Meanings of Closing Balance

Meanings of Closing Balance

Many founders and entrepreneurs are obliged to draw up annual accounts at the end of the year. The HGB stipulates that these annual financial statements must always be prepared at the end of an accounting period . For you, this is not only important to the legislature. For you as an entrepreneur, too, it can be deduced from this how the asset situation in your company is presented. The closing balance sheet is an important and integral part of these annual financial statements .

What is a closing balance?

According to, the closing balance sheet is the balance sheet in which all business transactions and delimitations of business transactions are fully booked, provided they no longer relate to the period to be closed. It is part of the annual financial statements . They enable a company to keep track of its assets or debts. The opening balance also results from the closing balance for the coming financial year . It results from the success account and the stock account.

Function of the closing balance

You can read off the financial situation of your company from the closing balance sheet . Your or all of your company’s assets are broken down into debt, equity and private assets , for example . All balances of the accounts are closed via the so-called closing balance account. All values ​​that you determine with it are transferred and you can see whether and how much profit you made or whether you made a loss in this financial year. You can determine the taxable profit or loss from the closing balance and also your annual turnover. The resulting sums also show what tax burden you have to bear. These are for example Income tax, trade tax or sales tax.

You can also determine your tax burden using online calculators.

Which final postings are important to you?

The accounting documents form the basis for the closing balance sheet and your annual financial statements. In order to be able to start creating, however, you must first make the preparatory final postings. But what does the preparatory final postings include?

  • The transfer of input tax and sales tax . This can be used to calculate the sales tax burden or a possible overhang of input tax.
  • In the case of goods accounts, the cost of goods must be rebooked .
  • All private withdrawals and private deposits must also be transferred to the equity account . You only have to do this if your company is a private company.
  • In addition, the preparatory closing postings include the transfer of changes in the inventory of finished and unfinished products.
  • For the inventory accounts you have to close and transfer the material consumption.
  • All depreciation must be posted and the asset accounts must be closed.
  • The passive and active accruals and deferrals must be posted before the closing balance sheet is drawn up. In addition, all provisions and reserves are to be posted.

Only when all the preparatory final postings have been made can you start drawing up the closing balance sheet and the annual financial statements.


Since your bookkeeping forms the basis of your closing balance, it is accordingly important that you do your bookkeeping correctly. GoBD-compliant accounting software makes this work easier for you and you save time and money!

Away from the opening balance to the closing balance

As already mentioned, the closing balance is the basis for your next accounting period and thus for your opening balance .

It is important for you to keep the performance account and the stock account in the course of a financial year. They include:

Success account Inventory account
  • All business transactions that affect your company, regardless of whether they are profits or losses, are documented in the success account.
  • At the end of a financial year you close the final values ​​on the income statement account , the profit and loss account.
  • You have to offset the resulting balance with the equity and transfer it to the closing balance.
  • But you have to keep in mind that you have to keep a separate success account for every type of income and effort .
  • At the beginning of a new fiscal year there is no opening balance in the profit account . The account is reduced to 0 euros.
  • An inventory account is shown directly on the balance sheet. The stock account thus reflects the stocks on the balance sheet .
  • The opening balance for your new financial year is thus derived from the initial value of the inventory account .
  • The closing balance results from the closing values ​​that result in your inventory account.
  • The inventory account is closed via the so-called SBK, the closing balance account .

What do you have to understand by the closing balance account?

In accounting, the abbreviation SBK stands for the closing balance sheet . You have to understand the SBK as a kind of auxiliary account with which you create your closing balance for your financial year. All final balances resulting from the individual inventory accounts are collected on this account . The balance sheet has an assets side and a liabilities side . In the SBK, these pages are referred to as debit and credit . With the SBK you create the basis for the opening balance sheet , the SFBC and your opening balance sheet at the same time . You will need this for the new financial year.

Important! Closing balance and closing balance account must always have the same values!

Why do you have to draw up the closing balance?

The closing balance is important for you to get an insight into the financial situation of your company, as already mentioned. But of course you have to do them for other reasons as well.

  • Section 242 (1) of the German Commercial Code (HGB) , the obligation to compile , stipulates that you publish your final balance sheet in the electronic Federal Gazette.
  • With the obligation to publish , the legislature also ensures disclosure to third parties who have a justified interest in dealing with your financial circumstances.
  • It also makes it easier to view and control business transactions retrospectively .

In a nutshell: Frequently asked questions about the closing balance sheet

What does SBK mean in accounting?

In accounting, the abbreviation SBK stands for closing balance account . The SBK is an auxiliary account with which you can generate the closing balance.

What is a closing booking?

The annual financial statements are created by recording the balances of all G / L accounts . These flow into the income statement , or P&L for short. The closing balance is the contra account for inventory accounts and the profit accounts are closed by the closing entry via the profit account.

What does everything belong in the balance sheet?

The balance sheet is a comparison of assets and liabilities on a specific reference date, also known as the balance sheet date. The basis for the balance sheet is always the inventory and from this the result, the inventory, follows . From the balance sheet you take your assets, but also your debts.


When preparing the closing balance, you must comply with legal forms and structuring regulations. This is described in Section 266 of the German Commercial Code . Because it serves you not only to give you an overview of the financial situation, but also of the debts of your company. Third parties who have a justified interest can also get an idea of ​​it. Your closing balance must be published in the electronic Federal Gazette. The closing balance must always be drawn up at the end of a financial year .

Closing Balance