The correct course of action is journal, ledger, trial balance, financial statements. The financial statement is pretty much submitting your final essay, and the other three are your rough drafts. (We’ve all had to write an essay with multiple drafts, so bear with me on this analogy here.)
The journal and ledger are both places to write where the money is going. A trial balance is where you look at both the journal and the ledger to find errors. Errors mean that the accounts don’t match - could be a simple misunderstanding or it could mean something more.
Once the trial balance matches up, you can submit your financial statements to those who want to see it for legal reason.