There are four Parts to think about here:
Chart of Accounts
The Chart of Accounts is exactly what it says. It is simply a list of all the names
of the accounts found in the General Ledger whether there is an account balance
The General Ledger consists of all the accounts including some that may have a
zero balance. As said earlier, all transactions are summarized into these
accounts. A detail listing of every entry is recorded in the General Ledger.
The Trial Balance consists of a list of each General Ledger account that has a
final balance in it. The purpose of the report is to make sure that the debit
numbers equal the credit numbers. In the olden days, the Trial Balance was
used to verify the balances before preparing the financial statements. In today’s
world, this report is basically redundant in that the computer immediately
indicates whether the General Ledger is out of balance. Simply running a
financial statement and reviewing the account balances from there is often
sufficient, eliminating the need for the Trial Balance.
The Financial Statements of course, are a listing of all the final balances in the
General Ledger, but reformatted into financial statement form giving summary
totals and net profit or loss information.