B2: 4.03 Errors of commission

What is an error of commission?

An error of commission occurs when a transaction has been recorded in the wrong Sales Ledger account or in the wrong Purchases Ledger account but has been recorded correctly in the General Ledger.

Where an error of commission has been found, it can be corrected using a journal to move the transaction into the correct account.


On 3rd July, the bookkeeper of Lancet noticed that the sales invoice 116 issued on 1st July to Hellan was accidentally recorded in the Ellan account in the sales ledger. The invoice was for £360 including VAT.

To correct this error of commission the bookkeeper should record a journal (dated 3rd July) and post it to the Purchases Ledger.

The above journal would then be recorded in the Sales Ledger as follows:

For most bookkeepers the above would be sufficient to correct an error of commission. Some however, take the view that all entries in the Sales Ledger should also be seen in the Sales Ledger Control account in the General Ledger.

[Note that they would also view entries in the Purchases Ledger in the same way]

Such bookkeepers would record the following journal for the General Ledger

You will note that the above journal will have no effect on the Sales Ledger Control Account balance or indeed any other General Ledger account balance, and it is for this reason that other bookkeepers would not bother recording it in the General Ledger.

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