A Beginner’s Guide to the Post-Closing Trial Balance


This is because a correct trial balance statement helps you in preparing basic financial statements including the income statement and the balance sheet. Thus, there is no need for you to go through each of the ledger accounts while preparing financial statements. Thus, we can say that the first step in preparing the basic financial statements is to formulate a tallied out trial balance.

The sum of all debit and credit accounts should be equal in the post-closing trial balance. Otherwise, an adjustment entry will be required to reflect correct balances. After preparing your trial balance this month, you discover that it does not balance. Transferring information from T-accounts to the trial balance requires consideration of the final balance in each account.

Post Closing Trial Balance

To prepare a post-closing trial balance, the accountant or bookkeeper starts with a trial balance that lists all accounts with their debit or credit balances. Your stockholders, creditors, and other outside professionals will use your financial statements to evaluate your performance. If you evaluate your numbers as often as monthly, you will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses before any outsiders see them and make any necessary changes to your plan in the following month. Another peculiar thing about Bob’s post-closing trial balance is that normally a retained earnings account will have a credit balance, but in Bob’s books, it has a debit balance. The reason is that Bob did not make a profit in the first month of his operations. Thus, the adjusted trial balance is a process to prepare accurate ledger account balances for an accounting cycle.

It is important to go through each step very carefully and recheck your work often to avoid mistakes early on in the process. If you like quizzes, crossword puzzles, fill-in-the-blank, matching exercise, and word scrambles to help you learn the material in this course, go to My Accounting Course for more. Here are a few key differences between the adjusted trial balance and closing-trial balance. Simply put, a trial balance adjusted for all accounts is called an adjusted trial balance. Another way to find an error is to take the difference between the two totals and divide by nine. If the outcome of the difference is a whole number, then you may have transposed a figure.

When all accounts have been recorded, total each column and verify the columns equal each other. Posting accounts to the post closing trial balance follows the exact same procedures as preparing the other trial balances. Each account balance is transferred from the ledger accounts to the trial balance. All accounts with debit balances are listed on the left column and all accounts with credit balances are listed on the right column.

  • As you see in step 6 of the accounting cycle, we create another trial balance that is adjusted (see The Adjustment Process).
  • However, such an error would not lead to inequality in the debit and credit balance of your trial balance.
  • The purpose of an adjusted trial balance is to ensure that all accounts are up to date and to check the accuracy of the accounting records before preparing the financial statements.
  • Now that the post closing trial balance is prepared and checked for errors, Paul can start recording any necessary reversing entries before the start of the next accounting period.

Columns for the account title, debit totals, and credit amounts are listed below, and the total for the debit and credit columns is listed at the bottom. Preparing how to file a tax extension an unadjusted trial balance is the fourth step in the accounting cycle. A trial balance is a list of all accounts in the general ledger that have nonzero balances.

What is not included in a post-closing trial balance?

However, you should review your entries if the debit and credit columns don’t equal each other as you might have forgotten to properly transfer one to or from the ledgers. The post-closing trial balance comes after the unadjusted and adjusted trial balances in the accounting cycle for a reporting period. The difference between the unadjusted trial balance and the adjusted trial balance is the adjusting entries that are required to align the company accounts for the matching principle. At the bottom of the post-closing trial balance, in order of assets, liabilities, and equity, will be the total of all the debits and credits. If they’re not, you might have prepared the sheet incorrectly or failed to account for all the line items if that’s the case. Temporary accounts like revenues, expenses, and distributions have to be closed at the end of each accounting period to permanent accounts like assets, liabilities, and equity.

The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Secondly, it can be used to verify the accuracy of financial statements, which is crucial for investors and other stakeholders in making informed decisions. By summing the debits together, and the credits together, we see that each reconcile to $2,120 in August.

The Accounting Cycle Example

The balances of the nominal accounts (income, expense, and withdrawal accounts) have been absorbed by the capital account – Mr. Gray, Capital. Hence, you will not see any nominal account in the post-closing trial balance. Nominal accounts are those that are found in the income statement, and withdrawals. The post-closing trial balance summary only considers permanent ledger accounts.

Deferred Tax Assets – Definition, Example, and Why the Deferred Tax Asset Arises

At this point, the accounting cycle is complete, and the company can begin a new cycle in the next period. In essence, the company’s business is always in operation, while the accounting cycle utilizes the cutoff of month-end to provide financial information to assist and review the operations. Before you can run a post-closing trial balance, you’ll have to make sure that all of your adjusting journal entries have been entered.

It can easily been see that the post-closing trial balance is containing only Balance sheet items which are to carry forward for to next accounting period. Next, the accountant closes the temporary accounts by transferring their balances to the permanent accounts, such as retained earnings. It provides a quick and easy way to verify that the company’s books are balanced and that all the accounts have been correctly classified. This report provides a snapshot of the company’s financial position after the closing entries. Let’s now take a look at the T-accounts and unadjusted trial balance for Printing Plus to see how the information is transferred from the T-accounts to the unadjusted trial balance. You have been exposed to the concepts of recording and journalizing transactions previously, but this explains the rest of the accounting process.

What is a post-closing trial balance?

If you have never followed the full process from beginning to end, you will never understand how one of your decisions can impact the final numbers that appear on your financial statements. You will not understand how your decisions can affect the outcome of your company. A post-closing trial balance will be formatted the same as the other two types of trial balances that have already been discussed.

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