Whenever a trial balance disagrees the following steps can be taken to discover the errors:
(1) Divide the difference by two and find out if some figure equal to that (half the difference) appears in the trial balance. It is possible that such item might have been recorded on the wrong side of mal balance, causing double the difference.
(2) If the mistake is not located, the difference should be divided by 9 and if difference is evenly divisible by 9 the error be due to transportation of figures, e.g. Rs. 590 wrongly recorded as 950, the difference is (950-590) 360 and it is evenly divisible by 9.
(3) The next step is to recheck the debit and credit totals of trial balance to satisfy that trial balance has been cast correctly.
(4) If mistake remains undetected, make sure that balances or totals of all the ledger accounts have been correctly shown in the trial balance. Special care should be taken to ensure that cash or bank balances have been duly incorporated in the mal balance.
(5) The next step should be to recheck that all the closing balances from preceding year’s balance sheet were correctly carried forward and recorded in respective accounts in the ledger.
(6) Further the totaling and balancing of the ledger accounts should be redone so as to be sure that there is no mistake on that account.
(7) Check the totals of schedule of debtors and creditors and find out that the balances have been included in the list.
(8) If difference is round sum, it is advisable to check casting and carry forwards. But if the difference is odd sum the balancing should be checked minutely.
(9) Check all the figures badly written.
(10) Even then if error is not located, all the accounts should be checked thoroughly as follows:
(11) Journal will have to be checked to ascertain that total debits and credits of each entry agree.
(12) Total of subsidiary books i.e. sales book, purchases book to be checked to find that correct posting of the respective accounts has been done.
(13) Checking should be done to ensure that discount column; total of cash book have been correctly posted and entered in trial balance.
(14) If all these efforts fail to locate the errors a full rechecking of additions, posting and balancing will have to be done and it would be advisable that the work of re-checking is done by a staff different from those who had done the initial checking.