The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Bookkeeping & Write-up

What Is A Trial Balance ?

From time to time the equality of debits and credits in the ledger should be verified. Generally this verification is done at the end of an accounting period such as monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually. This verification is termed a trial balance. The trial balance does not provide complete proof of the accuracy of the ledger. It indicates that the debits and credits are equal. In some automated write up systems you can go back to the original entry and make a change that will be reposted to get a corrected trial balance. Other systems require a correcting or adjusting entry to correct a misposting. There are also required entries at the end of a period to record internal transactions which are called adjusting entries. An example of this is the periodic debit and credit to depreciation expense and accumulated depreciation. All automated write-up packages will display and/or print this report at the user's request.

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