What is a Post-Closing Trial Balance?

Post-Closing Trial Balance

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Post-Closing Trial Balance

A post-closing trial balance is a list of all the balance sheet accounts and their balances after the closing entries have been made at the end of an accounting period. It is prepared after all adjusting and closing entries have been posted to the general ledger.

The post-closing trial balance should only include balance sheet accounts because all income statement accounts have been closed and their balances should be zero. The main purpose of the post-closing trial balance is to ensure that the total of all debit balances equals the total of all credit balances, which should always be the case in a double-entry accounting system.

By comparing the post-closing trial balance with the adjusted trial balance prepared before the closing entries, you can see how the closing process transferred the results of operations (net income or loss) into retained earnings.

Example of a Post-Closing Trial Balance

Let’s imagine a company called “XYZ Traders.” Here’s how the post-closing trial balance could look like for them after closing entries at the end of the fiscal year:

Account TitleDebit ($)Credit ($)
Accounts Receivable7,000
Prepaid Rent1,000
Accumulated Depreciation – Equipment10,000
Accounts Payable3,000
Salary Payable2,000
Unearned Service Revenue1,000
Capital Stock20,000
Retained Earnings17,000

This post-closing trial balance shows only balance sheet accounts, as all income statement accounts have been closed to the Retained Earnings account. Also, the total debits equal the total credits, showing the accounting equation (Assets = Liabilities + Equity) is in balance after all closing entries.

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