As if your typical work day isn’t hectic enough, the end of the year brings an assortment of additional bookkeeping and accounting tasks. As long as you’ve kept on top of your bookkeeping during the year, you can delegate most of the year-end tasks to QuickBooks with a few mouse clicks. (If you shrugged off your data entry during the year, even the mighty QuickBooks can’t help.) This chapter describes how you employ QuickBooks for the most common tasks that companies perform at the end of the year.
The Trial Balance report is a holdover from the delightful days of paper-based accounting. The name refers to the report’s original purpose: totaling the balances of every account in debit and credit columns to see whether pluses and minuses balanced. If they didn’t, the bookkeeper had to track down the mistakes and try again.
QuickBooks doesn’t make arithmetic mistakes, so you don’t need a trial balance to make sure that debits and credits match. Nonetheless, the Trial Balance report is still handy. Accountants like to examine it for errant account assignments before diving into tax preparation or giving financial advice—and for good reason. The Trial Balance report is the only place in QuickBooks that you can see all your accounts and their balances in the same place, as illustrated in Figure 15-1.
If the account balances in your Trial Balance report look a little off, check the heading at the top left corner of the report. If ...