Determining Your Opening Balance

Determining Your Opening Balance

The Purpose of an Opening Balance

One of the main reasons to create an opening balance in Sunrise is to transfer data into Sunrise from another accounting software. You would also want to create an opening balance if you signed up for Sunrise mid-year—for example, if you started using Sunrise in June but wanted all of your business activity for January through May in the software. 

Having multiple sets of data in different accounting systems for one calendar year not only complicates things, but CPAs will charge you for both accounts once tax season rolls around.  

We advise you to maintain all of your records for one calendar year in one place to ensure one set of accounting data and reporting. We will walk you through the steps of determining and editing an Opening Balance in Sunrise. 

Determine Your Opening Balance

Customers come to Sunrise from 3 main sources:

  1.  Another Platform: When you switch from another accounting platform such as Quickbooks or Wave, you need to upload your data into Sunrise. This process involves taking a CSV file and uploading your contacts, products, and chart of accounts to determine an Opening Balance.
  2. Tax Return: With a tax return, you can establish your Opening Balance by entering your assets and inventory, then taking your last cash balance as your opening balance. You will have to manually edit those opening balances with this option. We advise that you visit with your tax professional to determine the entries related to asset depreciation, owner’s equity, and year-end/new year beginning retained earnings. 
  3. Fresh Start: This option means that you are completely new, with no previous bookkeeping data stored in another system or that you have yet to file taxes. To determine an opening balance, you simply need to sync your bank account with Sunrise. However, if you had contributed personal capital, charged credit cards, received a loan, or received money from investors, you would need to manually input that into Sunrise as your Opening Balance.

Establishing an Opening Balance

This is the simplest way to establish an opening balance. However, it can only be done if your bank is synced and transactions have been imported from your bank for the entire calendar year.

Step 1: Navigate to the Bank Account tab and click Match Transactions in the top right corner. 

Step 2: Look for capital that is not considered revenue, including loans, personal payments, investor capital, etc. 

Step 3: Once the capital is located, click Create Transfer.

Step 4: Under the Account section, click Create New.

Step 5: Fill out the information to create a new account with name and description.

Step 6: Select Group and the +More Options button to select the appropriate category for those funds. (ex: if you bought a new truck, select Current Assets).

Step 7: For the series number, locate the correct category number under your Chart of Accounts. (ex: For Current Assets, the series number would be in the 1200 series). 

Step 8: Save and Match the transaction.

Note: Repeat these steps for the other non-revenue capital in your account.

Check Your Work

Double-check that your numbers are stored in the right series by locating the entry in the Chart of Accounts, Profit and Loss, and/or Balance Sheet report to ensure that your entry correctly affected the books.

Once you’ve entered all of your capital and double-checked the categories, you will have correctly established your Opening Balances. 

Manually Creating an Opening Balance from Historic Data 

This process applies if you are transferring data from another accounting platform, tax return, or investor capital statement.

  • Click Settings at the bottom of the Navigation Menu.

  • Select Organization.

  • Click Edit Account Balances.

  • Set the conversion date to the day before you started using Sunrise. This step will enable you to pull reports with all of the data from the day you started moving forward. 

If you have a balance sheet from previous accounting software, refer to this example:


  • Please note that your total assets need to equal your total liabilities and equity. 

  • Next, scroll through the page to locate the account that needs a balance entered (i.e., total accounts receivable in 1110 - Total Accounts Receivable section).


  • Liabilities (or amounts that are owed) are entered as a positive balance in that account field. You will then need to adjust the 3100 - Opening Balance Adjustment account with negative the same amount.

Note: Keep in mind that your credits and debits need to balance before this will save. There's a balance check available at the bottom of the screen where you can track this.

Double-check that your numbers are stored in the right series by locating the entry in the Chart of Accounts, Profit and Loss, and/or Balance Sheet report to ensure that your entry correctly affected the books.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We'd be happy to walk you through the process of determining your Opening Balance. 

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