What is a Trial Balance?

A Trial Balance is a list of the general ledger account balances as at specific date. Normally debit balances are shown on the left and credit balances of the right. The Trial Balance checks the sum of the debits against the credits the two of which should agree. If the Trial Balance does not balance this indicates an error somewhere in the general ledger which must be found and corrected.

The Trial Balance does not guarantee there are no errors in the accounts such as the following:

  • An invoice for £69 posted as £96
  • An invoice for a new van (fixed asset) posted to motor expenses

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