Opening Balances for Quickfile coming from Excell spreadsheets

We have started using Quickfile for Company accounts from 1st Nov 2019 which is the start of our financial year. Previous to this I had produced a complicated Excel spreadsheet to do the job.

We are have problems understanding how to cope with invoices, VAT liability and Purchases that appear in the bank statements that relate to the previous years account. As I have no Trial balance information I tried to enter the various opening balances as per the example in the Knowledge Base but this did not work as the Journal required the debits and Credits to balance, unlike the example you show!

I have several paid invoices from previous year, one VAT liability payment that was made and 1 purchase from the previous year.

Please help and advise how we deal with these? I had hoped that coming over to Quickfile would have made life easier, currently wondering if should have stuck with spreadsheets?

Hope your help and recover my sanity a little.

If you have generated accounts at the end of your financial year including a balance sheet then you already have your closing balance, so shouldn’t be to hard to work out your opening balances.

If your journal doesn’t balance then something isn’t right with your data.

Thanks for your reply Paul but its not very informative. I sorry but I don’t understand? The example given on the Knowledge base doesn’t indicate that the outstanding items from the previous year need to balance. The Knowledge base is meant to help especially to non accountants.

My spreadsheet gave figures of totals, no balance sheet. The figures were given to the accountant to produce the accounts and corporation Tax return. How do I cope with the items as detailed above.

In order for your accountant to file your corporation tax return he/she would have had to create a set of accounts including a balance sheet as required by law. So you already have the data you need. If there is a particular part of the journal you are unsure of please post the question. But it’s hard to answer the original question since I don’t know what figures or nominals you are trying to journal. But since you already have an accountant it would be quite easy for them to guide you.

As an example if your statement has payments relating to previous years invoices then these invoiced amounts would show on your balance sheet as creditors or debtors. This data would form part of your journal entry.

Depending on whether your vat is cash accounting or accrual, which you haven’t mentioned would depend on how you proceed. For example if on cash you could just create an invoice and date it prior to your starting financial year and pay it by tagging your bank entry.

With vat your opening journal would include the vat liability and then you tag the payment as vat, which would net it off.

Too many unknowns to give an exact answer

Hi Paul,

Lets take each element at a time and that will help me understand how I complete a journal entry correctly for opening balances.

I operate accrual basis. At the start of my new financial year had £7000 in invoiced work still awaiting payment. I would guess that I make a journal entry for under 4000 general sales for an opening balance. Is that correct and would that be a debit or credit? What account do I place the balancing amount against to make a balanced journal entry.

Sorry if this sounds basic stuff to you guys but trying to lean so I can get the benefit of Quickfile!


No you don’t use the general sales nominal. You use the debtors control account.
You also enter everything else listed on your balance sheet that the accountant has produced from submitting your last corporation tax return.

That way everything balances out.

As I said before, I do not know what figures or nominals you need to add data for, only you do. I’d start by first asking your accountant for the accounts they produced so you can see how the balance sheet is represented. Only then will you know what journal entries to make.

If you are unsure of what is a debit and credit then take 5 minutes to learn how a balance sheet works, I apreciate you want help, but I haven’t got time to explain every single nominal and whether it’s a credit or debit, someone else may have.

Hi @Willtec

I’m not able to give account specific advice or to tell you how you should be running your accounts. However, if you could give me a little more information about what you’re having problems with, I can try and guide you to the right places for help.

Thank you for highlighting this, I’ve now raised this with a member of the team who is going to update the example.

As @Paul_Courtier has suggested it may be worth you speaking to your accountant who will be able to advise you on which nominal codes to use and the items to include in your balance sheet.

I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help with this topic, but if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Thanks for the reply Sian.

As a small business owner running my own accounts and only using the accountant for year end, it was great to find something like Quickfile. Especially as it has the community element that I hoped would helps newbie, non accountants, like me, unfamiliar with accounting packages and the norm. Just need to understand how the normal rules work to get the best from it.

