What is the Difference Between an Unadjusted Trial Balance and an Adjusted Trial Balance?

What is the Difference Between an Unadjusted Trial Balance and an Adjusted Trial Balance?

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A Trial balance is a sheet that contains a record of all types of income and balance sheets. And it is shown at the end of the accounting period or session, containing all the records of profit and loss statements and expenditure lists. The trial balance sheet is generally categorized as a list of all ledger accounts. Unadjusted trial balance is prepared in columnar format, with debit balances recorded in the left column and credit balances recorded in the right column. This is due to there are some errors that are not revealed on the trial balance.

Temporary ledger accounts are recurring accounts that start and end with zero balances for every accounting cycle. Adjusted trial balance is an advanced form of the commonly used trial balance statement. Adjusted trial balance is an internal business document that presents the closing balances of all ledged accounts after reconciliation or adjustments. This article looks at meaning of and differences between two types of trial balance –unadjusted and adjusted trial balance.

The adjusting entries are shown in a separate column, but in aggregate for each account; thus, it may be difficult to discern which specific journal entries impact each account. This is due to the company usually needs to make sure that the total balances on the debit side equal to those on the credit side before they make any necessary adjustments. The unadjusted trial balance gets prepared immediately after the accounting period ends and before any adjustments are made. In contrast, the companies prepare the adjusted trial balance after adjusting entries occur to account for items not captured during routine transactions. An unadjusted Trial balance is the first step of analyzing and making changes to account balances. After the preparation of this trial balance, no changes are made to the data or the entries recorded in that balance sheet.

In contrast, the adjusted trial balance presents balances after necessary adjustments, offering a more comprehensive view of the company’s financial position and performance. 1.Adjusted trial balance is used after all the adjustments have been made to the journal while an unadjusted trial balance is used when the entries are not yet considered final in a certain period. 2.An unadjusted trial balance is basically used before all the adjustments will be made.

Then, this unfinished record of journal books becomes the foundation of creating an adjusted trial balance and finally the financial statements of the business. A bookkeeping system does not produce the unadjusted trial balance on purpose. However, it’s an important step in preparing the financial statements of a business.

Format and method of preparation

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. Ask a question about your financial situation providing as much detail as possible. Our mission is to empower readers with the most factual and reliable financial information possible to help them make informed decisions for their individual needs. The Unadjusted Trial Balance (UTB) document summarizes all of the accounts in an organization at a single point or period.

  • It means the total of all credit and debit ledger accounts should always be equal.
  • Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years.
  • Transactions taking place after the accounting period closing date should be carried forward to the next accounting cycle.

All such information is provided solely for convenience purposes only and all users thereof should be guided accordingly. The unadjusted trial balance (UTB) is an important tool for monitoring your company’s operating results. Enter all account transactions that have occurred during this accounting period into the 2nd column of UBTB. It is considered unadjusted because no adjusting entries have been made yet. Think of an unadjusted trial balance as an unfinished product in the process of making another product.


An adjusted trial balance is a listing of the ending balances in all accounts after adjusting entries have been prepared. Also, it’s not necessary that a bookkeeping system always produces unadjusted trial balances from journal accounts. If a small business operates with limited bookkeeping resources and fewer accounts, an unadjusted trial balance can be the same as the adjusted trial balance. Although it was a common practice to prepare unadjusted trial balances with manual bookkeeping systems, they can still be produced with accounting software. The unadjusted trial balance provides a snapshot of raw ledger balances but does not account for adjustments needed for accurate financial reporting.


The unadjusted trial balance report is prepared at the end of an accounting period. Let us discuss what are unadjusted and adjusted trial balances, what are their purposes, and how are these trial balances prepared. Both these types of trial balances come from the same bookkeeping records. However, an adjusted trial balance requires corrections and adjustments for missing entries. An unadjusted trial balance is a summary of the general ledger accounts before making any adjustments while the finished product is the adjusted trial balance.

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On the other hand, the adjusted trial balance serves as a starting point for preparing accurate financial statements by incorporating adjustments for items like accruals, prepayments, and depreciation. Once the unadjusted trial balance confirms mathematical accuracy, it is a foundation for creating the adjusted trial balance. This adjusted version incorporates necessary adjustments, such as accruals and prepayments. The adjusted trial balance then provides a crucial reference for preparing accurate financial statements, including the income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. Unadjusted trial balance list down all the closing balances before the adjustment and adjusted trial balance list down all closing accounts after adjusting.

Step 1 of 3

It helps ensure that all transactions for a given period are accounted for before adjusting entries are made. An unadjusted trial balance is a listing of all the company’s accounts and their balances at a specific point in time, usually at the end of an accounting period before any adjusting entries have been made. In an alternative format, the unadjusted trial balance may have a separate column for all debit balances and a separate column for all credit balances. This is useful for ensuring that the total of all debits equals the total of all credits.

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The adjusted kind, on the other hand, is used when adjusting the two sides of the ledger – the debit and credit. 3.An adjusted trial balance shows an additional account regarding the net/loss of income. The format of a post-closing trial balance statement is also similar to the adjusted trial balance summary. The key difference in the format is the omission of temporary ledger accounts. After Paul’s Guitar Shop, Inc. records its journal entries and posts them to ledger accounts, it prepares this unadjusted trial balance.

It will allow you to spot-check the accuracy of the first step in preparing your company’s financial statements – that is, entering balances from your account ledger into a spreadsheet. It will contain all assets, liabilities, and equity accounts so they what is the series 7 exam a complete series 7 overview can be used to prepare your company’s income statement and balance sheet. Likewise, while the adjusted trial balance is used as the basis for the preparation of financial statements, the unadjusted trial balance usually cannot be used for such purpose.

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In order to create a true picture of your business, you should always prepare an income statement and balance sheet for the current month’s closing date. Start entering the balances for each account into the 1st column of an unadjusted trial balance spreadsheet (UBTB). It is “adjusted” because all of the transactions that have affected the organization’s accounts (both debit and credit) are included on it. However, this format does not show transactions specifically under each account type. Therefore, the bookkeeping system must process the raw data to produce useful financial information.

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