What are Accounting Worksheets?

Definition: Worksheets are prepared at the end of an accounting period and usually include a list of accounts, account balances, adjustments to each account, and each account’s adjusted balance all sorted in financial statement order. As you can imagine, after a worksheet is completely filled out, preparing financial statements manually is quite simple. Most of the preparation work goes into drafting the worksheets.

What Does Accounting Worksheet Mean?

An accounting worksheet is a spreadsheet used to prepare accounting information and reports. Accounting worksheets are most often used in the accounting cycle process to draft an unadjusted trial balance, adjusting journal entries, adjusted trial balance, and financial statements.

As with most working papers, accounting worksheets are designed for internal purposes only. External users like investors and creditors rarely if ever get to see a company’s accounting worksheet. This means that the worksheet format can be flexible. Companies can customize the format of their worksheets to fit their internal demands and work flow needs.


Bookkeepers and accountants use accounting worksheets for a variety of reasons. Worksheets make transferring t-accounts into an adjusted trial balance much easier. Worksheets also reduce the risk of errors making errors when producing financial statements.

Worksheets can also be used for planning purposes. Since the worksheets are used to make adjusting journal entries, managers can examine the worksheets before the adjustments are posted to see their effect on the overall financial statements. Worksheets can also be helpful in preparing interim financial statements.