Using GnuCash, When I run a Trial Balance on my accounts, my Debits exceed my Credits by 875.00 wich is the same amount of my Unrealized Gains on the Balance Sheet.

How do I reconcile this in my Trial Balance?

  • 1
    first step is to isolate, what is causing that number come about? (The Unrealized Gains simply means, you have $875 extra which is unaccounted for) Aug 28, 2014 at 6:35

2 Answers 2


An unrealized gain is an increase in the value of an asset that has not been sold. It is, in essence, a "paper profit." When an asset is sold, it becomes a realized gain.

The unrealised gain is recorded in the "Other comprehensive income account".

Here is an example (from accountingcoach.com):

A common example of an unrealized gain is the gain in the market value of an investment in the stock of another corporation that is held as an available-for-sale security.

The unrealized holding gain is reported on the balance sheet by 1) increasing the asset available-for-sale securities, and 2) increasing the stockholders' equity component in accumulated other comprehensive income. Note that the holding gains on available-for-sale securities are not reported on the income statement.

But in your case debit balance of 875 doesn't suggest any gains but otherwise so will have to check where the discrepancy is. But if it is "unrealized gains" then you can follow the above method.

  • Beware the title of Other comprehensive income. The actual title according to the source you cited is Accumulated other comprehensive income and -- importantly -- is "... is a general ledger account that is classified within the equity section of the balance sheet." I was thrown by this at first, but thanks to your reference, it's a little clearer now.
    – fbicknel
    Sep 9, 2020 at 19:15

(I am still new to double-entry accounting/bookkeeping so this is my understanding of the issue and I hope it is correct.)

The Unrealized Gain on the Balance Sheet is showing the difference between Asset - Liability and Equity. Because those items are not in perfect balance then monies flowed in or out of them from the other two kinds of accounts: Income and Expense.

The Trial Balance is showing those accounts in addition to the ones shown on the Balance Sheet. It is showing that you had 875 more Expense than Income.

To determine in which accounts and from which transactions this loss has occurred, I found that by running my Balance Sheet for different end periods I could narrow down where the largest gain/loss seems to have occurred and then furthermore filter out some accounts from the report using the Report Options to narrow down the accounts involved.

This should help you determine if the loss is due to incorrectly recorded transactions, duplicated transactions, missing transactions, or simply because you had less Income than Expenses in this time period.

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