Four Reasons your General Ledger Might Be Out of Balance

Attn: Dominion Clients

When your General Ledger is out of balance, it can create a stressful headache. With these brief suggestions and specific reports, you will be able to solve the puzzle in no time. Once you have discovered the issue, you can simply call Client Solutions at Dominion Systems to assign the missing piece. Then you’ll be able to relax your shoulders, ease your mind, and continue on with your busy day, stress-free from the General Ledger. Keep in mind, the following information is specific to Dominion’s software, but is very similar to what other software service companies have.

 1. A Deduction or Vendor Isn’t Assigned

The simplest reason as to why your General Ledger might be unbalanced is if you failed to let Client Solutions know to assign a deduction/vendor/etc. to an account. Have you added a new deduction recently? How about a new vendor? If deductions are not assigned, vendors do not need to be. Run the standard Payroll Check at a Glance report, where you can use the CTRL-F function to help navigate the document for the unbalanced amount. This can be used in your other reports for searching data as well. If the balance is located next to a deduction, for example, you will have to contact Client Solutions to assign that deduction, which should then put it in balance. Looking at the Gross to Net report, add up the current FOC, Garnishment and Levy deductions. Separately, add the corresponding vendor payments and compare the totals. They should equal. If they don’t, that could be a cause for the out of balance General Ledger. Perhaps the vendor is not assigned to an employee on the Employee Deduction page.

 2. Adjustment Checks Aren’t Assigned

Run the Employee Adjustment Register for that payroll. Look through this report and total the detail of each adjustment and make sure they balance. For example, take the gross amount and subtract the taxes and deductions in order to find the net amount. Look for manual checks with FOC’s or garnishments that came out, but without an adjustment for the vendor payment. This would cause an out of balance General Ledger.

 3. Assign New Cost Center

It's possible that you created a cost center and forgot to assign it to an employee and/or the General Ledger account. To verify this, check the Payroll Preview to see if there are any warnings about a cost center not set up on the General Ledger Assignment Screen. If there’s a warning, contact Client Solutions. If there’s not, add up the earnings (Regular, Overtime, etc.) with Gross Pay on the General Ledger and compare with the Gross to Net Gross Pay total. From there you can run Payroll Check at a Glance first and then a custom report to hopefully see one or more people it’s linked to. You can also run a custom report with gross wages grouped by cost center if you have the wages in your General Ledger report grouped by cost center. This should show you if any employees were paid without a cost center selected for them.

  • Side-note: If you go back to the employee’s cost center page and assign a cost center, the General Ledger will assign that employees’ wages to that cost center for the General Ledger only. Assigning these pieces are critical in making the General Ledger balance out. It’s possible that the adjustment checks aren’t assigned, which brings us to our next report to look into.

 4. Compare the Gross to Net and Wage and Tax Analysis Reports

Another way to see why the General Ledger is out of balance is to run both the Gross to Net and Wage and Tax Analysis report. In each report, use CTRL-F to search for the amount the General Ledger report is out of balance by. If you find the exact number, you might have discovered where the problem falls. If you are hitting dead ends with all the above, open the General Ledger in an excel document and go through each item line by line, comparing it with the Gross to Net and Wage and Tax Analysis. If the total on the General Ledger doesn’t match the total on one of the reports, something could be missing with that item and needs to be assigned. If you split your General Ledger by department or cost center, make sure to auto sum the cost center into one total. For example, Gross for each cost center needs to equal the Total Gross, which would match the Gross to Net. If the tax payment for the payroll adds up to a negative amount, this could be why the General Ledger is off. This cannot be put back in balance because it is a “credit” to the client’s account.

Once you realize why your General Ledger is out of balance, contact Client Solutions to assign the missing part. If you have not been successful in locating the reason for your unbalanced General Ledger, Client Solutions is happy to help you solve the missing piece. To learn just how valuable Customer Service can be, read our Software or Customer Service? blog.

 Contact Client Solutions at Dominion Systems now at 616-248- 3835, or via chat or email at

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