post closing trial balance definition

The WTB lists all accounts in the general ledger with their respective debit and credit balances used to ensure the total of all debits equals all credits. The post-closing trial balance is the report that lists all the accounts of a company and their balances after all adjustments and closing entries have been made. The creation of the post-closing trial balance is the last thing that occurs at the end of an accounting cycle. The accounts will show debits which is money coming in and credits which are charged transactions. The post-closing trial balance shows the end balance on all permanent accounts listed on the business ledger. Another thing to observe is that as expected we do not see any temporary account balances in the post-closing trial balance.

In some cases, accounting software programs may produce a ‘trial balance’ report – this term should not be confused with WTB. After completing the accounting cycle and posting all journal entries to the ledger, a trial balance report is generated. A post-closing trial balance is, as the term suggests, prepared after closing entries are recorded and posted. It is the third (and last) trial balance prepared in the accounting cycle. 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.


In the first and second closing entries, the balances of Service Revenue and the various expense accounts were actually transferred to Income Summary, which is a temporary account. The Income Summary account would have a credit balance of 1,060 (9,850 credit in the first entry and 8,790 debit in the second). Nominal accounts are those that are found in the income statement, and withdrawals. Other than the post-closing trial balance, there are two other trial balances with their own unique characteristics; unadjusted trial balance and adjusted trial balance. The post-closing trial balances shows only the permanent account closing balances. Next will be a listing of all of the general ledger balance sheet accounts (except those with $0.00 balances) along with each account’s balance appearing in the appropriate debit or credit column.

  • A WTB report provides a snapshot of all the accounts in an accounting system.
  • This accounting process helps to ensure accuracy in bookkeeping by providing a snapshot of all ledger accounts up to date in real time.
  • The answer is because only the permanent accounts of a company show up on the report.

His career includes public company auditing and work with the campus recruiting team for his alma mater. Carbon Collective partners with financial and climate experts to ensure the accuracy of our content. This article will provide an overview of what WTB means in accounting, how it works, and why using a WTB can be beneficial for businesses. By understanding this concept more deeply, you can become better equipped to manage your accounts more efficiently. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly.

How Working Trial Balance Works in Accounting

Working Trial Balance (WTB) in accounting originated from Luca Pacioli, a famous Italian mathematician who first wrote about double-entry bookkeeping in 1494. The concept of WTB was further developed over time with additions and refinements made by various practitioners of the art of accounting. John Freedman’s articles specialize in management and financial responsibility. He is a certified public accountant, graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration and has been writing since 1998.

What type of accounts appear on a post-closing trial balance?

Only permanent account balances should appear on the post-closing trial balance. These balances in post-closing T-accounts are transferred over to either the debit or credit column on the post-closing trial balance.

This document summarizes all accounts from the general ledger, with corresponding debit or credit balances listed side-by-side. By preparing a working trial balance, individuals can identify discrepancies between total debits and credits for each account before issuing financial statements. Preparing the post closing trial balance is one of the last steps in the accounting cycle. It’s basically a summary of the general ledger at the end of an accounting period after the closing entries have been made and the financial statements have been prepared.

To ascertain whether debits equal credits

It appears that the accounting cycle is completed by capturing transaction and event information and moving it through an orderly process that results in the production of useful financial statements. Importantly, one is left with substantial records that document each transaction (the journal) and each account’s activity (the ledger). It is no wonder that the basic elements of this accounting methodology have endured for hundreds of years. When the accountant reviews the ledger and unadjusted trial balance, some adjustments may require. Once the adjustments are completed, we then get the adjusted trial balance. At the end of the period, all of the account ledgers need to close and then move to the unadjusted trial balance.

post closing trial balance definition

Finally, if mistakes are found during step three, make adjustments as necessary before taking further action on your financial statements or closing out the period. With strong internal controls and an accurate working trial balance, businesses can ensure accuracy and accountability in their accounting system. In this stage, the accountant might need to know the nature of transactions so that they could classify whether it is expenses, revenues, assets, or liabilities. Recording of those transactions should follow the role of debt and credit. As you can see, the accountant or bookkeeper first needs to analyze the business transactions and then make the journal entries. After posting the above entries, all the nominal accounts would zero-out, hence the term “closing entries”.

How to Close an Expense Account

We can observe the difference between the adjusted trial balance and the post-closing trial balance. All the temporary accounts like revenue and expense accounts have been closed out into the retained earnings account via the income summary account (as previously explained). As you can see, the accounts are generally listed in balance sheet order starting with the assets followed by the liabilities and then equity accounts. If these two don’t equal, there is either a problem with closing entries or the adjusted trial balance.

How to Prepare an Adjusted Trial Balance for Your Business – The Motley Fool

How to Prepare an Adjusted Trial Balance for Your Business.

Posted: Wed, 18 May 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]