How To Prepare an Adjusted Trial Balance (With Example)

What is an adjusted trial balance? An adjusted trial balance lists the general ledger account balances after any adjustments have been made. These adjustments typically include those for prepaid and accrued expenses, as well as non-cash expenses like depreciation. It’s that simple.

Adjusted Trial Balance

Adjusted trial balance purpose

An adjusted trial balance sheet is used to keep track of the transactions your company made over the course of one accounting cycle. You can accomplish this by taking the balances for each account and eliminating the details of any transactions that took place outside of the accounting cycle. You can create your formal financial statements using a more accurate representation of your financial transactions by including these adjustments in your trial balance sheet.

Many people use software to create their financial statements and balance their accounts. Based on your accounting cycle, software can create your trial balance and add adjustments. If your company is larger, think about researching accounting software to help you increase the precision and effectiveness of your account balancing.

What is an adjusted trial balance?

Financial teams internally use an adjusted trial balance to record the transactions of each distinct account during an accounting cycle. Although accountants don’t typically include an adjusted trial balance in a company’s financial statements, they do use it to view all financial transactions in one place. They also alter the trial balance to ensure that it only contains data for one accounting cycle. This technique is used by businesses that use manual accounting to balance their account-to-account transactions.

Accounting for adjusted trial balances may utilize double-entry accounting. To accurately understand the money you make and the money you spend acquiring assets, double-entry accounting focuses on tracking the movement of your assets from one account to another. There are two transactions in double-entry accounting:

To keep your finances in order, you record both in the account they refer to. For instance, if you have to pay rent on a commercial property, you might record a credit of $1,000 from your cash account but a debit of $1,000 from your property assets account. You can accurately represent your financial situation by balancing your assets against your cash by entering all transactions in this way.

How to create an adjusted trial balance

You can follow these steps to create an adjusted trial balance:

1. Record all transactions

Make sure you have a record of all transactions involving money or assets entering and leaving your accounts before you balance them. Making corrections to your trial balance sheet can be made much simpler if you have a record of the proper transactions. Record all transactions as credits and debits when using the double-entry accounting method. You can use your record of transactions to correct any discrepancies between the two if there are any.

The record of these transactions is sometimes referred to as “journal entries” in accounting software. “You can enter these journal entries into your ledgers if you are manually maintaining your accounting records. You can enter them directly into the general ledger, a complete database that your accounting software uses to record and balance your transactions, if you’re using accounting software.

2. Run an unadjusted trial balance

Unadjusted trial balances are the initial summaries of your account balances that show you the debits and credits that each account has. This data provides the framework for your financial statements but does not break down transactions according to the accounting cycle.

You can add the balances of all your debits for each account to create your unadjusted trial balance. Then, separately add all your credits for each account. Your debits and credits should be equal, indicating that your account is balanced. For instance, you should have amassed $3,000 in assets if you used $3,000 in credit. If your accounts don’t balance, check to see if you may have only made one entry, and make the necessary corrections.

3. Make adjustments to the balance

You can incorporate the adjustments once your unadjusted trial balance is complete. All transactions that don’t occur during the accounting cycle for which you are preparing statements are eliminated by these adjustments. These adjustments help to improve the accuracy of the financial statements you produce from your balance sheet by outlining the transactions required for a particular period. A trial balance sheet can be adjusted in four different ways:

4. Run your adjusted trial balance

Your balance should only include transactions from the accounting cycle for which you’re preparing statements when you make the adjustments. Once more, you total your credits by adding the credits from each account. Next, total up all of your debits across all of your accounts. Similar to the unadjusted trial balance, the two sums should be identical. You can make sure you accurately entered each adjustment by rerunning these calculations. If your totals don’t add up, review your adjustments and make any necessary corrections if you noticed any adjustments that you entered only once.

5. Post your closing entries

Closing entries are journal entries that you make in your ledger before the start of a new accounting cycle to reset your temporary accounts to zero. This is significant because it enables you to maintain your transactions’ period organization, which aids in calculating your net income for a particular period. It also helps you keep your books organized by period. Before the start of the subsequent accounting cycle, you can zero out the following examples of temporary accounts:

Enter transactions that zero out the sums from these temporary accounts and transfer the funds into permanent accounts to post closing entries. Permanent accounts are those in which you accumulate funds over multiple accounting periods as opposed to temporary accounts, which only carry funds for the accounting period. By keeping cash flow and retained earnings separate until your accounts are in balance, this enables you to track how much money your business makes during one accounting period.

If you work for a corporation, you might be able to transfer the funds to a retained earnings account, a standing account that contains money from prior accounting cycles that your company didn’t spend. If your company is owned by one or two people, known as the primary proprietors, you may transfer the funds to the capital account, a standing account that records the capital the owners have invested in the company as well as their retained earnings. At the conclusion of your accounting cycle, your accounting software may post these closing entries for you.

Adjusted trial balance template

You can use the following model to make an adjusted trial balance:





Adjusted trial balance example

An illustration of an unadjusted trial balance for an accountant is provided below:

AccountDebitCreditCash$10,000Accounts receivable$10,000Payroll expense$4,000Accounts payable$4,000Total$14,000$14,000The accountant double-entered each transaction in this unadjusted trial balance, resulting in the totals. The accountant took $4,000 out of the accounts payable account to cover the payroll expense.

Here is an illustration of a balance-adding adjustment made by the same accountant:

Below is an illustration of the adjustments the accountant made to the trial balance to create the adjusted trial balance:AccountDebitCreditRent Expense$2,000Prepaid Rent$2,000

This adjusted trial balance accurately depicts the transactions for each account and how they balance. AccountDebitCreditCash$10,000Payroll expense$4,000Rent expense$2,000Accounts Receivable$10,000Accounts Payable$4,000Prepaid rent$2,000Total$16,000$16,000 The accountant can determine from this balance sheet how much money the company made and what expenses it incurred during the period. The accountant can also figure out how many assets the business acquired during the time period, increasing its value. When preparing their financial statements for the period, the accountant should be aware of this information because it can help them monitor the financial development of their business.


What is the adjusted trial balance used to prepare?

A trial balance is a list of the ledger accounts’ closing balances at a specific point in time. In contrast, adjusted balance is a list of general account. This is used to pay for various insurance claims and benefits as well as the company’s operating costs.

What is adjusted and unadjusted trial balance?

purpose of an adjusted trial balance An adjusted trial balance sheet serves as a record of the transactions your company made during a single accounting cycle. You can accomplish this by taking the balances for each account and eliminating the details of any transactions that took place outside of the accounting cycle.

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