B2: 5.06 Error calculating a general ledger balance

Errors calculating a general ledger balance

This type of error occurs when a bookkeeper makes a mistake in calculating the balance at the end of a period in a General Ledger account.

This error would be corrected by using a journal to adjust the incorrect balance to the right amount with the balance being posted to the Suspense account.


A bookkeeper has prepared the following trial balance.

As the total of the debit and credit column differ by £1,800 the bookkeeper will record journal and open a Suspense account as follows.

The trial balance will be updated as shown below for the Suspense account

The bookkeeper investigated the matter and found that an error was made when closing the Sales account down for the period.

The balance carried down figure in the Sales account is incorrect, the amount should have been calculated as £25,317 (a difference of £1,800). Whilst a bookkeeper might be tempted to simply strike through the incorrect balance and record the right amount, he or she should not do this, instead it will be corrected by a journal to amend the balance brought down to the correct figure and the corresponding entry will be sent to the Suspense account.

The bookkeeper would therefore record the following journal

The journal is then posted to the General Ledger accounts and the balances recalculated

Finally, the bookkeeper would update the trial balance which now includes the correct balance for the Sales account.