End-of-Period Worksheet: Definition & Example

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Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught history, and has an MA in Islamic law/finance. He has since founded his own financial advice firm, Newton Analytical.

An end-of-period worksheet is a crucial link between the planned budget and the factual balance sheet. In this lesson, we learn what appears on an end-of-period worksheet as well as how to create one

What Is an End-of-Period Worksheet?

If you've been studying accounting for long, you're probably thinking that much of this field involves planning for the future. After all, budgets largely exist based off of estimates that companies hope to either make or spend for a coming year. So, where do you think that they get those estimates from? Not only that, but where do you think that they actually make adjustments to those estimates?

If you answered that they use an end-of-period worksheet, then you're right. The end-of-period worksheet allows accountants to consolidate real expenses as they were actually spent with the planned expenses from the budget, and it helps them create the financial statements for the company. This worksheet is crucial both for tax and business purposes, so it's important to know what appears on it and how to prepare one.

What's On It?

End-of-period worksheets can differ in how many columns they have, with some companies preferring to include extra columns for things like retained earnings or other data of interest. However, every end-of-period worksheet has the following information.

First, there are the items as they were included on the budget. This is an organized list of the company's account titles on the far left. Then there's typically an unadjusted trial balance. This is a section with two columns, one for debits and one for credits, with balances for those accounts. Remember, a debit is used when a liability or equity is decreasing or when an expense account or asset goes up, while a credit occurs when expenses or assets go down or when a liability or equity account goes up.

Next is the adjustments section. Think of adjustments as the sum of any variances a company has throughout the period, such as having used up office supplies or having incurred more depreciation. Again, there are two columns, one for debits and one for credits.

Then comes the adjusted trial balance, which is the balance of the accounts corrected for adjustments. Finally, these figures are taken to the appropriate columns of income statement, balance sheet, or retained earnings, depending on the nature of the credit or debit.

Still, there is a caveat worth noting. Different companies sometimes call the categories different things. As a result, check to see what is the preferred style of the company.

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