The Post‐closing Trial Balance

The purpose of the post-closing trial balance is to check the debits and the credits once the accountant passes the closing entries for the transaction. It includes only the real accounts as all the nominal accounts are closed at this time. The second entry requires expense accounts close to the Income Summary account. To get a zero balance in an expense account, the entry will show a credit post closing trial balance to expenses and a debit to Income Summary. Printing Plus has $100 of supplies expense, $75 of depreciation expense–equipment, $5,100 of salaries expense, and $300 of utility expense, each with a debit balance on the adjusted trial balance. The closing entry will credit Supplies Expense, Depreciation Expense–Equipment, Salaries Expense, and Utility Expense, and debit Income Summary.

What is a trial balance and why is it prepared?

The trial balance is prepared after posting all financial transactions to the journals and summarizing them on the ledger statements. The trial balance is made to ensure that the debits equal the credits in the chart of accounts.This means that it is not an asset, liability, stockholders’ equity, revenue, or expense account. The account has a zero balance throughout the entire accounting period until the closing entries are prepared. Therefore, it will not appear on any trial balances, including the adjusted trial balance, and will not appear on any of the financial statements. Nominal accounts appear in the income statement and the list of withdrawals, while the real account are within the balance sheet. Check these areas to make sure you’re including all the adjusting entries you need to for the accounting period before closing the accounting period. Once you’ve included your adjusted entries and run the adjusted trial balance, you’re ready to run the post-closing trial balance.

Why Is It Necessary To Complete An Adjusted Trial Balance?

For instance, Nominal accounts are the ones that have entries from the income statement and real accounts consist of entries from the balance sheet. An accountant prepares this trial balance after passing the adjusting entries. Its purpose is to test the equality of debits and credits after the adjusting entries. At the end of each accounting cycle an accountant prepares adjusting entries, an income statement and closing entries to the general ledger.

It is prepared to test the equality of debits and credits after closing entries are made. Another peculiar thing about Bob’s post-closing trial balance is that normally a retained earnings account will have a credit balance, but in Bob’s books it has a debit balance. The reason is that Bob did not make a profit in the first month of his operations. Notice that the balances in the expense accounts are now zero and are ready to accumulate expenses in the next period. The Income Summary account has a new credit balance of $4,665, which is the difference between revenues and expenses (Figure 5.5). The balance in Income Summary is the same figure as what is reported on Printing Plus’s Income Statement.


Prior to graduating from UNC, he graduated from Mitchell Community College with an Associate of Applied Science in business administration.

The accounts that need to start with a clean or $0 balance going into the next accounting period are revenue, income, and any dividends from January 2019. To determine the income from the month of January, the store needs to close the income statement information from January 2019. Zeroing January 2019 would then enable the store to calculate the income for the next month , instead of merging it into January’s income and thus providing invalid information solely for the month of February. The adjusted trial balance is an internal document that lists the general ledger account titles and their balances after any adjustments have been made.

What Is An Adjusted Trial Balance?

In the next accounting period, the accounting cycle will be repeated again starting from the preparation of journal entries i.e. the first step of accounting cycle. Prepare the closing entries for Frasker Corp. using the adjusted trial balance provided. If the balance in Income Summary before closing is a debit balance, you will credit Income Summary and debit Retained Earnings in the closing entry. The eighth step in the accounting cycle is preparing closing entries, which includes journalizing and posting the entries to the ledger. Understanding the accounting cycle and preparing trial balances is a practice valued internationally. The Philippines Center for Entrepreneurship and the government of the Philippines hold regular seminars going over this cycle with small business owners.This is the same figure found on the statement of retained earnings. If the balance in Income Summary before closing is a credit balance, you will debit Income Summary and credit Retained Earnings in the closing entry. The next day, January 1, 2019, you get ready for work, but before you go to the office, you decide to review your financials for 2019. What are your total expenses for rent, electricity, cable and internet, gas, and food for the current year? You have also not incurred any expenses yet for rent, electricity, cable, internet, gas or food.There are many reasons your debit and credit columns in your post-closing trial balance don’t match, but the most common reason is basic human error. You may have placed a debit in a credit column or vice versa, or you didn’t include one or more transactions in the report. If your debits and credits don’t match, perform your due diligence to find out why.

Other Types Of Trial Balances

Temporary accounts are reduced during the closing process when closing entries are posted, leaving only permanent accounts displayed on the balance sheet. The post-closing trial balance sheet accounts should show that the total of all the debit accounts balances equals the total of all credit accounts balances, which would then net to zero. The post-closing trial balance is the last step or final step in the accounting cycle, and then the cycle starts all over again for the next accounting period. It is the final trial balance before the new accounting period begins. Another thing to observe is that as expected we do not see any temporary account balances in the post-closing trial balance. All the revenue and expense accounts have successfully been closed out into an income summary account and then the income summary account balance has also been transferred to retained earnings account.

