Changing Opening Balance Amount in GNUCASH

Asked by Stephanie

I didn't have my opening balances for my accounts when I was setting GNU up. I can't find how to go back and update the Opening balance of an account.

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Jeremy Impson (jdimpson) said :

There should be an account called "Equity" at the root level of your account tree. There may be an "Opening Balances" sub-account under "Equity". If no, you can create it or just use "Equity". Either way...

For each account you want to have an opening balance, just add a transaction for the balance amount, drawing from the "Opening Balances" or "Equity" account.

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Reg Charney (charney) said :

I believe I have the same question as Stephanie. However, Jeremy's answer totally misses my understanding of the question.

I also forgot to enter an opening balance for my equity account during the initial setup (see why below). At the time, I thought I could always go back and edit it to have the correct amount. To do this I want to HAMMER the value in the Opening Balance account's value field. In fact, I want to be able to do this for any account. I am also fully prepared to take total responsibility if this change of value in any account leads to accounts being out of balance. (I come from a Unix/Linux background that trusts the user to know what he/she is doing.)

I can not think of a single useful reason to disallow the editing of the opening balance of any account. As such, I am going to submit a high priority bug report after sending this message.

Reg. Charney

P.S. My use case involved starting to use GnuCash for the first time. I began with one of the skeleton chart of accounts provided by the Druid. It have no provision for entering an initial value for any field, including Opening Balances. By the time I realized that I needed to provide this value for the Opening Balances account, I had developed an extensive and tailored chart of accounts and had started to enter in data for some of the accounts, in part to see how things worked in GnuCash. Without the ability to correct the Opening Balances, I may need to throw all this work out!
P.P.S. I did see the work around of posting some value to another asset account at a date that predated the accounting period you are interested in. However, this just emphasized the need for the ability to change the Opening Balances, at least.

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Michael Jastram (jastram) said :

Hi Reg,

Jeremy provided the answer for you, but omitting one important point: The opening balance that you enter in the "new account" dialog IS a transaction with the "Opening Balances" Account. Allowing to enter the amount at account creation in the dialog is just a convenience, but doesn't use a different mechanism.


- Michael

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