The beginning balances for all balance sheet accounts are stored by the system in period 0 zero of each year. When the G/L is first installed, a journal entry must be made to period zero of the current year to bring the current year beginning balances into the system. (The beginning balance sheet account balances for subsequent years are "rolled forward" using the Year-End Account Balance Rollforward program (see End Of Year Procedures).
Obtain the fiscal or calendar year beginning balances for all general ledger balance sheet accounts (this should be the same as the prior year final ending balances) and confirm that the balance sheet is in balance. If the balance sheet is not in balance, the out of balance condition should be corrected before the balances are put in the new system.
Create a journal entry in period 0 zero of the current year using the Journal Entry program. Debit all of the balance sheet accounts that have a debit balance and credit all of the balance sheet accounts that have a credit balance. The result should be a balanced journal entry that matches the ending balance sheet from the prior year.
Print a Trial balance for period zero of the current year and confirm that the balances entered with the journal entry program match the prior year ending balances (current year beginning balances) for all balance sheet accounts.