Adjusted Trial Balance Format Preparation Example Explanation

adjusted trial balance definition

The main purpose of the adjusted trial balance is to prove that the total of debit balances of all accounts still equal to the total of credit balances after making all required adjusting entries. Likewise, the adjusted trial balance is the primary basis for preparing financial statements. There are five sets of columns, each set having a column for debit and credit, for a total of 10 columns. The five column sets are the trial balance, adjustments, adjusted trial balance, income statement, and the balance sheet.

adjusted trial balance definition

This is due to the company usually needs to make sure that the total balances on the debit side equal to those on the credit side before they make any necessary adjustments. Once all the monthly transactions have been analyzed, journalized, and posted on a continuous day-to-day basis over the accounting period (a month in our example), we are ready to start working on preparing a trial balance (unadjusted). Preparing 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.

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The unadjusted trial balance is prepared to check if all accounts have balances. It helps ensure that all transactions for a given period are accounted for before adjusting entries are made. An unadjusted trial balance is a list of all accounts as of the end of an accounting period. The balances on this trial balance sheet are usually taken from an account ledger or bookkeeping records. If the totals don’t match, a missing debit or credit entry, or an error in copying over from the general ledger account may be the cause. But there could still be mistakes or errors in the accounting system even if the amounts do match.

  • Once all accounts have balances in the adjusted trial balance columns, add the debits and credits to make sure they are equal.
  • The balance sheet is going to include assets, contra assets, liabilities, and stockholder equity accounts, including ending retained earnings and common stock.
  • The statement of retained earnings (which is often a component of the statement of stockholders’ equity) shows how the equity (or value) of the organization has changed over a period of time.

Once these are prepared and posted, an adjusted trial balance can be prepared and compared to the unadjusted trial balance, to check for accuracy. The main purpose of preparing an adjusted trial balance is to ensure that account balances accurately reflect changes made after the adjusting entries are posted. Before adjusting entries, the books do not accurately reflect the business activity during an accounting period. After all the ledger accounts and their balances are listed on a trial balance worksheet in their standard format, add up all debit balances and credit balances separately to prove the equality between total debits and total credits.

Income Statement

This way, the errors initially made in the unadjusted trial balance during the closing process get corrected. The adjusted trial balance does not show the details of the transactions. It is one of the steps in the closing process that verifies whether the total balances of the debit side and the total balance of the credit side are equal. It is also used to prepare the financial statements of the company like the balance sheet, the income statement and the cash flow statement.

Depending on the kinds of business transactions that have occurred, accounts in the ledgers could have been debited or credited during a given accounting period before they are used in a trial balance worksheet. Furthermore, some accounts may have been used to record multiple business transactions. As a result, the ending balance of each ledger account as shown in the trial balance worksheet is the sum of all debits and credits that have been entered to that account based on all related business transactions.

What is a Trial Balance?

But if debits and credits do not balance, then it is certain that one mistake or more were made. An adjusted trial balance is formatted exactly like an unadjusted trial balance. Three columns are used to display the account names, debits, and credits with the debit balances listed in the left column and the credit balances are listed on the right. Service Revenue had a $9,500 credit balance in the trial balance column, and a $600 credit balance in the Adjustments column.

adjusted trial balance definition

They are an important part of the accrual basis method as most adjusting entries are accruals. Once the adjusted trial balance has been prepared, an income statement can be produced. To prepare the financial statements, a company will look at the adjusted trial balance for account information.

Trial Balance to Adjusted Trial Balance

It is considered unadjusted because no adjusting entries have been made yet. You can now compare your 1st column with the last period’s closing balances or the 1st day of this period’s balances to ensure accuracy. You can do this by either totaling the last period’s closing balances or you can enter balances as of the 1st day of this period. The trial balance is strictly for use within the accounting department.

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You could also take the unadjusted trial balance and simply add the adjustments to the accounts that have been changed. In many ways this is faster for smaller companies because very few accounts will need to be altered. In Completing the Accounting Cycle, we continue our discussion of the 10 best online payroll software in 2021 accounting cycle, completing the last steps of journalizing and posting closing entries and preparing a post-closing trial balance. Take a couple of minutes and fill in the income statement and balance sheet columns. The adjustments total of $2,415 balances in the debit and credit columns.

Find an example balance sheet and use our free balance sheet template to review your company’s financial position. The report will not uncover situations in which an entry should have been made, but was not. This type of error can only be detected by comparing individual journal entries to a checklist of entries that should be made within each reporting period. Both ways are useful depending on the site of the company and chart of accounts being used.

  • Preparing an unadjusted trial balance is the fourth step in the accounting cycle.
  • If you look at the worksheet for Printing Plus, you will notice there is no retained earnings account.
  • After adjustments have been made to correct any errors, it’s called an adjusted trial balance and is used to prepare other financial statements.
  • This would happen if a company broke even, meaning the company did not make or lose any money.
  • Revenues items are recorded on the credit side of the trial balance, and expense items are recorded on the debit side.

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