enter starting payables or receivables and pending transactions the same way as for any other transaction of the type except that the date is before the start date. You never have to go to the Settings tab (once the start date itself has been set). There is no need to drill down through multiple levels to get to the right input screen. Most important, there are no longer multiple places to enter transactions of the same type based on whether they are pre- or post-start-date.