You can start using Quickbooks before the opening balances are entered. Opening balances usually mean the amounts at the finish of last financial/ tax year – see the Trial Balance your accountant created when preparing your tax return (or ask him for it) if you are entering/starting a new financial year. Or if you are starting during a financial year, then choose a date (say end of month) of the last month or quarter, and when that is all reconciled, the balances on the Trial Balance at the end of that month will be the opening balance in your Quickbooks.
If there are sales or bills that are received/paid in the new period you start in, you will need to enter the historical invoice/purchase to be able to apply the receipt/payment. Otherwise, if you do cash reporting/entries (only recording ACTUAL money in/out on the bank) then you don’t need historical transactions from the prior period.
Also remember that any reports may not be any use (especially balance sheet reports) until opening balances are entered.
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