Suspense Accounts, Errors, and its Corrections
In this article, you are going to learn all that it entails in preparing an Error and Suspense Accounts. Basically, you will learn about the errors and its correction, procedures to locate errors, unrevealed errors in the trial balance, suspense accounts and much more.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel so as not to miss a tutorial video.
Errors and its Correction.
When an account has been prepared and balanced, the trial balance will be extracted. The trial balance may and may not balance. If it balanced, it is not an assurance that the account did not contain an error though It can contain errors that will not be revealed by a trial balance (discussed below). But if it did not balance, then it is clear that the accounts contain some error which must be located.
Procedures to locate Errors
When a trial balance total does not balance, try to locate the errors as follows:
- Check the balances of the ledger accounts.
- Re-add the debit and credit sides of the trial balance.
- Check the recordings and additions in the books of original entry and the ledger.
- Divide the difference between the debit and credit sides of the trial balance by 2. Look through the accounts to see if the amount is written on the wrong side of an account. If the difference is 20 look for 10 in the wrong column of the trial balance or the wrong side of an account. The discrepancy will show up.
- Divide the difference by 9. If it is 36 and divisible by 9. Look for the amount in the trial balance. It may be due to an error of transposition in the copying of the ledger balances. If the difference is 36. It is divisible by 9 with a quotient of 4. The quotient 4 indicates that there is a difference of 4 between the digits that have been transposed. Post the difference in the trial balance to the suspense account pending the time the error is located.
Unrevealed Errors in the Trial Balance.
The following errors will not be revealed by a trial balance
- Errors of omission
- Errors of commission
- Errors of principle
- Errors of original entry
- Compensating errors.
These errors are discussed below;
- Errors of Omission: This error occurs when entries for a business transaction is omitted from the books.
Example: On 2nd March, goods sold to Mr Charles for N2,000 was entirely omitted from any of the books.
Solution: This transaction is not recorded in any of the books of original entry hence it has no effect on the Trial Balance. The two sides of the trial balance will agree. When the error is detected, the correction has to be made by means of a general journal to show the true financial position of the business.
- Errors of Commission: This error is made up of entries of business transactions in the wrong account of the same class.
Example: On 25th June 2015, a purchase of goods worth N10,000 from CB Enterprises was entered in CA Enterprises account.
Solution: This error is unrevealed by the Trial Balance, i.e., the Trial Balance is not affected in the sense that the credit entry remains the same. CA Enterprises account is credited instead of the CB Enterprises account.
- Errors of Principles: This error involves entry of business transactions in the wrong class of account by debiting real account instead of nominal account and vice-visa.
Example: On 30th Oct. 2012 a motor van purchased for N150,000 is entered in the repair of motor Van account. The repair of the motor van account is debited instead of a motor van account.
Solution: This error does not affect the trial balance because the account is correctly credited but in a wrong account.
- Errors of Original Entry: This unrevealed error of original entry in the trial balance occurs when an incorrect entry of business transaction is made in the book of prime entry and also posted to the ledger.
Example: Sales of N2,750 made to Samson was recorded as N2,650 on 5th April 2014.
Solution: There is an error in the recording of the transaction in the book of original entry. The amount of N2,750 was recorded as N2,650. So there is an undercast of N100.
- Compensating Errors: It is an error of incorrect entry of business transactions on the debit side compensating coincidentally by an incorrect entry of an equal amount on the credit side.
Example: On 31st Dec. 2017 a purchase of N330 was overstated in the debit side of the trial balance. Coincidentally a creditor, Harrison overstated his account by N330.
Solution: The two sides of the trial balance have been increased by an equal amount of N330. These errors are not revealed in the trial balance.
Revealed Errors in the Trial Balance.
Some errors do cause the total of a trial balance to be unbalanced. The errors which cause the disagreement should be traced and corrected. Typical, these errors are:
- Errors of summation, that is errors in addition to the trial balance.
- Errors in the listing of ledger balance in the trial balance.
- Listing of the ledger balance in the wrong column of the trial balance.
- Arithmetical mistakes when adding ledger balances.
- Incorrectly copying an amount when journalizing or posting business transactions.
What are Suspense Accounts?
Suspense Account is an account in which business transaction is posted temporarily pending the time the correct account for the transaction is known or found out. Only errors affecting the trial balance are posted to the suspense account.
The suspense account can be a debit or credit balance. It depends on the greater side of the trial balance. When the error in the trial balance is discovered, it must be rectified. To do so, a journal entry is prepared to correct the account and the suspense account.
The correction can be effected in two ways:
- If only one side of the Trial Balance entry requires correction in the suspense account for failing to balance, it does not require double entries for correction.
- Errors needing double-entry correction, one entry is made in the account where the error occurred while the other is entered in the suspense account.
Got questions? Leave them in the comment section below, we will reply to them.