Ending a financial year and starting a new one

DiverseDiverse Member Posts: 1

Hi there,
How does one end your financial year and start the new financial year. In my case my financial year ended 28 Feb and the new one started 1st March. Does wave close the books?



  • AndréKochAndréKoch Member Posts: 17

    I believe you can find this in settings under date & currency. cheers!

  • AlexiaAlexia Member Posts: 3,314 ✭✭✭✭

    Hi @Diverse.

    The good news is that to close out your year in Wave, you don't have to do anything at all! Other than set the date of your year's end appropriately like @AndréKoch mentioned.

    Other accounting platforms don't allow you to touch historical data, but in Wave, you can pull up reports and make adjustments at any time. This means that your previous years never really "close". All that happens at year-end is that current year earnings get zeroed and added to previous year earnings.

    At the start of your new fiscal year, you will see your new previous year earnings balance, fresh income and expense account balances, and your usual bank account balances.

    Let me know if you have any questions, I'd be happy to help.

  • LeoLiuLeoLiu Member Posts: 8

    Hi Alexia, may i know if Wave has function lock previous month preventing someone accident change month end balance? Can you advise please?

  • James_HudsonJames_Hudson Member Posts: 121 admin

    Hi @LeoLiu , Wave doesn't have a specific function that locks the balances of specific periods, but if you're concerned about your numbers changing, I'd recommend regularly exporting reports from the "Reports" page. The Trial Balance Report or Balance Sheet should be your best bet!

  • LeoLiuLeoLiu Member Posts: 8

    Hi Thank you, I did exactly that way keep a hard copy.

  • LizellLizell Member Posts: 1

    Good morning...my company started in May and the accounts were done by the parenting company in Sage Evolution. I want to start January 2019 fresh in Wave (I am a brand new user). What do I require from them to get my opening balances correct? For example there will be invoices due from December which will be paid in 2019. Thank you!

  • stevensteven Member Posts: 1

    It is pretty clear that reports can be generated over any time period you want. What is interesting is that, in wave, accounts seem to accrue forever if you don't do some pretty extensive general ledger transactions on each account.

    For example, my main income account has a "beginning balance" that never resets to zero. Since I have many, many income and expense accounts, they all have various start/end balances that reflect the entire history of the business.

    If I wanted all of these accounts to have a start balance of zero at the beginning of the period, I'd create a summary income and summary expense account, do a bunch of general ledger transactions dated to the end of the period for each account to transfer the balances into the summary account, and then either leave the summary balance accounts alone to accrue over all time, or transfer the balances into retained earnings and zero the summary accounts as well. This is a lot of manual work. I'm concluding that for wave users, a true "closing" must be a remnant of a bygone era of accounting and I should forget about it.

  • GeneCGeneC Member Posts: 3

    re: Closing a year. The Oct 24 response to LeoLui demonstrates a lack of practical hands-on knowledge by Wave. LeoLui raises an important point. People make mistakes which become a big headache for their accountants. People enter the wrong year, for example, for 2 weeks every January! I strongly suggest that Wave should look at what Quickbooks does, where you can also "always adjust" historical information but you can set a "closing date" that will at least give you a pop-up warning you of the consequences of adjusting in a year that was completed. And if clients adjust prior years in error any way, those error are easy to find in QB by filtering by "date modified."

    edited February 16, 2019
  • AlexLAlexL Administrator Posts: 2,869 admin

    Hi @steven @GeneC , I think GeneC's feedback on the option to have a closing date is a fair request and something that can definitely be discussed here. Thanks for this valid input.

  • DrYouDrYou Member Posts: 3

    I'd also love the ability to lock dates, even by month. The option to unlock them could still be there but it would have to be an intentional choice. Love Wave, but just spent hours reconciling last year that had previously already been reconciled.


  • BarsinBarsin Administrator Posts: 2,041 admin

    Hey there @DrYou

    Appreciate the feedback, and I apologize that you had to re-reconcile your account. Was this because of a software upgrade to your transactions page? Curious why your already reconciled accounts would go out of sync.

  • ChelseaKChelseaK Member Posts: 261 admin

    @RandR Thank you for the +1! We're listening!

  • LisaAWLisaAW Member Posts: 1

    Yes, the function to lock periods is essential. When you can't lock the periods it is so common for someone to unwittingly make changes or add things to years that have already been done and throw everything out of whack. Would love to see this added.

  • JordanDJordanD Administrator, Moderator Posts: 515 admin

    Thanks for sounding off @LisaAW ! Totally hear you when you explain how sometimes changes happen accidentally! One thing that other users have found helpful would be to create a new business for each year that your business operates. This would effectively ensure that work for each year remains untouchable, and while not ideal, it has been helpful in ensuring that the situation that you have expressed concern about is minimized.

