How to find the transaction that is causing the trial balance to be out of balance
Follow the instructions in this linked article to begin the process of finding out what has caused this out-of-balance condition: My Statement of Financial Position is out of balance. If the Statement of Financial Position Report is out of balance when you run it for all entities and have also included inactive history accounts, as the instructions state, you will run a Summary Statement of Financial Position for certain timespans in order to narrow down the exact month the imbalance started.
Once you determine the first month the data shows as out of balance (OOB Month) the following steps will walk you through running a Summary Trial Balance Report for increasingly narrower timespans until you have narrowed it down to the actual date, then you will run a detailed report for that date to find the transaction that caused the imbalance.
- Once you determine the month that your data are first out of balance (OOB Month) run the Summary Trial Balance Report for the *first half of the OOB Month. If that is in balance, since you have already determined the month is out of balance, you now know the OOB condition is in the *second half, so now simply run the report for a portion of the second half of the month.
- Continue to re-run the Summary Trial Balance for a decreasing time span within the half of the month you have determined to be out of balance.
- For whichever half of the month is out of balance, *cut the timeframe in half.
- Continue to do this until you find the day you are out of balance, then run the Detail Trial Balance Report for that day.
- Review the transactions.
*By cutting the timeframes in half you do not have to go into each individual day. You are eliminating half the days each time.
Note: we suggest using the summary option until you get to the day the data are out of balance then you will want to use detail.
Note: The Statement of Financial Position can give helpful information in finding the culprit. In this example, the Year Begin Balance is in balance and the Balance Last Month is in balance. This can be helpful information when trying to determine when the data are first out of balance. You can also use the report to find the out-of-balance amount. In this example, data are out of balance by 659.24.
- After running a Summary Statement of Financial Position for the first half of the year, we learned that the imbalance indeed transpired sometime from January - June.
- The report was then run for January - March and since no imbalance was found for that timeframe, it was run again through April, then May, then June where the imbalance was evident.
- Once the imbalance was determined to be in June, the Trial Balance Report (Summary) was run for the first half of June (in this case showing the imbalance). If the imbalance did not show for the first half of June, we would have run the report for the second half.
- Again, we ran the Trial Balance Report (Summary) for the first seven days of June and not seeing an imbalance there, ran it again for days 8-15. We continued to reduce the timespan until the very day was found: June 15.
Note: If you use the export data option, you may be able to see the transactions easier than if you use the view PDF option.
NOTE: The system will not allow a transaction that is out of balance to be saved so something abnormal happened for this to have occurred. Some things that can cause this are using two Browser Windows (Tabs) at the same time or using the Browser's Back Arrow button to move between transaction screens. Please avoid ever doing either of this things while using ParishSOFT Accounting.