the purpose of the post-closing trial balance is

Recording of those transactions should follow the role of debt and credit. The balances of the nominal 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. Having an up to date post-closing trial balance also helps in the adjustment of the accounts. Some of the examples are outstanding liabilities, prepaid expenses, closing stocks and so on. For instance, your purchases account would showcase an excess debit of $10,000 if you overstate your purchases in the books by $10,000.

Adjusting entries are accounting journal entries that convert a company’s accounting records to the accrual basis of accounting. An adjusting journal entry is typically made just prior to issuing a company’s financial statements. What is the current book value of your electronics, car, and furniture? Are the purpose of the post-closing trial balance is the value of your assets and liabilities now zero because of the start of a new year? Your car, electronics, and furniture did not suddenly lose all their value, and unfortunately, you still have outstanding debt. Our discussion here begins with journalizing and posting the closing entries (Figure 5.2).

Expense Accounts

Information flows from the unadjusted trial balance to the trial balance then to the income statement. A trial balance is run during the accounting cycle to test whether the debits equal the credits.

The post-closing trial balance is also used to double-check that the only accounts with balances after the closing entries are permanent accounts. If there are any temporary accounts on this trial balance, you would know that there was an error in the closing process. The unadjusted trial balance is the first trial balance you’ll need to prepare for the accounting period after you’ve recorded and posted all transactions to the ledger. The main purpose of the unadjusted trial balance is to test how equal the company’s debits and credits are before you account for any month-end adjustments. Once you’ve included all debits and credits, check to see if they match. If they don’t, you’ll likely need to do some research to find out why. You may need to add some debits or credits you’ve missed, or you may discover you’ve performed another action incorrectly.


Once the company prepares its financial statements, it will contract an outside third party to audit it. It is the audit that assures outside investors and interested parties that the content of the statements are correct. When a business enterprise presents all the relevant financial information in a structured and easy to understand manner, it is called a financial statement. The purpose of financial statements are to provide both business insiders and outsiders a concise, clear picture of the current financial status in the business. Therefore, the people who use the statements must be confident in its accuracy. Inventory – in a periodic inventory system, an adjusting entry is used to determine the cost of goods sold expense.

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These accounts are temporary ones that the business has already closed; the balances of these accounts have already transitioned to the retained earnings account during the closing of the account. The post-closing trial balance, the last step in the accounting cycle, helps prepare your general ledger for the new accounting period. It closes out balances in both expense and revenue accounts, which allows you to start tracking these totals again in the new accounting period. The credit balances of revenue accounts will be credited to the Income Summary while the balances of expense account will be closed to the debit side of this account.

Introduction To The Closing Entries

It ensures the equality between debits and credits after an accountant is done with the recording phase. As previously stated, only permanent accounts should be listed on this type of trial balance. If any income statement accounts still hold account totals or a balance, or if the income summary account is still listed with an amount, the closing process didn’t go as intended. It is important to review the accounts and troubleshoot any errors in the closing process once identified. 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. 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.

the purpose of the post-closing trial balance is

After the closing entries are journalized and posted, only permanent, balance sheet accounts remain open. A post‐closing trial balance is prepared to check the clerical accuracy of the closing entries and to prove that the accounting equation is in balance before the next accounting period begins. There are many reasons your debit and credit columns in your post-closing trial balance don’t match, but the most common reason is basic human error. You may have placed a debit in a credit column or vice versa, or you didn’t include one or more transactions in the report.

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Printing Plus has a $4,665 credit balance in its Income Summary account before closing, so it will debit Income Summary and credit Retained Earnings. Let’s explore each entry in more detail using Printing Plus’s information from Analyzing and Recording Transactions and The Adjustment Process as our example.

What does posting mean in accounting?

1 : the act of transferring an entry or item from a book of original entry to the proper account in a ledger. 2 : the record in a ledger account resulting from the transfer of an entry or item from a book of original entry.

An answer to this question is provided by one of our experts who specializes in business & economics. Adjusting entries for expenses such as interest, taxes, rent, and salaries are the most common accrual entries. Explain the correct procedure for making a journal entry in the General or Special Journal. Source documents are important because they are the ultimate proof a business transaction has occurred. Each transaction must be analyzed to determine whether it qualifies as a business transaction. Thank a lot for nice presentation of total accounts keeping method.

