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What is a Suspense Account?

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  • Last Updated : 03 Oct, 2022
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A Suspense Account is a ledger account used for the temporary recording of business transactions. The necessity for a suspense account stems from the inability to identify the appropriate ledger account for the transaction to be recorded. The transactions or amounts transferred to a suspense account have a very short duration, as a proper investigation is required to determine the correct ledger account to which the credited funds will be transferred or recorded.

A company generates many transactions over the course of its operations. It can sometimes happen that the transactions might have missing information, or incorrect data have been entered on record. But a company must record every transaction, and in such circumstances, Suspense Account is used.

Suspense accounts are important in accounting because they help filter out transactions that cannot be identified at the time of recording. These accounts help to keep the ledger records clean and error-free. These accounts work as a temporary location to store unknown transactions, and once the amount is determined correctly, it can be moved to the regular ledger account. It is also very useful while preparing trial balance. 

Why do we prepare a Suspense Account? 

A Suspense account is created in the following cases:

1. While Preparing Trial Balance: A Suspense account is useful while the trial balance is being prepared and when the credit balance and debit balance do not match. The difference amount which is not identified can be transferred to the suspense account. For a credit balance greater than a debit balance, the difference is recognised as a debit, and for a debit balance, that is greater than a credit balance, the difference is recognised as a credit. 

 2. When Partial Payment is Received: Sometimes, there might be a confusion regarding payments when clients pay a partial amount and the unit to which the invoice is paid is not clear. These payments may be placed on hold by transferring to a suspense account until the customer is contacted and the invoice is determined.

3. When you don’t know Who Paid: Sometimes, payment may be received, but the company cannot identify the client from whom it is received. The best solution is to transfer the amount to a suspense account and check the unpaid invoices in the register, and then match the payment transaction. Also, more clarity can be achieved by contacting the customer and verifying the transaction details.

4. When you don’t know how to Categorise Transactions: You may not always know how to categorise transactions when you are a small business owner and not an accountant. In such cases, if you’re not sure about where to enter a transaction, then a suspense account is created and corresponding accountant is consulted.

Preparation of Suspense Account:

Suspense Account is primarily prepared to rectify all the one-sided errors, which affect the trial balance. It shows the net effect of all the errors of the trial balance. Those errors that do not affect the trial balance are not rectified by the suspense account. Errors are rectified by debiting the correct account and crediting the Suspense account. Similarly, when a correct account is credited, the Suspense account is debited. When all the rectified entries are recorded into a suspense account, it should not be left with any balance. If the suspense account is showing a balance, it means that some errors still exist. If the Suspense Account shows a debit balance, it is taken to the asset side of the Balance Sheet, whereas if it shows a credit balance, it is taken to the liability side of the Balance Sheet.

Illustration:

Rectify the following errors identified in the books of GFG as on 31 March 2022. The Trial Balance did not match. It shows ₹7,465 being extra credit. Pass necessary journal entries and open suspense account.

  1. Returns Inward Book was shortcasted by ₹500.
  2. A Purchase of ₹1,035 was posted to Creditor’s Account as ₹1,000.
  3. An amount of ₹5,000 owed by Sayeba was omitted from sundry debtors.
  4. Nupur paid ₹2,500, but her account was wrongly credited with ₹4,500.

Solution:

 

 

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