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No matter what system you migrate to (online or desktop), be careful if you are under the cash method for GST and accruals for accounting. I always find the following method the safest and most methodical to ensure you get things right.

The simplest way to being in your chart of account opening balances is to do a general journal entry … take your trial balance from your previous system and journal it straight into the new system. Or, in some cases, as part of the set up wizard of the new system, it will ask for the opening balances.

If you have opening debtors &/or creditors, then when bringing them in you don’t want the system to adjust these opening chart of accounts balances … but you do want to have the GST picked up by your BAS reports when the time comes. So, for debtors, I do the following:

1. raise an invoice as of the original invoice date
2. create 3 lines on the invoice:

Line 1 – code the full GST-inclusive invoice amount to Trade Debtors with no tax code used
Line 2 – code the full GST-inclusive invoice amount to your GST account in the balance sheet, but select the GST tax type
Line 3 – code the full GST-inclusive invoice amount as a negative amount to this same GST account, but this time select no GST type

The net affect of this is that the GL postings have no net affect on the chart of account balances for Trade Debtors or the GST account (they cancel each other out) … but your BAS will be all good when the money is receipted. The same logic applies to Trade Creditors, except the first line item would get coded to the Trade Creditors GL account.

If you have outstanding cheques, I normally bring them in by creating a payment in the new system dated the date of the original cheque, and coding the GST includive amount of the cheque to your bank account GL code. Again, this method has no net affect on your GL opening balances, but sets up your bank rec to have these outstanding cheques. But who uses cheques anymore!

Give me a yell if any of that is confusing to follow :-)