As if your typical workday 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 the tasks you have to perform at the end of each fiscal year (or other fiscal period, for that matter) and how to delegate them to QuickBooks.
The Trial Balance report is a holdover from the quaint 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 where you can see all your accounts and their balances in the same place, as shown in Figure 18-1.
If the account balances in your Trial Balance report look a little off, check the heading ...