Requirements For A Trial Balance

A trial balance is a bookkeeping worksheet in which the balance of all ledgers is compiled into debit and credit account column totals that are equal. If the general ledger system has a post closing trial balance feature, then preparing the report is straightforward. The amount of time is contingent on the complexity of the business and the experience of the preparer. The trial balance is usually prepared by a bookkeeper or accountant. The bookkeeper/accountant used journals to record business transactions. The trial balance is a part of the double-entry bookkeeping system and uses the classic ‘T’ account format for presenting values.

  • There has been an error in journalizing the closing entries in the preceding step of the accounting cycle.
  • However, if the debit and credit columns don’t equal each other, you’ll likely need to review your entries, as you may have missed transferring one to or from the ledgers correctly.
  • This trial balance reflects all the activity recorded from day-to-day transactions and is used to analyze accounts when preparing adjusting entries.
  • The adjusted trial balance is what you’ll prepare after the unadjusted trial balance.
  • A company will see its revenue and expense accounts set back to zero, but its assets and liabilities will maintain a balance.
  • The balances of the nominal accounts have been absorbed by the capital account – Mr. Gray, Capital.
  • Credit BalancesCredit Balance is the capital amount that a company owes to its customers & it is reflected on the right side of the General Ledger Account.

Both nominal and real accounts come in the adjusted trial balance. For instance, Nominal accounts are the ones that have entries from the income statement and real accounts consist of entries from the balance sheet. An accountant prepares this trial balance after passing the adjusting entries. Its purpose is to test the equality of debits and credits after the adjusting entries. It also serves as the basis of preparing the financial statement. You prepare an adjusted trial balance to verify the accuracy of posting into the general ledger accounts. Thus, an adjusted trial balance is the second trial balance in the accounting process.

You’ll also notice that the owner’s capital account has a new balance based on the closing entries you made earlier. Say for instance Watson Electronics paid $25,000 to Bob & Co who is the supplier of goods. However, you debit Bob & Co’s account with $2,500 only while posting this transaction to the general ledger. Thus, we can say that the error of commission is clerical in nature.

  • For instance, you may debit a correct balance in an incorrect account while passing a journal entry.
  • Accounts are credited to show an increase in revenue or liabilities.
  • Closing or transferring the balance in the Income Summary account to the Retained Earnings account results in a zero balance in the Income Summary.
  • When manually creating financial statements in Excel, a post closing trial balance is an effective tool.
  • At that time, the accounts will be closed to permanent accounts and once again have a zero balance.
  • The Dividends account is also closed at the end of the accounting period.

If the balance in Income Summary before closing is a debit balance, you will credit Income Summary and debit Retained Earnings in the closing entry. The post-closing trial balance differs from the adjusted trial balance.

What Are Adjusting Entries

Adjusting entries are generally made in relation to prepaid expenses, prepayments, accruals, estimates and inventory. Throughout the year, a business may spend funds or make assumptions that might not be accurate regarding the use of a good or service during the accounting period. Adjusting entries allow the company to go back and adjust those balances to reflect the actual financial activity during the accounting period. Failure to record the adjusting entries can result in understatement of expenses and overstatement of income, which ultimately can affect the amount of taxes paid.

the purpose of the post-closing trial balance is

Once the adjustments have been posted, you would then run an adjusted trial balance. So, you commit an error of complete omission in case you completely omit to record a transaction in the journal. For example, you did not record the credit sales made to KG Ltd worth $10,000 in your sales book.

It also helps the company keep thorough records of account balances affecting retained earnings. Revenue, expense, and dividend accounts affect retained earnings and are closed so they can accumulate new balances in the next period, which is an application of the time period assumption. The format for the post-closing trial balance is similar to other trial balances. The columns it includes are account number, account description, debits, and credits. It is known that the total on the balance sheet is not the same as the post-closing trial balance. As we can see from the above example, the debit and the credit columns balances are matching.

the purpose of the post-closing trial balance is

The Printing Plus adjusted trial balance for January 31, 2019, is presented inFigure 5.4. It is the end of the year, December 31, 2018, and you are reviewing your financials for the entire year. You see that you earned $120,000 this year in revenue and had expenses for rent, electricity, cable, internet, gas, and food that totaled $70,000. There are four types of account adjustments found in the accounting industry. They are accrued revenues, accrued expenses, deferred revenues and deferred expenses. The above-mentioned factors could be all those factors that result in the debit columns totals do not match with the credit column totals. Closing the revenue accounts—transferring the balances in the revenue accounts to a clearing account called Income Summary.

Author: Laine Proctor