Unadjusted Trial Balance Example, Purpose, Preparation, Errors

unadjusted trial balance

Finance Strategists is a leading financial literacy non-profit organization priding itself on providing accurate and reliable financial information to millions of readers each year. In the end, making sure you have a UTB to compare with your ATB is important because it will ensure that all accounts in your organization are accurate and complete. The Unadjusted Trial Balance (UTB) document summarizes all of the accounts in an organization at a single point or period.

It will contain all assets, liabilities, and equity accounts so they can be used to prepare your company’s income statement and balance sheet. Start entering the balances for each account into the 1st column of an unadjusted trial balance spreadsheet (UBTB). Create a master list of accounts (assets, liabilities, equity, revenue & expenses) used in your company’s accounting system.

This is useful for ensuring that the total of all debits equals the total of all credits. This balance is transferred to the Cash account in the debit column on the unadjusted trial balance. Accounts Payable ($500), Unearned Revenue ($4,000), Common Stock ($20,000) and Service Revenue ($9,500) all have credit final balances in their T-accounts. These credit balances would transfer to the credit column on the unadjusted trial balance. This trial balance will be prepared once again after all adjusting entries have been posted and then that report will be called an adjusted trial balance.

Unadjusted Trial Balance Purpose

After the all the journal entries are posted to the ledger accounts, the unadjusted trial balance can be prepared. While every company maintains a record of its account balances in its general ledger, financial statements can only be complete and accurate if all accounts are prepared accurately. Unadjusted and Adjusted Trial Balance is done to prepare final accounts which can then be used as a basis for recording adjusting entries to prepare the adjusted trial balance.

unadjusted trial balance

The above are the most common errors that occur due to which the trial balance does not balance. However, this is not an exhaustive list and there are a variety of other factors which could result in a mismatch. In case of errors, simply edit the 1st and 2nd columns of UBTB until you get the correct balances. Carbon Collective partners with financial and climate experts to ensure the accuracy of our content. My Accounting Course  is a world-class educational resource developed by experts to simplify accounting, finance, & investment analysis topics, so students and professionals can learn and propel their careers. This team of experts helps Finance Strategists maintain the highest level of accuracy and professionalism possible.


At Finance Strategists, we partner with financial experts to ensure the accuracy of our financial content. As you enter each transaction, the account’s balance will change accordingly in both the 1st and 2nd columns. This makes it easier to prepare financial statements since they will contain one less step. This team of experts helps Carbon Collective maintain the highest level of accuracy and professionalism possible. Advisory services provided by Carbon Collective Investment LLC (“Carbon Collective”), an SEC-registered investment adviser. Our writing and editorial staff are a team of experts holding advanced financial designations and have written for most major financial media publications.

unadjusted trial balance

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Financial and Managerial Accounting

An unadjusted trial balance is a list of all the general ledger account balances as of a certain date. The purpose of creating this report is to ensure that the debits and credits for each account are correctly balanced. If they are not, it will be immediately apparent and can help to diagnose where the error might have occurred. The unadjusted trial balance is created before any adjusting entries are made, which is why it is also known as the unadjusted trial balance errors.

  • It is simply a report that shows all the debit and credit balances for each general ledger account as of a certain date.
  • The bookkeeper should examine the accounts thoroughly again before proceeding to the next step of creating adjusting entries for the period.
  • Whereas, the adjusted trial balance (ATB) is the same as UTB except that it also includes any adjusting entries made during an accounting period.
  • As you can see, all the accounts are listed with their account numbers with corresponding balances.
  • Enter all account transactions that have occurred during this accounting period into the 2nd column of UBTB.

The unadjusted trial balance is prepared by compiling a list of all the general ledger account balances as of a certain date. Once the list is compiled, the totals for debit columns and credit columns should be balanced. Once all the monthly transactions have been analyzed, journalized, and posted on a continuous day-to-day basis over the accounting period (a month in our example), we are ready to start working on preparing a trial balance (unadjusted). Preparing an unadjusted trial balance is the fourth step in the accounting cycle.

If an unadjusted trial balance is “balanced”, does that mean that it is error-free?

In its initial form, this report will not be suitable to be used for preparing the financial statements like Income statements or Balance sheet as it won’t comply with the accounting standard frameworks like US GAAP or IFRS. Some of the balances recorded on the credit side are liabilities, equity, income etc. The articles and research support materials available on this site are educational and are not intended to be investment or tax advice. All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. Enter all account transactions that have occurred during this accounting period into the 2nd column of UBTB. It is “adjusted” because all of the transactions that have affected the organization’s accounts (both debit and credit) are included on it.

Unadjusted Trial Balance Errors

In the following example, the unadjusted trial balance is the first column of numbers, while the second column of numbers contains an adjusting entry; the final column combines the first two columns, creating the adjusted trial balance. Debit balances (for assets and expenses) are listed as positive numbers, and credit balances (for liabilities, equity, and revenue) as negative numbers; the debits and credits exactly offset each other, so the total always equals zero. Basically, each one of the account balances is transferred from the ledger accounts to the trial balance. All accounts with debit balances are listed on the left column and all accounts with credit balances are listed on the right column. The unadjusted trial balance is the listing of general ledger account balances at the end of a reporting period, before any adjusting entries are made to the balances to create financial statements. The unadjusted trial balance is used as the starting point for analyzing account balances and making adjusting entries.

What are the components of an unadjusted trial balance?

As with all financial reports, trial balances are always prepared with a heading. Typically, the heading consists of three lines containing the company name, name of the trial balance, and date of the reporting period. Let’s now take a look at the T-accounts and unadjusted trial balance for Printing Plus to see how the information is transferred from the T-accounts to the unadjusted trial balance. It is only after all financial statements have been prepared that any adjusting entries can be entered into a general ledger or subsidiary ledgers. In summary, the unadjusted trial balance (UTB) lists all accounts in an organization at a given point or period of time.