As a new customer, you likely need to bring in your beginning balances or historical years of activity from another system or other source to start off using SoftLedger. Review the below sections on beginning balance and historical data upload processes.

Beginning Balances

New customers have a couple options to bring in beginning balances:

  1. You can choose a point in time (e.g. January 1st, 2021) to bring in Ledger Account balances for your chart of accounts.
  2. You can bring in historical transactions (usually as Journal Entries) for past accounting periods.

If possible, SoftLedger recommends Option 1, as this is the cleanest transition from a different system, and will not require the set up of previous accounting periods, posting Journal Entries, differences in foreign currency revaluation calculations, and so on. If keeping historical transaction information is a requirement, then the best choice is Option 2.

Starting at a Point in Time

Once a date is set as your start date for SoftLedger use, you can take a Trial Balance from your previous system through these steps:

  1. Choose the SoftLedger Start Date
  2. Set up your Accounting Periods to align with your fiscal year, with the first year to include your chosen SoftLedger start date.
  3. Export a Trial Balance from the previous system as of SoftLedger start date.
  4. Convert the exported Trial Balance from your previous system into the SoftLedger Journal Upload format (see breakout explanation below).
  5. Upload the Journal Upload into SoftLedger as a beginning balance Journal Entry or Entries.

Creating an upload from the Trial Balance

Follow the below steps to adjust your Trial Balance to bring into the Journal Upload Template to create your beginning balances. There is a sample file below the 12 steps listed here that can help see what the finished product looks like.

  1. Be sure the Trial Balance Ledger Account numbers correspond to the correct Ledger Account number within the SoftLedger chart of accounts.
  2. Add the balances into the appropriate Debit and Credit columns within the template, along with the Ledger Account number.
  3. Add in the point in time start date as the date columns in the template.
  4. Enter an appropriate Journal.reference such as "Beginning Balance Entry", Financial for the Journal.sourceLedger field, and the ID of the SoftLedger Location (business entity) these balances are for in the field
  5. Add in any other supplemental information such as Description, Notes, etc
  6. Upload the file in the Financial>Bulk Journal Import section.

Download Sample Beginning Balance File

Historical Transactions

If the transaction history is a requirement, you would follow a similar process to the above, with a few differences:

  1. Choose the SoftLedger start date going back to the beginning of historical transaction dates.
  2. Set up the Accounting Period(s), beginning with the fiscal year that will include the oldest historical transaction dates.
  3. Export all historical transactions (Journal Entries if possible) from the previous system.
  4. Convert the export into the SoftLedger Upload Format, excluding any year-end Retained Earnings entries.
  5. Upload all journal entries via the Journal Upload into SoftLedger.
  6. Close all historical accounting periods, in chronological order.
  7. Ensure the year-end Retained Earning balances match your records, as these are automatically calculated in SoftLedger based on the Income Statement activity in each accounting year.

For more information and guidance, be sure to contact your SoftLedger support team at

Outstanding Payables and Receivables

While Journal Entries are the right document to use for historical activity, outstanding payables should be created as Bills through the Bulk Bill Upload, and outstanding receivables should be created as Invoices through the Bulk Invoice Upload processes.

  • Bills
    1. Only create Bills for any outstanding payables at the time of setup/go live of SoftLedger, all closed out and paid Bills can be added via Journal Entries (e.g. Dr Expense, Cr Cash)
  • Invoices
    1. Only create Invoices for any outstanding receivables at the time of setup/go live of SoftLedger, all closed out and received Invoices can be added via Journal Entries (e.g. Dr Cash, Cr Revenue)