Understanding Trial Balance Uses, Types, and How to Prepare It

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. By utilizing accounting software to manage Trial Balance vs Balance Sheet, companies are able to precisely track their assets and quickly produce a balance sheet.

However, this does not mean that there are no errors in a company’s accounting system. For example, transactions classified improperly or those simply missing from the system still could be material accounting errors that would not be detected by the trial balance procedure. A trial balance and a balance sheet are two very important financial documents for any business. However, many differences distinguish these reports from each other.

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Difference between trial balance and balance sheet

In this post, we are going to talk about the differences between Trial Balance and Balance Sheet.

  • With the help of a balance sheet, it is easy for businessers to evaluate the 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.
  • FundsNet requires Contributors, Writers and Authors to use Primary Sources to source and cite their work.
  • Every transaction affects two sides, i.e. every debit has a corresponding credit and the reverse is also true.
  • Finally, if some adjusting entries were entered, it must be reflected on a trial balance.

The financial statement depicting total assets and liabilities of an organization along with the capital invested by the shareholders in the same is known as the Balance Sheet. On the other hand, the company will prepare the trial balance at the end of every financial year, half-yearly, quarterly, or every month. As discussed earlier, with the help of a balance sheet report, you can estimate and analyze the particular date’s financial position. The trial balance assists the firm to estimate the arithmetical precision in the posting and recording.

The difference between a trial balance and balance sheet

FundsNet requires Contributors, Writers and Authors to use Primary Sources to source and cite their work. These Sources include White Papers, Government Information & Data, Original Reporting and Interviews from Industry Experts. Learn more about the standards we follow in producing Accurate, Unbiased and Researched what does it mean when a company has a high fixed Content in our editorial policy. Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. Every business – from the solo freelance graphic artist to the Fortune 500 global company – relies on the same basics for tracking their finances.

What is the difference between a trial balance and a balance sheet?

An accountant cannot provide a complete set of financial statements without the trial balance and balance sheet. 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. 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.

The balance sheet is part of the core group of financial statements. It may be issued only for internal use, or it may also be intended for such outsiders as lenders and investors. The balance sheet summarizes the recorded amount of assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity in a company’s accounting records as of a specific point in time (usually as of the end of a month). It is constructed based on the accounting standards described in one of the accounting frameworks, such as Generally Accepted Accounting Principles or International Financial Reporting Standards. In addition to error detection, the trial balance is prepared to make the necessary adjusting entries to the general ledger.

Head To Head Comparison Between Trial Balance vs Balance Sheet (Infographics)

Deskera Books is an online accounting software that your business can use to automate the process of journal entry creation and save time. 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. Depending on the intended users of a balance sheet, the categories of assets, liabilities, and equity may be shown in summary form or include a detailed listing of all general ledger accounts in each category. For example, managers or a firm’s auditors will likely want to see a detailed listing of all the asset accounts, while executives and external users may only need to see current and non-current assets.

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. Debits and credits of a trial balance must tally to ensure that there are no mathematical errors. However, there still could be mistakes or errors in the accounting systems. A trial balance can be used to assess the financial position of a company between full annual audits.


A trial balance is an internal document with the ending balance for every account that acts as the base for all financial statements. It is prepared to check the arithmetic accuracy of the transactions recorded in the accounting records. It is prepared as on a date and showcases the closing balances of all the general ledger accounts. 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.

At the same time, a balance sheet is prepared after preparing the trial balance. From the balance sheet statement, you receive the company’s assets, equity, and liabilities summary. The profit and loss account will give an overview of the revenue and expenses of a company. From the three financial statements, profit and loss (P&L) and balance sheet are the two financial statements firms issue regularly. There are no special conventions about how trial balances should be prepared, and they may be completed as often as a company needs them. The key difference between a trial balance and a balance sheet is one of scope.

Emma’s 70-person geographically distributed accounting team improved internal controls and streamlined the audit thanks to FloQast. Over 1.8 million professionals use CFI to learn accounting, financial analysis, modeling and more. Start with a free account to explore 20+ always-free courses and hundreds of finance templates and cheat sheets. While in “Trial Balance“, the use of the terms ‘Debit’ and ‘Credit’ is to represent the nature of accounts. In “Balance Sheet“, use of the terms like Assets and Liabilities indicate what the business owns and what it owes, respectively.

A trial balance is prepared to identify any numerical errors that may have taken place in the double-entry accounting system. 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.

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