If you are a new user of Sage Line 50, (if you are not upgrading from a previous version) you will need to enter a series of opening balances. These opening balances are very important to your bookkeeping activities and you must get them right. If you do not enter them correctly then your books will be wrong (although you can make adjustments to correct them). Entering your opening balances is not a straightforward process, as certain conditions (such as your nominal codes) must be in place before some opening balances are entered.
In the next four chapters, Sage Line 50 takes you through the process of entering your opening
balances; firstly by setting up your nominal codes, secondly, entering your customer and
supplier records and entering their respective opening balances, thirdly entering your stock
details and their opening balances, and finally, entering opening balances for the nominal ledger
and bank accounts.
Opening Balances Overview
Opening balances represent the financial position of your organisation on the day you start
entering live transactions. Whatever date you choose, you are likely to have opening balances,
whether your organisation is just starting up or changing over from another accounting system.
Opening balances are transactions that already exist before you start using Sage Line 50. If you
have an established business, your opening balances can either be taken from your previous
accounting system or they will be provided by your accountant. If you are starting a new
business your opening balances will consist of your start up costs, e.g. costs of assets (e.g. a
computer) or your rent, bank balance or capital.
Opening balances consist of information such as:
Outstanding customer transactions (if you do not have these yet, because you are a new
business, you can enter them at a later date).
Outstanding supplier transactions (e.g. an invoice for a computer or rent for your
Nominal ledger trial balance (for example, your assets, capital, stock or hire purchase
The following procedure lays out the order in which you should enter your opening balance
details. You may not be ready to complete this procedure immediately, as you may not have
entered all the necessary information, and so it is intended as a reference point for you. We
suggest that once you have worked through the next three chapters, you come back to this
point and run through these steps. The opening balance procedure is described in the following
Note: You may not have to complete all these steps, for example you may not have any
customers or any stock. In this case, simply skip these stages.
The Opening Balances Procedure
1. Enter the opening balances for your customers and suppliers.
2. Check your customers’ and suppliers’ opening balances. To do so follow the steps below:
Print both the Aged Debtors Analysis and Customer Activity (Detailed) reports.
Print both the Aged Creditors Analysis and Supplier Activity (Detailed) reports.
Using these reports, check that you have entered the opening balances for each customer
and supplier correctly. Amend any entries if necessary before continuing.
Once you are satisfied that your entries are correct, print your current Trial Balance report.
3. After entering the opening balances for your customers and suppliers you should clear the
values in your Debtors and Creditors Control accounts, your VAT accounts and your
Suspense account, (if you are using Standard VAT Accounting you will not need to clear
your VAT accounts, as they will have no balance) otherwise these postings will be
duplicated when you post the opening balances for your nominal ledger accounts and your
balance sheet will be incorrect.
4. Enter the opening balances for your stock. For further information on how to do this,
5. Enter the opening balances for your nominal ledger accounts and bank accounts.
6. Print your Trial Balance report and check that you have posted all your Nominal Ledger and
Bank account opening balances and that the balance in your Suspense Account is zero. If it is not,
print the Nominal Activity report from the Nominal Reports window in the Nominal Ledger, and use this to check all
your opening balances again until you find your error. You will need to check that:
Opening balances for all of your nominal accounts from your full trial balance have
An opening balance has not been entered twice.
Balances have not been entered as debits when they should be credits and vice