What is a trial balance?

Definition of a trial balance

A trial balance is a report that shows the total of all your business's accounts, its assets, liabilities, income, costs and capital, as at a given point in time.

The trial balance is not a report that has to be sent to HMRC or to Companies House. It is a report that's for internal use in your business only.

Your accountant will often use your trial balance as a starting point to prepare your accounts, which they will then use to fill in your Tax Return, or your company's Corporation Tax Return.

The trial balance is called a 'trial balance' because there will always be equal sums on the debit and credit sides of your trial balance.

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