Introduction to Trial Balance

A trial balance is an accounting or bookkeeping report that records the balances in the general ledger of a company or in other words, the combination of Balance Sheet and Profit or Loss.

Typically, the accounts that has no balances are not included. The credit balance quantities are recorded in a column under the heading “Credit Balances” while the debit balance quantities are recorded in a separate column under the title “Debit Balances”. Then, the total of both columns needs to be equal.


A trial balance is one of the financial statements. It is primarily an internal document that is helpful in using a manual accounting system. When the trial balance is not “balance”, this implied that there is a mistake between the trial balance and the journal. Typically, errors occur when calculating the balance of an account, shifting digits within a quantity, posting a credit quantity as a debut and so on.

Nowadays, the accounting software application has been programmed to get rid of those common mistakes. Thus, the trial balance is no longer significant for bookkeeping as the trial balance and the general ledger accounts would have the credits equivalent to the debits.

Accountants and auditors still find the trial balance useful as the trial balance shows:

1.    The balances of the general ledger account and the chart of account before proposed adjustments

2.    The proposed adjustments

3.    After the proposed adjustments, all the account balances

The adjusted quantities comprise the adjusted trial balance, then the amounts adjusted would be applied in the financial statements of the company (Also see Distinction between Balance Sheet and Cash Flow).

Adjusted Trial Balance

The adjusted trial balance is a file that consists of the account titles of the general ledger and the adjusted balances. The adjusted trial balance does not belong to the financial statement, but the financial statements will report the adjusted account balances.

The adjusted trial balance and the unadjusted trial balance need to have the same total quantity of the credit balances as the total quantity of debit balances.

Sample of Adjusted Trial Balances

An unadjusted trial balance prepared by an accounting firm in Johor Bahru in a manual accounting system should be particular that the credit quantities are equivalent to the debit quantities in the general ledger.

Then, the unadjusted trial balance shows the needed adjusting entries and the adjusted balances. Then, the adjusted balances are summed up to be the adjusted trial balance.

An adjusted trial balance could be known as a trial balance where the external auditors adjusted the account balances. The adjusted balances would be the adjusted trial balance.