  • ART_FUTUROART_FUTURO Member Posts: 1

    Hi guys, just followed the discussion thread, can we please add our little voice for the locking feature. Monthly would be fab but not absolutely necessary, annual is pretty much a must for us to avoid accidental changes or accidental booking into the wrong year.
    Question: Is this already a formal change request or is this just being discussed?

  • mkviranimkvirani Member Posts: 2

    Period end locking feature would be awesome!

  • mkviranimkvirani Member Posts: 2

    A pop up requiring a password would do the trick

  • EmmaPEmmaP Member Posts: 639 admin

    Hey @ART_FUTURO! No voice is too small! This has been requested over the past year or two as a feature. It is a feature our team is aware of, but to be transparent, building this out is not a top priority right now. Hopefully it is something we can look into in the future! We appreciate your feedback on this :)

    Hey @mkvirani! Thanks for your input as well. I really like the idea of entering a password to unlock it!

  • GraybuckGraybuck Member Posts: 6

    I'm a new user. Please tell me it isn't true that there's no way to close a year other than by a manual closing JE?

  • BarsinBarsin Administrator Posts: 2,041 admin

    Hey @Graybuck

    There isn't a way to technically close out a year end other than the journal entry as you may have already discovered from the posts above! Sorry about that. Please don't hesitate to reach out again if you have any specific questions.

  • bcholinbcholin Member Posts: 3

    I’m speechless, to say the least, as this seems like a very base accounting function. Though I have no issue making the closing entries, I don’t understand why this isn’t a priority. Can this be added to the list of upcoming features please?

  • AlexLAlexL Administrator Posts: 2,869 admin

    Hi @bcholin , I'd be more than happy to pass this feedback along to the appropriate team, but in full transparency I don't think that this will be added to our roadmap for the short-term.

  • TomTangTomTang Member Posts: 1

    This is a true need. But it is not really easy to implement that. Transaction and Report are different things. So one method is to adjust the report, or the other is to adjust the transaction. If you lock the year, You should not adjust the transactions that year; but you can adjust the transaction of the new year.

  • radagast97radagast97 Member Posts: 2

    I've just started as a bookkeeper for a very small business. I've never used Wave before and have never worked as a professional bookkeeper.

    Are you guys saying that when closing out the year, all the expense and income balances need to be manually/individually rolled into a capital account, with no simple function to do so? If I'm mistaken, then how is it done?

  • BarsinBarsin Administrator Posts: 2,041 admin

    Hey @radagast97

    In Wave, there is no need to close out the year.

    Other accounting platforms don't allow you to touch historical data, but in Wave, you can pull up reports and make adjustments at any time. This means that your previous years never really "close". All that happens at year-end is that current year earnings get zeroed and added to previous year earnings.

    At the start of your new fiscal year, you will see your new previous year earnings balance, fresh income and expense account balances, and your usual bank account balances.

    What Wave doesn't do is put those amounts under a common account, such as retained earnings, that you can post transactions to. If you want your previous year income/loss to roll forward into retained earnings, you will need to manually do this. Here's how:

    1. Run an income statement for the year. This will give you all of your income and expense final balances.
    2. Save this statement in excel or a PDF so you have all of the balances saved.
    3. Click Accounting > Transactions > More > Add journal transaction.
    4. Enter the balances as opposite of how they appeared on your income statement.
    5. Note that the amount of Net Income on the Income Statement matches the amount of the debit to Owners Equity.
  • radagast97radagast97 Member Posts: 2

    Thank you.

  • GerwaldGerwald Member Posts: 8

    I notice in the "Account Transactions (General Ledger)" report for the new year that
    all the starting balances on the credit side (sales, expenses, etc.) remain the same ending balances as the previous year instead of 0.00. Does this mean that I must enter new 0 starting balances for those accounts on Jan 1st of the new year?! Thank you but I am new to Wave and thought this would have been done automatically, as is the case with other accounting programs.

  • AnasChaudryAnasChaudry Member Posts: 1
    Wave team, there should be some option to either lock the previous year at close or be able to export the entire transactional data for the year with the Balance Sheet, P&L and Income statement. This is a real issue. While it is a great feature to be able to go into the history and update, this should definitely be a conscious choice by the user. As a small business owner, I’ve had to spend countless hours over the last couple of weeks with my bookkeeper, accountant and tax professional to get the books sorted because the previous year was not reconciling with our tax reporting. We are literally going through each transaction to find the discrepancy. While we have the income statement and balance sheet from the previous year, wave isn’t reflecting the same numbers for that year meaning that there were changes made to a closed year inadvertently. A lot of wasted time and cost is the result. Please add this feature
    edited March 11, 2020
  • JennaCJennaC Member Posts: 2

    I am adding my voice to the concern over the lack of ability to lock a previous year. It is a basic accounting control that is a serious oversight for Wave not accommodate.

    As a result this lack of accounting control and Wave's changes to the bank reconciliation feature I now have to go back and reconcile 2 years worth of bank statements before I can proceed with my 2019. A monumental waste of precious entrepreneurial time.

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