What do closing entries do?

The purpose of the closing entry is to reset the temporary account balances to zero on the general ledger, the record-keeping system for a company’s financial data. … All revenue and expense accounts must end with a zero balance because they are reported in defined periods and are not carried over into the future.Each income account listed in the income summary balance contributes to total revenue for the period. When income is recognized on the income statement, the total credit balance of all adjusted trial balance entries is reduced. When the post-closing trial balance is prepared, the income accounts are not listed because they all equal zero. At the end of a financial period, the accounting department of a company or a certified public accountant records adjusting and closing entries and prepares several trial balances. Initially, the accountant prepares a trial balance without adjusting entries, then subtracts or adds adjusting entry totals and creates an adjusted trial balance. Finally, he closes all income and expense accounts to retained earnings and prepares a final, post-closing trial balance.The retained earnings account is a new permanent account listed on this trial balance which you won’t find in the trial balances that preceded the post-closing trial balance. This process closes out the revenue, expense, drawing or dividend accounts. For example, if the credit balance in revenue is $50,000, you would debit revenue for $50,000 and credit income summary for $50,000. If there is a debit balance of $30,000 in expense accounts, you would credit expenses for $30,000 and debit income summary for $30,000. The balance in income summary of $20,000 would then be entered as a credit to retained earnings.Furthermore, some accounts may have been used to record multiple business transactions. A post-closing trial balance will be formatted the same as the other two types of trial balances that have already been discussed. Like an unadjusted or an adjusted trial balance, it will have accounts listed in order of either their account numbers or in the order they appear on the balance sheet. The order that will follow will be assets first, then liabilities and finally ending off with equity. If dividends were not declared, closing entries would cease at this point.

How To Prepare A Post Closing Trial Balance

Once the adjustments are completed, we then get the adjusted trial balance. The primary purpose of preparing this post-closing trial balance is to ensure that all accounts are balanced and ready for recording the next period of financial transactions. Like more trial balances, the debit and credit columns are totaled at the bottom to ensure theaccounting equationis in balance. DebitCreditIncome Summary (37,100 – 28,010)9,090Retained Earnings9,090If expenses were greater than revenue, we would have net loss.

  • Only permanent account balances should appear on the post-closing trial balance.
  • Like all trial balances, the post-closing trial balance has the job of verifying that the debit and credit totals are equal.
  • Students often ask why they need to do all of these steps by hand in their introductory class, particularly if they are never going to be an accountant.
  • Each individual account balance is transferred from their ledger accounts to the post-closing trial balance.
  • Another peculiar thing about Bob’s post-closing trial balance is that normally a retained earnings account will have a credit balance, but in Bob’s books it has a debit balance.
  • Income statement items are the temporary accounts and they are not included in the post-closing trial balance.

Also, it determines if there are any balances in the permanent accounts after passing the closing entries. As closing entries close all the temporary ledger accounts, the trial balance (post-closing) includes permanent ledger accounts, or we can say balance sheet accounts. Theaccounting cycleis an involved process that requires different stages of analysis, adjustments and preparation. Towards the beginning of the cycle, transaction analysis and journal entries are recorded for items such as accounts payable and accounts receivable. At the end of the cycle, an unadjusted trial balance and adjusted trial balance are created, before closing entries are posted and a post closing trial balance is prepared. It is important to know the nuances of the accounting cycle, to understand what a trial balance is.The post-closing trial balance is the final report of the accounting cycle. Learn the definition, purpose, preparation, and importance of the post-closing trial balance and permanent and temporary accounts. The format for the post-closing trial balance is similar to other trial balances. The columns it includes are account number, account description, debits, and credits. Beside above, which of the following accounts should not appear in a post closing trial balance? Equipment ,service revenue,unearned service revenue,interest payable,depreciation expense,owner’s drawings,accumulated depreciation equipment.The total income and expense for the period is transferred to the income summary account and the balances are returned to zero. Closing entries do not affect the trial balance directly; they are necessary to create an income statement, which removes the income and expenses for the period from the post-closing trial balance. The difference between the unadjusted trial balance and the adjusted trial balance is the adjusting entries that are required to align the company accounts for the matching principle. A listing of all of the accounts in the general ledger with account balances after the closing entries have been posted. This means that the listing would consist of only the balance sheet accounts with balances.

Business Plan

A company needs to prepare Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, and Cash Flow statement at the end of each accounting period. Since the balances of all the ledger accounts are there in the trial balance.