Part of the difficulty in the transition to a formal accounting passage is that I don’t complete my year end figures on the last day of the year but sometime after through my accountant so the details Paul was indicating my accountant should have is not available yet. Each financial year I started a new spreadsheet from the excel template, so have never need/used opening closing balances as such.

I have found ways to resolve most of my difficulties with finical year end payments, the only one that I can’t work out how to close off is the VAT payment. I have a VAT liability of Just over £2500 from the last quarter of financial year. The payment showers up in the December bank statement and was sitting in the Suspended account.

Through current trial and error I have produced a Journal opening balance for the 1st Nov 2019 that links the VAT liability to the profit and loss accounts. I then Tag the bank statement as VAT payment and the VAT liability zeros as required. However, the profit and loss account now shows a negative sum and I do not know how to reconcile. This was a holding position until I got advise for here, or my accountant.

I was trying to work out how to add it as creditors control account opening balance but wasn’t sure how to then close it off after the payment was made. I know this may be simple when understood but just haven’t yet fully understood how all the account codes interact for any one financial year to ensure correct and accurate P&L etc.

If you can provide a recommend solution for the VAT then I think I should be sorted from this point forward.


You could start by having a basic balance sheet. Certain items will definitely be the same, for instance your bank balance. If you write cheques you would need to factor these in if they have not cleared the bank account.

When you receive your final accounts from your accoumtant, you could then include/add any further adjustments, like depreciation. The important element is that your balance sheet matches the balance sheet reported in the filed accounts.

You can enter each client invoice owed to you (debtor) and each supplier invoice you owe (creditor). This way you would generate a debtors and creditors list matched to a particular client/supplier. The two important elements are that the date the invoices entered match the original document or are at least ON OR BEFORE the last day of the financial year. For example if your financial year ends of the 31/10/2019, all of the invoices entered would need to be entered on or before this date. One advantage of this method is that it gives an accurate aged debtors list and you could easily match/tag bank transactions when they happen.

The important issue is that the category used in the invoice is an Equity item. For instance you could create an equity item called opening balance. All invoices created would have the same same “opening balance/equity item selected”. This would be true for both client and supplier invoices. The total amount of the invoice is entered including vat. For example if the original invoice was for £100 + Vat (£20), the amount entered is £120 selecting opening balance/retained as the category. This assumes you are reporting vat on accrual.

The vat element is straightforward if the vat period coincides with the vat period you are entering. The net vat to pay reported is the amount entered as a Journal. For example credit vat liability debit opening balance/equity

What confuses me is the op in their opening question said they started using QF Nov 19 the start of their new financial year.

Op said accountant filed tax return prior to this.

Then op says they don’t have the accounts yet as it’s too soon?

It doesn’t make sense. Ithe return being filed after Nov 19 is irrelevant. The balance sheet would still be upto and including the last day of the previous financial year.

I’m sorry to say but I don’t think the op quite grasps what I’m saying and that worries me as to what else might be wrong.

Can they not just ask their accountant to provide a debit and credit list of nominals based on the last accounts? It would take them 5 minutes.

Hi Paul,

Don’t be so worried. I have sorted it all out now, through intelligent thought and other helpful posts that I found.

Just for clarity to help you understand, for the 2018-2019 tax year, completed on excel, will be provided to my accountant to produce my formal accounts at some point in 2020 as I have always been informed that I have 9 months to submit my final accounts. As such I do not yet have the closing figures for the end of financial year, which runs from November to October, to put into my opening figures as of Nov 2019.

Hope that helps.

As I now have resolved all my difficulties through self investigation and learning, we can all move on.

Thanks 1andy_me for taking time to provide detailed help examples. I have worked out the elements that required clearing in various appropriate ways that have all balanced out as required. I’m sure there will be other adjustments to make once I have the final figures for the previous year.

Thought it would be simpler to transition to an accounting tool over my trusted spreadsheet that has served for over 15 years of business, with several modifications over that time.

Its good to learn something new and my wife and I are getting there. Sure we will both need more helpful support form the community in the future. As I build my understanding I hope to help others in the future too.

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