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This section applies only to those of you have been using another accounting system AND want to enter your old historical data and information into Total Office Manager.  Not everyone does this. Many companies simply “start fresh” with their new accounting software.

This important topic covers entering beginning or ending balances and historical transactions into Total Office Manager. Opening balances are the value of an account as of your Total Office Manager start date. Historical transactions are invoices, checks, and other things that were entered into your old system before your Total Office Manager Start Up Date . Doing this allows you to access your past information in Total Office Manager.

This subject matter is a little complicated because the subject covered in a bit complicated but VERY important. You should thoroughly read this topic and understand it before going any further. There is some goods news though. If you make mistakes entering beginning balances you can usually correct them pretty easily in Total Office Manager.

Be Sure To Get Help

Most companies actually have their accountant or CPA work on this part with them. It is very common for companies to work closely with someone to be sure all of their beginning balances are entered correctly. A qualified financial person can give you a list of numbers to enter into Total Office Manager that will save you a lot of work. Please ask your accounting advisor for help.

Review of Commonly Used Terms

Lets cover a few common terms used in the topic just for review. Please click on any word to view a complete explanation of its meaning. If some of these terms don’t make any sense to you, don’t worry about it. They will as you learn more.

  • Account
  • Assets
  • Chart of Accounts
  • Closing the Books
  • Ending Balance
  • Journal Entry
  • Liabilities
  • Start Up Date (AKA: Start Date)
  • Opening Balance
  • Opening Balance Equity
  • Owner’s Equity

How Long Will All This Take

This is a common question. Not knowing anything about your business it is very hard for us to know. It also depends on how much detail you decide you want to add to Total Office Manager. You should plan on a qualified bookkeeper or Full Charge Bookkeeper several weeks of full-time work. This person will continue to fine tune the work they did as time passes.

Decide on the Start Date

The start date is the date on which you begin using Total Office Manager and entering your past bookkeeping records. The date you select will determine how much work you have to do entering data.

Close The Books on Your Old System

Before you start using Total Office Manager you will need to stop using your old accounting system. You must close the books on this system. You accountant can help with this process. The best time to close the books is at the end of your business year. The second best time is at the end of a quarter. At least wait until the end of a month to close the books on your old system.

Entering Opening Balances into Total Office Manager (Totals)

The account totals that exist on the last day of your old system become the opening balance of Total Office Manager.

Let’s say your company uses a standard calendar year. This means your last full year ended December 31. You decide your Start Date is going to be April 1. You will start by making a Journal Entries Report in each of your company’s accounts. These entries will be last year’s totals. In other words, they represent the last full year on that old system.

In Total Office Manager, we recommend that you enter totals for all of your accounts up to and including December 31 (or the end of your actual business year). You do not have to enter each and every transaction for all prior years. You can enter one number to represent the total for each account (like rent) up to your last day on your old system (the date that you closed the books). These totals are added through a series of journal entries. Your accountant or a full-charge bookkeeper will know exactly what we are talking about.

Example: Last year you spent $12,000.00 on rent. Instead of entering all of the past checks you wrote for rent, you or your accountant will make a $12,000.00 Journal Entry for rent. When you print an income statement for the prior year, the rent will be correct. You repeat this process for every account.

Please click here for detailed instructions on how to enter opening and year-to-date balances (totals).

Entering Historical Data

After you have entered totals for your last full year on your old system, you may now start entering all of your prior transactions up to the current date.

In other words, you will enter all of your old invoices, checks, and so forth from January 1 (the start of your business year) up to the day you started using Total Office Manager. Once you do this, Total Office Manager will be completely up-to-date from the start date and beyond.

Please click the links below for detailed instructions on how to enter past transactions. Generally these should be done in the order they are presented.

Entering Historical Sales and Accounts Receivable Transactions

Includes invoices, sales receipts, credits/refunds, payments, etc.

Entering Historical Accounts Payable Transactions

Includes bills, vendor credits, payments,  purchase orders, etc.

Entering Historical Banking and Related Transactions

Includes checks, payroll checks, credit card transactions, deposits, bank fees & transfers, etc.


  • Many times users make poor uninformed decisions on entering data because they just didn’t know enough about accounting or how Total Office Manager works. Before you select a start date and start entering information into Total Office Manager, be sure you understand the basics of the program. Many of our clients need to spend a week or so using the program’s demo company file just for practice. The more you know about Total Office Manager, the more time you will save yourself.
  • Be sure you read through the Total Office Manager User Guide and if you are the primary bookkeeper, carefully read the book “A Contractor’s Guide to Basic Accounting”. A complimentary copy of this book was included with your Total Office Manager order.
  • Some users think they will enjoy having lots of historical (old) data in Total Office Manager so they spend a lot of time entering things they may now need to. People are often surprised that they really don’t need much of this information and they are a bit depressed they spent so much time entering it. Our general advice is this. If you have never had a really good and complete bookkeeping system, just start fresh with Total Office Manager. Pick a start date that is close to the date you installed and move on.
  • Total Office Manager automatically creates a “Opening Balance Equity” account the first time you enter an opening balance for a balance sheet account. Total Office Manager then automatically posts the offsetting entry to the opening balance for each asset and liability account to the “Opening Balance Equity” account. The only purpose of the “Opening Balance Equity” account is to offset beginning balance sheet balances as of the Total Office Manager start date.
  • Once you have entered all beginning balances successfully, transfer the balance in the “Opening Balance Equity” account to the applicable equity accounts (such as retained earnings, proprietor’s capital , or partners’ capital). You can transfer the balance in the “Opening Balance Equity” account to the applicable equity accounts via a journal entry or by double-clicking on the “Opening Balance Equity” account in the chart of accounts to record the transfer directly in the “Opening Balance Equity” account register.
  • Unless you are an expert, you generally should not post transactions to the “Opening Balance Equity” account. This account was not meant to be used for every day purposes.

Related Content

Entering Historical Accounts Payable
Entering Historical Accounts Receivable
Entering Historical YTD Payroll Transactions
Entering Historical Bank and Related Transactions