Preparation of Trial Balance Using Total Method

True Tamplin

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®
Updated on November 16, 2021


In the total method, the debit side and credit side of the ledger accounts are added up. The debit totals are placed in the trial balance’s debit column and the credit totals in the credit column. The total of the debit column and credit column should agree.

The use of the total method for preparing trial balances is limited. The balance method is typically used instead because it shows—in a summarized form—the information from which accountants can prepare financial statements.


Keeping in view the importance of the balance method, we will use it in all the examples and exercises on this website.

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True contributes to his own finance dictionary, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, his interview on CBS, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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