Testing Your Trial Balance with Computerized Accounting Systems

If you use a computerized accounting system for your business, your trial balance report is automatically generated for you. Because the system allows you to enter only transactions that are in balance, the likelihood that your trial balance won’t be successful is pretty slim.

A successful trial balance doesn’t mean your accounts are guaranteed error-free. Remember the saying, “Garbage in, garbage out?” If you make a mistake when you enter transaction data into the system, even if the data’s in balance, the information that comes out will also be in error.

In QuickBooks, the trial balance report is the first report on the Report Navigator’s Accountant & Taxes page, which appears in the following figure. In addition to the trial balance, you can request a report showing any of the following:

  • General Ledger accounts

  • Transaction details by account

  • Journal details

  • Voided transactions

  • Transactions by date

    The Accountant & Taxes page of QuickBooks’s Report Navigator provides the option of creat
    The Accountant & Taxes page of QuickBooks’s Report Navigator provides the option of creating many useful reports.

Your business’s accountant is likely to use many of the report options on the Accountant & Taxes page to double-check that the bookkeeper’s transactions were entered correctly. In particular, the accountant may use a report option called Audit Trail, which reveals what changes impacted the company’s books during an accounting period and who made those changes.

The QuickBooks trial balance shown in the next figure gives you an idea of what a computerized accounting trial balance looks like.

A sample trial balance report produced by QuickBooks.
A sample trial balance report produced by QuickBooks.
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