What Is a Trial Balance vs Balance Sheet? An In-Depth Look

The firm will tend to prepare the trial balance after posting it into the ledger. With a balance sheet, you can easily evaluate, analyze and understand your business’s financial health and financial position. The main purpose and objective of preparing the trial balance are to make sure that the individual company’s bookkeeping systems are accurate as per the mathematics. 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.

  • Every company in Singapore maintains its financial statements in some way or the other.
  • The Trial Balance and the Balance Sheet or statement of financial position are the two most important stages in the accounting cycle.
  • However, the figures in the trial balance do not indicate accuracy, and it is entirely possible that an item or transaction may have been missed or a wrong expense account has been entered.
  • If there is a mismatch, an account called the suspense account is used to adjust the difference value and balance the trial balance.
  • Since the terms income statement and profit and loss statement describe a similar meaning, we use both the terms by interchanging throughout the article.
  • The term income statement is also known as the statement of operations or statement of income.

Also, the auditors’ signature is essential on it in the case of companies. As against, the preparation of Trial Balance is not compulsory at all. Hence, companies can prepare trial balance as per their requirement. In contrast, the company prepares a balance sheet at a particular date which is usually at the end of the accounting year.

Balance Method or the Net Trial Balance Method with Template

For example, if there is a mismatch between the debit and credit account totals at any point, it indicates an error. However, since most companies use software tools, their system may not allow new entries to be added if there is a mismatch between the values, leaving no room for error. According to this equation, an organization’s assets must be balanced by the sum of its liabilities plus shareholders’ equity. A balance sheet that doesn’t balance is a sign of errors in accounting records. 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. A balance sheet is essentially a financial statement indicating a company’s liabilities, assets as well as equities held by shareholders within a specific duration.

So, it would be an addition of $10,000 to the cash item on the asset side of the balance sheet. 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. In contrast, a balance sheet has three primary heads – equity, liabilities, and assets. 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”.

Understanding Trial Balance

At the same time, a balance sheet is prepared after preparing the trial balance. The balance sheet is a part of the financial statements prepared by the accountants. It is a statement summarising the company’s equity, assets, and liabilities on a particular day. The balance sheet will express the company’s assets, equity, and liabilities. If you take the credit and debit balance statement from the source of the general ledger, it is a trial balance. Trial Balance is a worksheet which records all the transactions from ledgers into credit and debit sections, the purpose of preparing a trial balance is to maintain accuracy in records.

Trial balance is prepared once all journal entries are posted to the respective ledger accounts and each ledger account is totaled and balanced. It is presented in columnar format, with debit account balances recorded on the left and credit account balances recorded on the right. Trial Balance is a part of the accounting process, which is a summary of debit and credit balances taken from all the ledger accounts. Every transaction affects two sides, i.e. every debit has a corresponding credit and the reverse is also true. In this method, the total value at the end of the debit and credit columns of a company’s ledger is recorded in the trial balance sheet.

Trial Balance vs Balance Sheet: Difference and Comparison

In order to understand the financial conditions the balance sheet and the cash flow statement also play an important role. The total expenses are subtracted from the total income in order to get the net income of the company which is displayed in the income statement. Nominal account balances from trial balance are posted to the profit and loss account to arrive at net profit. Subsequently, this net profit as well as the balances of real and personal accounts from the trial balance is recorded in the balance sheet. Balance sheet is prepared in ‘T’ format with liabilities recorded on the left and assets recorded on the right.


Because of the time required to compile these, trial balances and balance sheets were created only as needed at the end of a quarter or a year. Today, these can be created in most accounting systems nearly instantly with a few clicks. A financial statement showing the company’s income and expenditures is known as the income statement. With the help of income statements, one can understand the financial health of his business.

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It has to be noted that the aggregate of these two columns should have to be necessarily identical. The importance of balance as a part of a company’s financial statement can be understood along with the documents of cash flow and income statements. All of these combined together help in indicating the financial position of the company to the interested parties. The trial balance lists the debit and credit balances of the ledger accounts. From the three financial statements, profit and loss (P&L) and balance sheet are the two financial statements firms issue regularly. The profit and loss records will deliver your company’s capable and non-capable information to generate earnings with cost reduction, revenue increment, or even both.

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

Trial balance indicates the financial well-being of an organization. Trial balance offers a comprehensive list of revenue as well as capital accounts that are recorded in an organizations’ ledger. In other words, a trial balance is more or less a type of sheet that is used to record all sorts of ledger balances that are classified as debit and credit. A trial balance is usually prepared during a calendar year or financial year-end. Deskera Books is an online accounting software that your business can use to automate the process of journal entry creation and save time.

In contrast, a balance sheet that forms part of the financial statements and is shown to external stakeholders. So there are specific accounting standards that the company must adhere to while preparing it. The primary reason for drafting a trial balance is to check if the debit balance matches the credit side. Similarly, the primary motive behind preparing a balance sheet is to establish the accuracy of the financial position of the company’s accounting records. The following article will provide you the outline for the differences between Trail vs Balance Sheet. Trial Balance can be defined as a summary of all the activities of a business.

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. A trial balance is an internal document and is not presented to the external stakeholders. In contrast, the balance sheet is a part of the financial statements prepared both for internal and external stakeholders. Trial balance acts as the precursor to the preparation of financial statements as well as assessing the arithmetical accuracy.

While a trial balance is an internal document, a balance sheet is an external document typically intended for lenders and investors. Using the data from the trial balance, a balance sheet summarizes the shareholders’ equity, liabilities, and the assets of the company at a particular point in time (typically at the end of the year). This provides lenders and investors with a better idea of the financial health of the company. In that regard, while a trial balance is used to find recording errors, a balance sheet reports on the economic position of the company.