What is a Trial Balance?

A Trial Balance is a list of all the general ledgers a company maintains and their closing balances on a certain date (month end/year end).

Generally:

  • Expenses a/c, purchase a/c, inventory a/c and asset a/c will have a DEBIT closing balance
  • Sales/other income a/cs and all liabilities a/cs will have a CREDIT closing balance

It looks like this:

Trial Balance of XYZ company as on 31.12.2017
Particulars Debit Credit
General expenses XXX
(Purchase/Salary/Rent…)
Income XXX
(Sales/interest received…)
Assets XXX
(Cash/Land/Receivables…)
Liabilities XXX
(Capital/Payables…)
Total  XXX XXX
(Dr & Cr Balances will/must match)

 

A Trial Balance is drawn at the end of certain period (month end/year end/Quarterly etc). Trial Balance is used as a base in preparing financial statements (P/L a/c or Income statement and the Balance Sheet).

In accounting software Trial Balance is automatically done. You just have to click a button to fetch them. This can be done at any time and any number of times.

In manual accounting this is mostly prepared during the year end while closing books. This is when all General Ledger a/cs are finalized and closed. Thereafter those closing balance numbers are mentioned in the Trial Balance. If all the General Ledger closing balance is accurately taken into Trial Balance, the debit and credit side will automatically match.

 

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