What Should a Post-Closing Trial Balance Contain?

A post-closing trial balance includes information such as account names, debits, credits, assets, liabilities and equities. It is virtually the same as all the other trial balances in the accounting cycle.

A post-closing trial balance lists balances of ledger accounts prepared after closing entries have been passed and posted to the ledger accounts. It is prepared in order to check the clerical accuracy of closing entries and to prove that the accounting equation is still in balance.

The closing entry transfers the balance of temporary accounts to the retained earnings account, such as expense, revenue, gain, dividend and withdrawal accounts. The new balance of the temporary account is then zero, and therefore it is not listed on a post-closing trial balance. However, all other accounts having non-negative balances are listed, including the retained earnings account.

The preparation of the post-closing trial balance is the last step of the accounting cycle, and its purpose it to be sure that the sum of debits equals the sum of credits before the start of the new accounting period. It provides the opening balances for the ledger accounts for a new accounting period and is identical to the accounts presented on the balance sheet.