What is a Closing Balance?

Closing Balance

Share This...

Closing Balance

A closing balance, also known as the ending balance, refers to the amount remaining in an account at the end of a specific period, such as a month, quarter, or year. In accounting and bookkeeping, the closing balance is a crucial figure as it helps businesses understand their financial position, track changes in account balances over time, and plan for future financial activities.

Closing balances are typically calculated for various types of accounts, including cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, and retained earnings, among others. The closing balance for a given account becomes the opening balance for the same account in the next accounting period.

To calculate the closing balance for an account, you can follow these steps:

  1. Determine the opening balance: This is the balance at the beginning of the accounting period, which is the closing balance from the previous period.
  2. Record all transactions during the accounting period: Record all transactions (credits and debits) that affect the account during the accounting period.
  3. Calculate the net change in the account: Sum up all the debits and credits to determine the net change in the account during the period.
  4. Calculate the closing balance: Add the net change to the opening balance to arrive at the closing balance.

Closing Balance = Opening Balance + (Total Credits – Total Debits)

Example of a Closing Balance

Let’s consider a fictional company, “Garden Supplies Co.,” and examine its cash account for the month of June. We will calculate the closing balance for the cash account based on the transactions that occurred during the month.

  • Opening balance: On June 1st, Garden Supplies Co. had an opening cash balance of $10,000.
  • Transactions during June:
    • June 5th: Received a customer payment of $8,000 (credit)
    • June 10th: Paid rent for the store of $3,000 (debit)
    • June 15th: Received another customer payment of $5,000 (credit)
    • June 20th: Paid salaries to employees of $6,000 (debit)
    • June 25th: Paid utility bills of $1,000 (debit)
  • Calculate the net change in the cash account during June:
    Total Credits: $8,000 (from customer payment) + $5,000 (from customer payment) = $13,000
    Total Debits: $3,000 (rent) + $6,000 (salaries) + $1,000 (utilities) = $10,000
    Net Change: $13,000 (credits) – $10,000 (debits) = $3,000
  • Calculate the closing balance for the cash account at the end of June:
    Closing Balance = Opening Balance + Net Change
    Closing Balance = $10,000 + $3,000 = $13,000

In this example, the closing balance for Garden Supplies Co.’s cash account at the end of June is $13,000. This balance represents the company’s cash position at the end of the month and will become the opening balance for the cash account on July 1st. By calculating the closing balance, Garden Supplies Co. can better understand its cash position, track changes in its cash balance over time, and plan for future financial activities.

Other Posts You'll Like...

Want to Pass as Fast as Possible?

(and avoid failing sections?)

Watch one of our free "Study Hacks" trainings for a free walkthrough of the SuperfastCPA study methods that have helped so many candidates pass their sections faster and avoid failing scores...