Trial balances can be run at any time. It is a good idea to make sure the period beginning date is at the beginning of a month, and preferably the beginning of the current year (the default setting). To obtain a trial balance for the whole year make sure the dates cover the year you are looking at.
Use the trial balance to check that your accounts are in order. Running the trial balance regularly enables you to find, and correct, any problems before things get out of hand. The longer the period bewteen running the trial balance the more likely there are to be problems, and the harder they are to correct.
The trial balance covers the company. It is not based on departments/divisions as bank accounts are generally shared between departments.
When you run the trial balance look for the following:
1. Are there any client debts still unpaid? If there are, check to see which ones may need to be written off (bad debts). Use the client balances report to obtain this information.
2. Are there any credit expenses still unpaid? Check to see that all payments you intend to make have been done. Use the supplier charges report (unpaid) to find out which ones there are.
3. Run the Income statement report (income statement option of the profit and loss reports) to make sure the account totals in the trial balance match those on the income statement.
4. Is there a cash balance in the Bank and cash balances section? If there is you may need to bank some payments.
5. Are there any assets in the fixed assets register? Do they show on the Trial Balance? Is there any depreciation showing? If there is not, and you are at the end of the year, run the depreciation schedule in the Asset Register Control. To check whether current year depreciation has been run print the Depreciation Schedule report from the Depreciation Control form. Make sure the Capital purchases and Asset sales accounts have been linked to the asset register. If they don't exist first create then link them.
There are some points you should be aware of to help understand the trial balance:
a. Income and expense figures are exclusive of G.S.T.
b. Bank balances may not match your bank statement as at the period end date bacause Retail Business's transactions may not match those on your bank statement. You need to run the bank statement report to find the reason for any discrepancies.
c. Accounts receivable and payable figures include G.S.T.
d. If you have set up an asset sale income account, but not created the asset control record, asset sales will appear as part of the income section of the report. Technically this is not correct as asset sales are not taxable and are balance sheet items only. To get it to display in the correct place refer to 5. above.