The !unbalanced sign looks intimidating and our Accountant's instinct is to panic, but we promise you it's nothing to worry about. As we appreciate this unbalanced tag is there for your benefit, we also understand how frustrating it is to see this in your file! That's why we've compiled a few simple checks to help you troubleshoot!
Troubleshooting the '!unbalanced' notification
- ACCOUNT MAPPING & ACCOUNT TYPES
Is everything mapped correctly? i.e. are all balance sheet accounts mapped to all Silverfin Balance Sheet accounts? are all P&L accounts mapped to all Silverfin P&L accounts? If not, this could be causing an unbalance between your assets, liabilities, equity and income statement.
A common oversight is when users incorrectly map their Profit and loss account - Dividends Paid to an Equity vs Expense account. Silverfin gives opening balances to balance sheet accounts but not P&L, so the classification of the accounts is important.
Silverfin will sense check your accounts are mapped at the right level compared to what's coming in from the bookkeeping system. To review this you can access the 'Accounts' section of your client file and navigate to the 'Mapping' option.
If your account type appears inconsistent with the bookkeeping system Silverfin will alert you.
Is your Opening Balance what's causing the Unbalanced flag? The bookkeeping software settings and opening balances can impact how the accounts are bought into Silverfin, and if incorrect can lead to the unbalanced warning.
For example, do you have a 'Don't sync until date' (DSUD) put into place for your data sync?
If you input a 'DSUD' which is not the first day of the first fiscal year, Silverfin will download the opening balance from your bookkeeping system one time and will be the sum of all the values from the time before the specified date.
Since this date will request the data sync to ignore the accounts data before the specified date, the opening balance won’t be updated either, including when changes in the accounts are made that have an effect on this as this setting will ask Silverfin to ignore these values. If your file has a DSUD or the manual transfer of the opening balance is switched on, and this isn't required (or you're unclear of what this exactly does), we suggest removing this and submit a request to Support to reset your sync.
- BACK POSTING TO THE BOOKKEEPING SYSTEM (SAGE 50 SPECIFIC)
Run a 'brought forward' trail balance from the Sage, are there any balances in any of the P&L codes?
ISSUE 1 - most common: Balances 'back posted' but they were not included in last years accounts? If there have been back postings to Sage since the year end accounts were prepared last year, the transactions will need to clear moved from the prior period, to the current year - so they can be reported through the current year. The transactions should transferred out via a journal. Refresh the sync with the clog at the top of the page.
For example, if in March 2020 year end there was a sales invoice for £500 + VAT of £100 back posted we would enter the following journals:
Reverse posting from the prior year
DR SALES £500
DR VAT £100
CR DEBTORS £600
Include posting in the current year
CR SALES £500
CR VAT £100
DR DEBTORS £600
ISSUE 2: Balances 'back posted' but they were included in last years accounts? If the balances were posted to Sage after the year end was run, but were included in the prior years accounts the quickest way to fix this is to re-run the prior year end again in the bookkeeping system. This will leave the balances in that year in Sage and clear them out to the retained earnings/capital codes. To re-run the year end in Sage you need to follow these steps:
STEP 1: Change the year end back to the year where there are back postings. Settings - Financial Year - Change - Enter the month 1 date. (NOTE the period you input the Sage will be the first month of that year, so if you want to re-run the November 2020 year end the month you would enter into Sage would be December 2019).
STEP 2: Re-run the year with the back postings. Tools - Period End - Year End - Run the Year End
Are all prior periods closed off correctly in your bookkeeping software? Silverfin requires these to be closed off so that it can accurately pick up the Retained Earnings entry upon doing so. An easy giveaway to check whether this is happening is if the amount 'unbalanced' is the same as the result of the previous period.
If so, this is no cause for alarm. Once you've closed off the prior year in your bookkeeping system then this will disappear.
Additionally, check that your bookkeeping years and periods in Silverfin are in line with those in your bookkeeping software. A difference of a day can obviously cause a difference in account values and therefore an unbalance!
If you're manually uploading your data it may be helpful to check the formatting of the numbers in Excel, as this can often cause minor differences that accumulate and lead to an unbalance. It is also good to check whether there are any imbalances in the source data before it is exported from your accounting software.
Sometimes our data has been rounded if it's originally taken in a foreign currency, with this there can be discrepancies, particularly if you are using a XeroTB sync.
Please check through and compare the transactional details in accounts that may fall susceptible to this. If you find these rounding differences are the cause of the unbalanced amounts then this can be easily corrected by posting a small adjustment.
Sometimes technology just doesn't want to play ball and your sync between your bookkeeping software and Silverfin is glitched somehow. Hopefully here at Silverfin Support we can help you solve the sync issue and get everything re-aligned again, but occasionally before the sync issue is solved, the latest data from the bookkeeping software has not been able to pull in to Silverfin, which causes an unbalance (as there are missing transactions or even accounts). When we have solved the sync issue, we can also then do a manual reset and your latest and greatest data will then come in and be in line with your bookkeeping software once again, happy days!
Ultimately, if you have exhausted the above queries, then it could prove useful to look through the Trial Balance (TB) from your bookkeeping software and your TB from Silverfin to compare accounts and see where the differences lie.
Where you identify any accounts that do not align, take a look at the transactions against the ledger in Silverfin to determine which amounts are missing or surplus.
Once you've found these send it through to us together with the Trial Balance and the nominal transaction activity.
If you're still scratching your head on that pesky sign? We're here to help!