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Enter historical data

Why should I enter historical transactions?

If the start date you entered for your company is before today's date, you'll need to enter your past (historical) transactions, beginning with that date. This ensures that your QuickBooks records will be completely up-to-date, going forward from your start date.

If you are using an earlier start date, and you don't enter your historical transactions, your account balances and reports may be incorrect.

Follow these guidelines when entering historical transactions

Enter historical transactions in sequential order. For example, QuickBooks won't know how to credit a customer payment unless you've previously recorded the invoice. Enter bank account transactions last, because your accounts payable and accounts receivable affect your bank account balances. By the time you finish entering all of your historical transactions, your check register should be nearly up to date.

If you don't have time to enter all your historical transactions right away, don't worry. You don't have to enter all your past transactions before you start using QuickBooks for your current transactions. Start entering current transactions as they occur, so you don't get behind. Then catch up with historical transactions when you can. If current and historical transactions are related, enter the earlier one first. For example, if you receive a payment today for an invoice you have not yet entered, enter the invoice first and then use QuickBooks to record the payment. That way, QuickBooks correctly links your transactions to each other.

Remember, though, that your account balances will be incorrect (and your reports may be wrong) until you've entered all the past transactions.

To do this task

Enter your transactions in the following order:

  1. Sales and accounts receivable transactions. (invoices, statement charges, sales receipts, returns, payments, deposits, sales tax payments)

  2. Vendor and accounts payable transactions. (bills, credits from vendors, payments)

  3. Summarize payroll amounts for this year to date.

  4. Enter historical bank and credit card transactions. (checks, deposits, fees, transfers)

  5. Reconcile your bank account. (after entering historical transactions)

See also

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