Trial Balance Difference

difference between gl and trial balance

A trial balance is a tool accountants use to check that the general accounting ledger is accurate and to minimize errors occurring in a company’s financial statements. These internal financial reports can help verify the accuracy of a double-entry accounting system and identify errors before any critical external financial statements are issued. A general ledger is a complete record or journal of all of the financial transactions that occur in a business. The general ledger provides a trial balance and is used to prepare financial statements such as the monthly income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, and profit and loss statement. The General ledger is an addition of an overview of the account status of every business transaction, which arrives from numerous journals including chronological calculation entries.

What is GL trial balance report?

The trial balance report is an accounting report that lists the closing balances of the general ledger accounts. The balances of the ledgers are added to the debit and credit columns. The total of these two columns should match.

While there are no formal requirements for a trial balance, it typically  consists of at least three columns. The first column on the far left will include the names of each account listed on your general ledger. The next two columns will include your credit and debit balances. Businesses prepare a trial balance regularly, usually at the end of the reporting period to ensure that the entries in the books of accounts are mathematically correct. Once a week or once a month, a summary of the transaction information from the related subsidiary ledger accounts is posted to the general ledger so that it contributes to the trial balance.

Close your trial balance

The income statement follows its own formula, which works as follows. When a company receives payment from a client for the sale of a product, the cash received is tabulated in net sales along with the receipts from other sales and returns. The cost of sales is subtracted from that sum to yield the gross profit for that reporting period.

The trial balance is generally only a periodic page long because it only comprises account totals. The phrase “keeping the books” infers to retaining a general ledger, the main accounting record for your company if you use double-entry bookkeeping. A General Ledger (GL) in accounting is a document of all preceding transactions of a firm, governed by the accounts department. General Ledger (GL) accounts comprise all credit and debit transactions influencing them. In expansion, they comprise detailed data about each transaction, such as the description, date, and amount, and may also encompass some illustrative information on what the agreement was. Transaction data is separated, by category, into accounts for liabilities, assets, owners’ equity, expenses, and revenues.

Who uses a trial balance?

To maintain the accounting equation’s net-zero difference, one asset account must increase while another decreases by the same amount. The new balance for the cash account, after the net change from the transaction, will then be reflected in the balance category. However, in recent decades they have been automated using enterprise accounting software and in enterprise resource planning applications. These tools integrate core accounting functions with modules for managing related business processes. A company may opt to store its general ledger using blockchain technology, which can prevent fraudulent accounting transactions and preserve the ledger’s data integrity.

difference between gl and trial balance

For instance, a CPA might use a T-account called because of its physical configuration in the shape of a T to trace just the credits and debits in a specific general ledger account. Income statements are deemed temporary accounts and are shut at the end of the accounting year. Their net balances, negative or positive, are expanded to the equity fraction of the balance sheet. Credits gain liability, equity, and revenue reports and reduce asset and expense accounts. Most organizations will record the debit and credit side of the transaction in the general journal with both sides offsetting each other.


Ledger – It is prepared after recording journal entries, consequently, it acts as a support to prepare the trial balance. Double-entry accounting is exactly what it sounds like—equally recording transactions in two or more accounts. In double-entry accounting, a credit is made in at least one account, and a debit is made in at least one other account. In this example, the debits equal credits ($120,000 and $120,000), which suggests that the debit and credit entries are accurate.

  • If you’re having consistent issues, consider preparing more frequent trial balances until you find the source of these anomalies.
  • If for any reason these amounts do not match, it shows that there is an issue related to one of the journal entries for that accounting period.
  • The general ledger is a detailed record of all monetary transactions adjusted for the lifetime of your firm.
  • It helps in the preparation of the final accounts of the company.

A real account is said to be an asset account, an equity account, or a liability account. Real accounts also comprise contra assets, equity, and liability accounts. For instance, all mobile bills are in a single file, all credit 27 day care invoice template collection card bills are in a sole file and so on. Also as and when trades are arrived at, the consequent entries are classified and positioned in ledgers. These ledgers are then amounted to at the duration end to form a Trial balance.

What is the purpose of trial balance?

It is prepared again after the adjusting entries are posted to ensure that the total debits and credits are still balanced. It is usually used internally and is not distributed to people outside the company. The trial balance was crucial internal report when the accounting records were maintained and updated manually.

difference between gl and trial balance

What are the 3 types of ledgers?

  • General ledger.
  • Sales ledger or debtor's ledger.
  • Purchase ledger or creditor's ledger.