B2: 5.04 Unequal amounts recorded on debit and credit sides

Unequal amounts recorded on the debit and credit sides

This type of error occurs when there is a difference between the amounts recorded by bookkeeper or accountant in the debit and credit sides of the General Ledger.

For example, let’s say that a bookkeeper debits the Motor Expenses account with £360 but accidentally credits the Bank account with £630. This error will result in the total credits of the trial balance exceeding the total debits and a Suspense account would be created.

When this type of error is found, a bookkeeper will use journals to correct the account balances and clear the Suspense account.


A bookkeeper has prepared the following trial balance

As the two totals are different, the bookkeeper recorded a journal and opened a Suspense account in the General Ledger as recorded below.

The trial balance was then updated to include the newly opened Suspense account

Investigations found that the total of the gross column of the Sales Day Book was posted incorrectly. The total was £3,720 but this was posted on the debit side of the Sales Ledger Control account as £3,100, a difference of £620. The totals of the VAT and Net Sales columns were posted correctly.

The bookkeeper will therefore record the following journal in order to correct the Sales Ledger Control account balance and clear the Suspense account.

The above journals would then be entered in the General Ledger accounts, the balances on those accounts would be recalculated and the trial balance would be updated (see below).

Alternative journals

It is sometimes the case that awarding bodies such as the AAT may ask students to correct the error as follows:

  1. Record an entry that will cancel out this incorrect ledger posting
  2. Record an entry that will post the correct amount to the ledger
  3. Record an entry to clear the suspense account

For our above illustration the journal that the bookkeeper would therefore be as follows:

The entries in the General Ledger are shown below

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