Good Morning Tut,
Whilst inpractice I agree with your comments about the system being a ‘rolling’ process, nevertheless the concept of a Trial Balance is still valid, both from the point of view of proving accuracy (See todays news of the GPO paying GBP58 million to try and settle lawsuits related to their buggy accounting systems) but more practically, because striking a balance at a point in time is also intended to let accountants examine the books for any issues that need attending to. I’ve just been reading questions about the basis of depreciation being used, and someone else who had ‘lost’ a bank opening balance.
All kinds of issues can be checked and considered from a TB - the basis used for accruals and prepayments. Do stack values need any write downs? and so forth.
When the adjustments are in, a fresh TB checked for their effect, the period end arrives, and, in my world at least, all prior transactions should be locked from changes. One of my irritations with Manager is the insistence on altering previous transactions. A mistake was made. It’s history. The mistake was found, and corrected - with a journal entry (or another named type of high authority needed transaction) - and the history of the mistake and It’s correction is embedded in the unalterable history. That style of thinking is a major reason for the ascendency of the Sage accounting system, with its internal ship log style of recording absolutely everything that goes on, in an audible manner.
One set of the accounts I run are very very simple, and I could do everything with a couple of dozen journals a year, but M demands all kinds of over complex transaction types. In another set, I bless M for enforcing some rules.
A long post to say that M is, generally an excellent system. If I have a couple of niggles, and would have built in more customisation controls for transaction enforcing rules, then they are small beer compared to the overall benefit of the product.