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When do I enter beginning balances?

If you begin to use General Ledger at the start of your financial year, enter a beginning balance for accounts under the following major headings in your chart of accounts:

  • Assets
  • Liabilities
  • Fund Principal
  • Permanent Restricted
  • Temporary Restricted

Enter a beginning balance for all accounts. Enter the ending balance in the account for the last month in the software that you used before ACS. After entering all beginning balances, enter the difference between the total debits and the total credits as the beginning balance in the fund principal account.

You can enter beginning balances at any time as long as you have completed the following steps:

  Created a fund code in Define Lists for each set of books in your chart of accounts.
  Associated the appropriate fund code to each account in Add/Edit Chart of Accounts.
  Added a fund principal account for each fund code in Define Lists.

Does it matter if I use multiple funds?

You should enter Beginning Balances one fund at a time. Each fund has its own fund principal account. After you've entered the beginning balance amounts for each account in the fund, you must balance the transaction by entering the offset amount to the fund principal account for that fund. Entering beginning balances one fund at a time makes it less confusing.

For example, if you have a Church fund and a Building fund, you enter two separate Beginning Balance transactions. The first transaction includes only accounts for the Church fund, and the second transaction includes only accounts for the Building fund.

Do I have to enter all my beginning balances at once?

When entering transactions in the General Ledger module, the transactions must balance. Debits and credits must equal to complete the transaction. When you enter beginning balances, you must complete the transaction by entering an offsetting amount to a Fund Principal account before you click OK.

If you click Cancel before you finish entering balances, the transaction information is not saved, and you must start over.

However, there are two ways you can enter beginning balances in batches. Each batch must balance.

 If you have more than one fund
  1. Enter beginning balances for one fund.
  2. Enter the balance to the Fund Principal account for that fund.
  3. Post the entry.
  4. Follow steps 1-3 for each fund.
 If you have a large number of accounts in one fund
  1. Enter beginning balances for a group of accounts.
  2. Enter the balance to the appropriate Fund Principal.
  3. Post the entry.
  4. Follow steps 1-3 for each batch of accounts.

How do I enter beginning balances?

If you want the beginning balance to display on reports as a true beginning balance transaction, you must enter and post beginning balances for the previous posting month and year. For example, if your first month posting in ACS is May 2012, enter the beginning balances with the posting period of April 2012. If you use a calendar year and post beginning balances to January instead of December, they do not display on reports.

If the account is an Asset or Expense account, enter the beginning balance as a Debit amount. If the account is a Liability, Income, or Restricted account, enter the beginning balance as a Credit amount. Do not enter the beginning balance for the fund principal account until you have entered all other account beginning balances for the fund.

Enter the fund principal beginning balance based on the balance of the transaction displayed at the bottom of the window. Since the fund principal is a liability account type, enter the balance as follows:

  • If the balance displays as a negative amount, enter a debit for the fund principal.
  • If the balance displays as a positive amount, enter a credit for the fund principal.
 To enter beginning balances
  1. Under Manage Records, select the Transactions tab.
  2. In the drop-down list, select General Ledger Transactions and click Go .
  3. Click Add/Edit Transactions, then click Beginning Bal.
  4. Enter information in the appropriate fields. For more information on these fields, see the Additional Field Descriptions below.
  5. When finished, click OK.
Additional Field Information

Transaction Source
Select the transaction source.

Ref No
Enter a reference number or click Next to assign the next reference number.

Displays the default transaction explanation "Beginning Balance". Do not change the transaction explanation.

Displays the current date. You can also select a date in the calendar.

Displays the month and year for the current posting period. Click the up and down arrows to change the posting period. Remember, if you want beginning balances to display correctly on reports, you must post them to a prior month or year.

Add Account
Click to add a new account.

Transaction Entries

Account and Description
Displays the account number and account description.

Enter the debit balance. Debit balances are entered for Asset or Expense accounts.

Enter the credit balance. Credit balances are entered for Liability, Income, or Restricted accounts.

Displays the difference between the debits and credits of the Beginning Balance transaction.

Account Filter

Tmp Rest
Select to display accounts associated with the Temporary Restricted heading.

Prm Rest
Select to display accounts associated with the Permanent Restricted heading.

Other Rev
Select to display accounts associated with the Other Revenue heading.

Other Exp
Select to display accounts associated with the Other Expense heading.

All Accounts
Select to display all accounts.

Fund Filter
Select a fund to filter accounts by fund, or select All Funds to display all funds.