–A Trial Balance is a list of accounts and their current balances at a given date. It is usually prepared on the last day of the accounting period and the list of account balances are arranged according to debit and credit balances.
–Before preparing financial statements at the end of a period, the books must be balanced, i.e. to determine total debits equal total credits. This is determined by preparing a trial balance.
–Debit balances are listed in one column and credit balances are listed in another. The two column totals should be equal. When this occurs, the ledger is said to be in balance.
–Preparing a trial balance for a company serves to detect any mathematical errors that have occurred in the double-entry accounting system. Provided the total debts equal the total credits, the trial balance is considered to be balanced, and there should be no mathematical errors in the ledgers.
–A trial balance is prepared for two reasons –
–To check the arithmetic accuracy, i.e. The debit totals and the credit totals should be equal if the double- entry system of book-keeping is followed.
–To write up the financial statements, i.e. Trading and Profit & Loss Accounts, and Balance Sheet.