Suspense Account Examples, Uses and How to Create?

what is a suspense account used for

The servicer must also explain what the borrower needs to do in order to have that money applied to their mortgage payment. If you plan to always use forfeitures right away and to allocate them as additional matching or nonelective contributions, then you are probably fine using a single holding account for both forfeitures and suspense amounts. Anything other than that, and you are probably much better off maintaining separate forfeiture and suspense accounts.

Let us make in-depth study of the meaning, utility and preparation of suspense account. The short answer is that you can use the forfeiture account, but this is one of those “just because you can doesn’t mean you should” situations. We bring decades of experience, supported by the resources to deliver comprehensive solutions for your clients. Our consultants understand the importance of your relationships and will work seamlessly alongside your team. A few weeks later, Customer A has sent the payment details for the above receipt with a reference to Invoice # 61109xyz.

What is a suspense account?

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  • Until the procurement or accounts department can get verification from the departmental manager and the correct budget is identified, the cost sits in the suspense account.
  • A customer paid $1,000 in cash without specifying which invoice the payment relates to.
  • To know more about suspense account in QuickBooks, stick through this guide till the end.
  • For example, if a bookkeeper is unsure about which account to debit or credit in a transaction, he/she can temporarily place the entry in a suspense account until they receive more information.
  • It is necessary to record each such transaction even if the information is limited.
  • For example, if your company’s opening ledger has account numbers 1-98, the next account number available to your business will be 100.
  • Centralize, streamline, and automate end-to-end intercompany operations with global billing, payment, and automated reconciliation capabilities that provide speed and accuracy.

Other details may also be unclear, such as the amount of the transaction or the payee. Ideally, a business will have a zero balance in the suspense account—or no suspense account listed—in its financial statements. Companies come to BlackLine because their traditional manual accounting processes are not sustainable.

Why are suspense accounts necessary?

Suspense accounts serve as an important tool so that companies are able to properly classify accounts. Another example would be if a company makes a payment towards their vendors but suspense account the vendor has provided the wrong bank details. For future reconciliation purposes, a company cannot simply record a payment towards any invoice – they must be specific and accurate.

It’s important to know about suspense accounts because sometimes you will need to recheck some transactions when in the account statement the debit and credit sides don’t match. Adjusting Entries are used to correct mistakes, whereas suspense accounts are useful for temporarily holding transactions until there is enough information to post them. For example, if a bookkeeper is unsure about which account to debit or credit in a transaction, he/she can temporarily place the entry in a suspense account until they receive more information. A suspense account has a general ledger that you can use for the temporary recording of business transactions. The need for a suspense account arises when you are unable to identify the appropriate ledger account for the transactions which have been recorded. The amount of capital or transformation that is moved to the suspense account is for a brief period.

Understanding Suspense Accounts

The balance of Suspense Account helps the accountant to locate the errors because the balance (debit or credit) helps the accountant to determine the possible head of account in which error might have been committed. When the transaction in question has something to do with the Accounts Payable, the suspense account is considered to be under current liabilities. He is a credit blogger for Credit Card Insider, CreditSesame, Mint, and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. John is twice Fair Credit Reporting Act certified by the credit reporting industry’s trade association and has been an expert witness in over 140 cases involving credit issues.

what is a suspense account used for

It can also be used when there is a difference between the debit and credit side of a closing or trial balance, as a holding area until the reason for error is located and corrected. The suspense account allows you to record the payments without even assigning payment to a particular machinery account or equipment. Conversely, if the trial balance credits are larger than the debits, the difference is recorded in the suspense account as a debit.

Question 2

For example, if your company’s opening ledger has account numbers 1-98, the next account number available to your business will be 100. However, it is recommended to keep a minimum of 25 ledger accounts in order to avoid errors when posting entries. Missing or incorrect details can derail your bookkeeping efforts, but you need to record every transaction. Use a suspense account when you’re not sure where to record general ledger entries. The suspense account is classified as a current asset, since it is most commonly used to store payments related to accounts receivable.

The suspense account is debited or credited in case of rectifying journal entries and with the rectification of all the errors of the preceding accounting period. You need to create a suspense account when you find some details missing from your account book. For instance, the debit and credit sides don’t add up when the trial balance is prepared. The difference that you find is the trial balance can be transferred to a suspense account secondly, if you have received a partial payment from a client. You can transfer the amount to a suspense account until you figure out which invoice has been cleared. You can quickly go back to the record and check which invoice matches the amount that has been transacted.


A woodworking firm receives part-commission in advance to build a range of garden furniture for a client. Because this payment isn’t in full, it doesn’t have a direct correlation on the balance sheet as it won’t match revenue, inventory or expenses. It will be moved onto the ledger once the commission has been paid in full following the completion of work. BlackLine and our ecosystem of software and cloud partners work together to transform our joint customers’ finance and accounting processes. Together, we provide innovative solutions that help F&A teams achieve shorter close cycles and better controls, enabling them to drive better decision-making across the company. A suspense account is helpful in a trial balance when the debit and credit totals do not match.

what is a suspense account used for