This means, at the stage summarization of all accounts takes place at this stage. A trial balance is a statement prepared at a specific date with debit and credit balances of various ledger accounts, for testing the arithmetical accuracy of the company’s books of accounts. It helps in the preparation of the final accounts of the company. To prepare a trial balance, the initially recorded transactions of a company in its ledgers are added. The ending balance of each ledger account is then reflected in the trial balance sheet. Therefore, the end of an accounting period reflects a debit balance for the accounts of asset, loss or expense, and a credit balance for the accounts of liability, equity, revenue, or profit.

  • For example, accounts payable should have a credit balance, and accounts receivable should have a debit balance.
  • Under those two columns, it lists amounts that relate to that side.
  • It is a statement of debit and credit balances that are extracted from ledger accounts on a specific date.
  • The purpose of preparing a trial balance is to ascertain the accuracy of the books of accounts.
  • Balance Sheet is like a mirror of the business as it shows the status of the company at a particular date, in just one glance.

Similarly, although the trial balance and balance sheet may sound confusing due to their names, they are different. A trial balance is a statement which lists all the balances of the Real, Personal and Nominal Accounts irrespective of the Capital or Revenue nature of the accounts. If the recording and posting of the transactions take place properly and systematically, then the total of both columns would be identical. Besides correcting apparent errors, other adjustments may be needed as part of the accounting cycle to ensure that the numbers comply with accounting principles.

A trial balance is prepared to identify any numerical errors that may have taken place in the double-entry accounting system. On the other hand, the format of the balance sheet has to be made like a ledger. In modern times, a balance sheet is prepared in the form of a statement.

At the end of an accounting period, the accounts of asset, expense, or loss should each have a debit balance, and the accounts of liability, equity, revenue, or gain should each have a credit balance. On a trial balance worksheet, all of the debit balances form the left column, and all of the credit balances form the right column, with the account titles placed to the far left of the two columns. A trial balance records the closing balance of all the general ledgers of the company. It is helpful to check if these credit and debit balances balance each other. If the numbers do not balance each other, it indicates that the books of accounts have to be checked to see if there is an error in recording.

What is a trial balance used for?

The debits and credits include all business transactions for a company over a certain period, including the sum of such accounts as assets, expenses, liabilities, and revenues. Companies initially record their business transactions in bookkeeping accounts within the general ledger. Furthermore, some accounts may have been used to record multiple business transactions.

  • A trial balance is a summary of the balances in each of a company's general ledger accounts.
  • The balances are usually listed to achieve equal values in the credit and debit account totals.
  • While Balance Sheet or statement of financial position is a statement prepared at the end of the accounting year to know the actual financial condition of the business on that day.
  • These balances fall under three components, including assets, liabilities and equity.

A Trial Balance is a list or statement prepared to check the mathematical accuracy of the account with the balances of the ledger of any particular day. In this method, the process of totalling the ledger accounts on both sides is followed by balancing the accounts. Account balancing is a process where both sides are tallied by placing the balance on the side where the amount falls short. A company’s transactions are recorded in a general ledger and later summed to be included in a trial balance.

Requirements for a Trial Balance

May be due to the similarity in nomenclature a lot of people get confused between the Trial balance and the balance sheet, but by now you surely know that both these are completely single payment car lease explained different. The information from the trial balance is used to prepare the balance sheet. Two pieces of that foundation are the trial balance and the balance sheet.

Prior to founding FloQast, he managed the accounting team at Cornerstone OnDemand, a SaaS company in Los Angeles. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Syracuse University. A trial balance is so called because it provides a test of a fundamental aspect of a set of books, but is not a full audit of them. The purpose of preparing a trial balance is to ascertain the accuracy of the books of accounts.

Why do you mean by trial balance?

It lists all the financial accounts and their ledger balances on a specific date. That date may be the end of the financial year, the end of a quarter, or the last day of the month, depending on the period that is being reported on. A trial balance includes a list of all general ledger account totals.


In a double entry accounting system, each journal entry has an equal debit and credit impact. Thus a tallied trial balance i.e., where debit balances equal credit balances, serves as a check on this. Overall, the balance sheet is a financial statement that provides a list of balances. These balances give valuable insights into a company’s operations. More specifically, these help users understand the assets, liabilities and equity positions. This format comes from the accounting standards that companies follow.

What are the key differences between trial balance vs. balance sheet?

To read about more such interesting concepts on Commerce, stay tuned to BYJU’S. Here’s an example of a trial balance for XYZ Co. as of December 31, 202X. By convention, the debit column is on the left, and the credit column is on the right. The above-mentioned differences between Balance Sheet and Trial Balance are related to their purpose, format, content, stage in accounting, exceptions, etc. Balance Sheet is like a mirror of the business as it shows the status of the company at a particular date, in just one glance.

The trial balance is a listing of a company’s financial accounts and their balances, while the balance sheet is a report that shows a company’s net worth. Companies can use a trial balance to keep track of their financial position, and so they may prepare several different types of trial balance throughout the financial year. A trial balance may contain all the major accounting items, including assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, expenses, gains, and losses. The accounting cycle of an organisation encompasses all the steps that result in the presentation of financial statements of an organisation.

One can prepare a trial balance by arranging all ledger account balances, by categorizing them into debits and credits to test the correctness of the accounts. Take the pain out of generating the trial balance and balance sheets using an intelligent business accounting software such as TallyPrime. It helps you balance your books and audit all transactions efficiently and quickly. From the general ledger, the software calculates the closing balances for accounts. From there, this information helps in the preparation of various financial statements.

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