USA General question on the Trial balance


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I am new to this forum, so forgive me if this is not the normal type of question, but there's something i've never been able to figure out. I've been doing accounting for over 15 years and i still cannot figure out why most accountants like to look at a trial balance. I always request a BS and P&L and cannot figure out the benefit of the TB. BS and P&L gives the amount in every account, yet also subtotals in a useful. way. total equity - right there. Net income - no problem. Fixed asset cost - just look at the total.

It's been my experience that, whenever i see another accountant with a trial balance, inevitably, they have to net two or more numbers together that would have been totaled for them on a BS or P&L. And it's not like the TB gives any more information. It just doesn't organize it as well.

Not an important question i know, but for those of you (probably most) who like viewing a TB, can you tell me why?
 
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kirby

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It is possible for you to create a balance sheet where assets = liabilities and equity and an Income statement where net income ties to the balance sheet equity section and NOT use all the accounts on a trial balance.

So let's say everything on the trial balance balances and you create your balance sheet and income statement on 12/31/xx at 9am.. Then at 10 am you add a new acct to assets for $x and a new acct for equity for $x+$2,000. So now you still have that 9 am balance sheet and income statement that look fine, but it is only if you look at the trial balance NOW that you see the problem. Yes, most automated GL's have controls to prevent this BUT the trial balance is a control report in itself and that is why you need to look at it.
 
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It is possible for you to create a balance sheet where assets = liabilities and equity and an Income statement where net income ties to the balance sheet equity section and NOT use all the accounts on a trial balance.

So let's say everything on the trial balance balances and you create your balance sheet and income statement on 12/31/xx at 9am.. Then at 10 am you add a new acct to assets for $x and a new acct for equity for $x+$2,000. So now you still have that 9 am balance sheet and income statement that look fine, but it is only if you look at the trial balance NOW that you see the problem. Yes, most automated GL's have controls to prevent this BUT the trial balance is a control report in itself and that is why you need to look at it.
I see your point. I"m used to looking at automated accounting systems that can produce reports on the fly that incorporate any account changes to all reports automatically. I understand your first point about the consolidated BS and P&L but again, all of the systems i've worked on have allowed the printing of detailed reports that show all accounts. Maybe i'm just spoiled because i can always re-run an up-to-date BS and P&L at any time. (Although, one of my clients recently upgraded to QBW 2015 and i've noticed a glitch where the BS is out of balance a lot and the only way to fix it is to close and re-open the software).
 

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