The Issue

For the Cash Flow Statement and Cash Flow Analysis tool, Fathom utilises an 'indirect method' by calculating movements in accounts from the P&L and Balance Sheet to determine cash flows.

As such, Fathom requires a closing balance from the previous period, and a balance for the current period in or der to calculate changes in balance sheet items to display the impact on cashflow.

When viewing results for the earliest period that you have imported, Fathom isn't able to find an opening balance sheet from prior period data and will always return the following error message:

❗ Sorry, we can't load this chart.

Cash flow analysis / statement requires an opening balance sheet

For example: You have financials imported for 2015-2019, including both P&L and Balance Sheet. You try to create a cashflow statement for the year of 2015 (earliest period imported you've imported in Fathom). You will then receive the above error message, as there is no closing balance from 2014.


In order to update the opening balance, you will be required to import balance sheet data for the month prior to the current earliest imported month.

For those companies imported from Xero or QuickBooks, it is possible to change the company start date to an earlier period.

Unfortunately, for companies imported from MYOB or via Excel, it is not possible to change the start date to an earlier period after a company has already been imported. You will need to delete and reimport the company to your account.

Alternate Workaround

For companies imported from Xero, you can change the start date in the Xero file to the first of the month. For example, when you change the start date to April 1st in Xero, the conversion balances for 31 March are all set to zero automatically.

By deleting the file in Fathom, then re-importing it in 'Step 1' of the company settings, the 31 March zero balances are recognised and the cash flow will work correctly.

For companies imported from QuickBooks Online, importing a prior period will fix the issue.

Did this answer your question?