Our balance sheet is off by $18K and we have no idea why

What happens when the balance sheet doesn’t balance? My background is in agriculture and I don’t know much about finance. I can understand the profit and loss account, but I could never understand or read a balance sheet.

I asked our accountant what it meant. She said she wasn’t quite sure, it could be a number of things: it could be a bookkeeping error, it could be that some cash was missing, or there could be something wrong with our depreciation schedules.

She told me there was over $18K difference, which is a lot for a small company like us. I asked her how long it’s been a problem and why we didn’t know about this sooner? She said she didn’t know and that she doesn’t look at the balance sheet or do a reconciliation every month.