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Trial Balance vs Balance Sheet: Difference and Comparison

Trial balance proves to be very crucial in detecting any mistake that could have taken place during the entry of the balances. It brings us to today’s discussion – trial balance vs. balance sheet. While many people consider both the same, many others fail to differentiate between the two.

The difference between a balance sheet and a trial balance is that the trial balance is used to prepare the financial statements, while the balance sheet is the result of the financial statements. A balance sheet is essentially a financial invoice management guide for beginners and pros alike statement indicating a company’s liabilities, assets as well as equities held by shareholders within a specific duration. Balance sheet acts as the basis for computation of the rate of return and the evaluation of its capital structure.

  • It is this double entry of debit and credit that is the basis of the double entry accounting system.
  • Trial balance is a mere compilation of all the closing general ledger balances, whereas the balance sheet reports the financial position on assets, liabilities and equity.
  • You can prepare a trial balance for every month or even every quarter.
  • It gives a clear picture of the overall financial status and health of a company.

We can further bifurcate the liabilities and assets into current and non-current sub-heads. Due to this fact, a balance sheet is also referred to as «Statement of financial position». This financial statement pertains to a particular date which is usually the accounting period’s last date. Balance sheets are used for internal purposes to support strategic decisions. External users use balance sheets to assess a company’s financial status and liquidity.

Concept of Trial Balance

As a small business, you’ll likely have several forms, sheets, reports, and statements concerning your finances. Two reports that you’ll likely be dealing with are trial balances and balance sheets. Both of these are essential to understanding your finances, but there are many business owners who don’t understand the differences.

A balance sheet is a detailed statement of a company’s total assets and liabilities, along with the capital that is put in by the company’s shareholders. Every company in Singapore maintains its financial statements in some way or the other. These refer to documents that help the onlookers to gauge the financial position of the company. While the outsiders only look into the figures, the insiders have to do a lot of work to ensure that the financial statements are presentable and in adherence to the requisite rules. In a balance sheet, the assets and the liabilities are divided into two separate categories which include current assets or current liabilities and noncurrent (long term assets) or noncurrent liabilities.

What is a Balance Sheet?

It would also add $10,000 to the debt item on the liabilities side. This is a simplistic illustration of how a balance sheet gets balanced. To fully understand a balance sheet, we must understand what assets and liabilities are. A balance sheet is a financial statement which represents the position of assets and liabilities of an organisation as on a specific date. Trial balance acts as the precursor to the preparation of financial statements as well as assessing the arithmetical accuracy.

Understand Your Numbers To Grow Your Business

The income statement tracks the results of operations over time, while the balance sheet tracks the cumulative impacts of operations on assets, liabilities, and stockholder’s equity. Besides correcting apparent errors, other adjustments may be needed as part of the accounting cycle to ensure that the numbers comply with accounting principles. As part of the closing process at the end of an accounting period, balance sheet accounts must be reconciled, and adjusting entries must be posted. Companies that carry inventory need to count their closing stock so that the Cost of Goods Sold can be calculated appropriately. All three of these types have exactly the same format but slightly different uses.

Related Differences

The double-entry record will be auto-populated for each sale and purchase business transaction in debit and credit terms. Deskera has the transaction data consolidate into each ledger account. Their values will automatically flow to respective financial reports.You can have access to Deskera’s ready-made Profit and Loss Statement, Balance Sheet, and other financial reports in an instant. A balance sheet is one of the five financial statements that are distributed outside of the accounting department and are often distributed outside of the company. The balance sheet summarizes and reports the balances from the asset, liability, and stockholders’ equity accounts that are contained in the company’s general ledger. The balance sheet is also referred to as the statement of financial position.

A company’s transactions are recorded in a general ledger and later summed to be included in a trial balance. The purpose of preparing a trial balance is to ascertain the accuracy of the books of accounts. A trial balance is prepared to identify any numerical errors that may have taken place in the double-entry accounting system.

The trial balance usually includes a list of totals of accounts of the general ledger. The general ledger accounts should include the description of the account, the account number, and the final debit/credit balance. Along with this, the trial balance should include the accounting period of the report being created. The trial balance does not show each separate transaction, only the accounts total whereas the general ledges show all the transactions of the account.

Main Differences Between Trial Balance and Balance Sheet

If the recording and posting of the transactions take place properly and systematically, then the total of both columns would be identical. The differences between a trial balance and a balance sheet are stark. While the former is optional, the latter is mandatory by law and forms a part of the company’s financial statements.

Dedicated columns of debit and credit are displayed in a trial balance. The total of assets, liabilities and stockholders equity are displayed in an ideal format of a balance sheet. With a balance sheet, you can easily evaluate, analyze and understand your business’s financial health and financial position. 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 different. The information from the trial balance is used to prepare the balance sheet. In this method, the process of totalling the ledger accounts on both sides is followed by balancing the accounts.

A trial balance may contain all the major accounting items, including assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, expenses, gains, and losses. So, if you make a sale and collect the cash, you would account for it as follows. So the company’s cash account will be debited and the sales account will be credited to record the transaction.

It is primarily a summary and report on the balances generated out of liabilities, assets and the equity accounts held by stockholders in the general ledger of a company. The trial balance is an internal document used as the first step in creating financial statements. 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. It allows businesses to report their business financial performance for a certain period of accounting.


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