Getting Started: How do I enter opening balances for my bank accounts?

Entering opening balances is the first step to accounting success with Buildium.

An opening balance is the amount of money each property has in the bank as of a specific date.

When you've chosen an accounting start date and gathered bank statement and uncleared check information as of that date, you're ready to start entering balances.

How you enter opening balances depends on where you are in the Buildium set-up process.

Click on the option that best suits your situation below:

  1. How to enter opening balances in the guided set-up screen
  2. How to enter opening balances if you manage associations or have skipped the guided set-up
  3. How to enter opening balances if you've been a Buildium customer for longer than 90 days

1. How to enter opening balances in the guided set-up screen

If you're a brand new customer who manages rentals, and you're using Buildium's guided set-up to add your bank accounts, fee structures, properties and leases, the system will prompt you to enter opening balances once you've finished adding your information and clicked I'm done with set-up.



To enter opening balances within guided set-up:

    1. Click Set up opening bank balances when prompted after clicking I'm done with set-up.

    2. A list of all bank accounts that were entered in the first screen of the guided set-up will appear. Click Details next to the bank account you want to add balances to.



    3. On the next screen, enter the total balance of the bank account as of the day before your accounting start date.

    4. Once you've entered the total balance, you need to allocate the balance between the properties. Each property you added during guided set-up will appear on this screen, with a section to enter the piece of the total that the property owns.

    5. If you manage multiple properties for a single owner and know there was a balance in the bank account for the rental owner, but aren’t quite sure of that balance by property, that's ok. You can do one of two things:

      • Split the owner’s full amount across the properties. This is our recommendation. Over time, as you collect rents and pay expenses and owners, the balances will correct themselves. While you’ll want accurate reporting going forward for each property, it is okay to designate the money to the owner.

      • Put all of the owner's balance on one property. Again, things will eventually even out as you continue to track financials along the way.

    6. When you've finished allocating your opening balance to the correct properties, click Next to add opening balances for the next bank account in the list. If you only have one bank account entered, clicking Next will bring you to the confirmation page.



    7. On the confirmation page, click I'm done with bank account balance setup, and a pop-up window will appear.

    8. Click Continue to home page to complete your opening balances, and start working in Buildium.

 

2. How to enter opening balances if you manage associations or have skipped the guided set-up

If you're a new customer who manages associations, a mixed portfolio, or has decided to skip the opening balances section of the guided set-up, you will be prompted to choose an accounting start date before you enter the home page of the software. Once you hit the home page, you can move forward with entering bank account balances.

If you did not enter any bank accounts on the first page of the guided set-up, you'll need to add your bank accounts to Buildium before you can enter the balances.

To enter opening balances:

    1. Navigate to Accounting > Banking.

    2. When you reach the banking page, a pop-up window will appear, prompting you to enter the opening balances for your accounts. 

    3. Click Set up now on the account you want to enter opening balances for.



    4. On the next screen, enter the total balance of the bank account as of the day before your accounting start date.

    5. Once you've entered the total balance, you need to allocate the balance between the properties. Each property you added during guided set-up will appear on this screen, with a section to enter the piece of the total that the property owns.

    6. If you manage multiple properties for a single owner and know there was a balance in the bank account for the rental owner, but aren’t quite sure of that balance by property, that's ok. You can do one of two things:

      • Split the owner’s full amount across the properties. This is our recommendation. Over time, as you collect rents and pay expenses and owners, the balances will correct themselves. While you’ll want accurate reporting going forward for each property, it is okay to designate the money to the owner.

      • Put all of the owner's balance on one property. Again, things will eventually even out as you continue to track financials along the way.

    7. When you've finished allocating your opening balance to the correct properties, click Save.



    8. Repeat these steps for any bank accounts remaining without balances.

Once all opening bank account balances have been entered, the pop up window on the banking page will disappear, and you can start tracking your financials in Buildium.

If you decide to wait to enter your opening balances, the pop-up window on the banking page will only appear for the first 90 days of your Buildium subscription.

If you did not enter opening balances in the first 90 days of using Buildium, see part 3 of this article to learn how to enter them manually.

3. How to enter opening balances if you've been a customer longer than 90 days

If you've been a customer for longer than 90 days, you will need to enter opening bank balances by entering a deposit. This also applies if you add a new bank account later on, or if you want to change your accounting start date before entering your balances.

To enter opening balances manually:

    1. Navigate to Accounting > Banking.

    2. Click on the bank account you want to enter opening balances for.

    3. From the bank account transactions page, click Record deposit.

    4. In the pop up window, enter the date and then click Add other deposit items.

    5. Enter a line item with the opening bank balance information for each property or association:

      • Property: Select the property or association you're entering the balance for.
      • Account: Select Opening Balance Equity as the offsetting account.
      • Amount: Enter the amount the property has in the bank account as of the date selected.



    6. If you manage multiple properties for a single owner and know there was a balance in the bank account for the rental owner, but aren’t quite sure of that balance by property, that's ok. You can do one of two things:

      • Split the owner’s full amount across the properties. This is our recommendation. Over time, as you collect rents and pay expenses and owners, the balances will correct themselves. While you’ll want accurate reporting going forward for each property, it is okay to designate the money to the owner.

      • Put all of the owner's balance on one property. Again, things will eventually even out as you continue to track financials along the way.

    7. When you're done entering bank balance information, click Save.

    8. Repeat the steps for any remaining bank accounts without opening balances.

 

 

Article #: 111487

 

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