What is a post-closing trial balance?

A post-closing trial balance is a trial balance which is prepared after all of the temporary accounts in the general ledger have been closed. The temporary accounts include 1) the income statement accounts consisting of revenue, expense, gain, and loss accounts, 2) the summary accounts, and 3) the few temporary balance sheet accounts such as the sole proprietor's drawing account or the corporation's dividend account.

All trial balances should have a heading that includes the company name, the words Trial Balance, and the date of the account balances. After the heading you will likely see the following four columns: account number, account title, debit balance amount, and credit balance amount. Most trial balances will not list any account having a $0.00 balance. As a result, the post-closing trial balance will list only the balance sheet accounts with a balance other than zero. The debit and credit amount columns will be summed and the totals should be identical.

Today's accounting software will likely generate a post-closing trial balance or any other trial balance with the click of a mouse. Thanks to accounting software, trial balances are likely to be in balance since the manual calculations have been eliminated.

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