How to import your opening balances
Please note that you won't be able to import your opening balances if you have an unincorporated landlord account.
If your business is a limited company and you’ve been trading for a while, you'll have some opening balances to enter when you first begin using FreeAgent. These are your figures as of your FreeAgent start date. FreeAgent needs to include this brought forward information for your accounting reports.
If your business is VAT registered, we recommend you enter the opening balances before you file your first VAT return as once that VAT return is filed, you won’t be able to edit entries to accounts ‘818 - VAT Reclaimed’ or ‘819 - VAT Charged’.
Before you get started
You can download our opening balances template and then fill in the required columns for each opening balance that you'd like to import into FreeAgent. Alternatively, you can create your own .CSV file to import into your FreeAgent account.
Your accountant should be able to supply you with a trial balance (a list of all the balances in your accounts) as of your FreeAgent start date and will be able to advise which entries you need to record in your FreeAgent account. Please note that our support team can’t help you with this as we’re not authorised by HMRC to provide accounting advice.
Please note that importing a set of opening balances will overwrite any existing opening balances in your account. You’ll need to have full (level 8) access to your FreeAgent account to be able to import opening balances.
How to import your opening balances
Navigate to the ‘Accounting’ tab at top of the screen and select ‘Journal Entries’ from the drop-down menu.
From the 'Journal Entries' screen, choose 'Opening Balances' from the drop-down menu.
Select ‘Import Opening Balances’.
You'll be prompted to download our opening balances template.
You can also download a chart of accounts to obtain the category reference numbers in FreeAgent that you’ll need for the opening balances template.
How to fill in our opening balances template
The opening balances template needs to include three columns with the following information:
- the accounting categories (nominal codes) that you’re importing into FreeAgent.
- the amounts of any debit balances that you’re importing into FreeAgent.
- the amounts of any credit balances that you’re importing into FreeAgent.
You can find which opening balances you need to import into FreeAgent by exporting a trial balance from your previous software package as at your FreeAgent start date. Please note that our Support team can’t help you with this as we’re not authorised by HMRC to provide accounting advice.
The table below is an example of how to fill in the template. Please use the relevant numbers for your own business throughout.
|Category||Debit||Credit||When would this be needed?
** This column is for information purposes only**
|681 - Trade Debtors||3,000||If your customers owe the business money at your FreeAgent start date|
|796 - Trade Creditors||500||If the business owes money to suppliers at your FreeAgent start date|
|968 - Profit and Loss||1,000||
If the business has reserves of retained profits at your FreeAgent start date
If the business has reserves of retained losses at your FreeAgent start date, this would be a debit balance
|817 - VAT||400||If the business owes money to HMRC for VAT at your FreeAgent start date|
|901 - Capital Account||2,500||If your business is a limited company and it has opening share capital at your FreeAgent start date|
|601-1 - Computer Equipment Brought Forward||2,250||If your business owned a capital asset (in this case a computer) as at its FreeAgent start date|
|605-1 - Computer Equipment Depreciation Brought Forward||750||The depreciation that's accumulated so far on the capital asset as at the business's FreeAgent start date|
|001 - Sales||500||If you’re starting to use FreeAgent mid-way through the business’s accounting year and it has earned income since the beginning of this accounting year for the year to date|
|285 - Accommodation and Meals||400||
If you’re starting to use FreeAgent mid-way through the business’s accounting year and it has incurred costs since the beginning of this accounting year for the year to date
This category might be used for costs for meals and other food and drink when you’ve travelled on business
If your FreeAgent start date is the beginning of an accounting year, you won’t need to enter opening balances for sales or costs.
Upload the template
Choose 'Select a file' and select the file you wish to upload from your computer.
Once you’ve selected the relevant file, select ‘Upload and review’.
FreeAgent will attempt to match the imported categories on the .CSV file with the relevant categories in FreeAgent. Please note that the names of the imported categories will need to match the names of the available categories in FreeAgent for them to be guessed. You can download a chart of accounts to view a list of all the available categories in FreeAgent.
You can change the ‘FreeAgent Category’ for each imported category by selecting the arrow next to the entry and choosing the appropriate option from the drop-down menu.
To add additional opening balances, select ‘Add Another’ and enter the relevant information.
To remove any of the opening balances, select the cross to the right of the relevant imported code(s).
The debit and credit balances of the opening balances should be equal if you’re entering them fully. If these balances don’t match, there may be an opening balance (or balances) missing and the value of the difference will be displayed in red below the balances. If you’re not sure which entries are required, please ask your accountant.
Once the debit and credit balances are equal and you’re happy with the opening balances, select ‘Import Opening Balances’ to complete the process. Alternatively, you can select ‘Cancel without importing’ to abandon the process without importing the opening balances.
Please note that if you import your opening balances with a difference between the debit and credit balances, FreeAgent will create a ‘Suspense Account’ as a balancing entry for the amount of the difference.
To correct this, edit your opening balances and enter the missing opening balance(s). Once the debit and credit balances are equal, FreeAgent will remove the suspense account.