Using trial balance

Trial Balance has two components: Working Trial Balance and tax mapping. The working trial balance gives you an opportunity to review a client’s financial data, see prior year balances and track changes. The other is tax mapping, which allows you to map QuickBooks Online data for importing to Intuit Tax Online to prepare tax returns.

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Navigate to the Client Dashboard

To get started, sign in to QuickBooks Online Accountant and look for the TAX column in the Client Dashboard

Click the Tax column header. If you don’t see the Tax column, click here to make it visible.

Identify the client, and click Start Review

To start the review hover over the Tax column for that client, then click Start Review for the tax year you want to review. The working trial balance screen opens.

Open Tax Settings

Click the Pencil icon next to the Tax Year. The Tax settings box opens. Here you can define the tax form you will be using. The accounting method and tax period defaults from how the client is set up in QuickBooks Online.

The Working Trial Balance screen

The main part of the screen gives you a list of the chart of accounts. You see prior-year ending balances, the period under review, ending balances, and the difference, which really represents the current year’s activity.

As we scroll over, there are columns for adjusting entries, which are journal entries that we marked as adjusting journal entries.

Next, you see columns for other transactions. ͞Other transactions represent any changes made to the period we are looking at after we open the Trial Balance tool that are not adjusting journal entries. They could be journal entries added that were not marked as adjusting entries or checks or bills that were added or changed. They are dated in the review period, so in our case 2015 but added or changed after we opened the Trial Balance tool either by you or by your clients.

The next set of columns shows the adjusted balances. The numbers in these columns are hyperlinks.

Click to see details about the transactions making up the balance. The Transaction report opens in a separate tab.

The last two columns allow you to write notes and add attachments.

The top of the page shows a timeline of the changes and additions made since we opened up the Trial Balance tool. Even if you don’t do tax returns, you may want to use this trial balance tool as a guide for year-end review.

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