Where in the chart of accounts is a suspense account located?

suspense account definition

Suspense accounts are temporarily classified as a balance sheet account, usually under the heading of current assets or current liabilities depending on the normal balance. Consequently at the end of each accounting period the business carries out a suspense account reconciliation. Any balance is investigated so that correcting adjustments can suspense account be made before the final financial statements are issued. Accordingly irrespective of the issue resulting in the suspense account posting, at the end of the accounting period the account balance reduces to zero with correcting journal entries. A suspense account is an account in the general ledger in which amounts are temporarily recorded.

  • A suspense account will be managed by the finance team and serve as a catch-all for unknown amounts.
  • Move suspense account entries into their designated accounts to make the suspense balance zero.
  • Brokerage firms also use suspense accounts to, for example, keep track of a customer’s money between the time they sell an investment and when they reinvest that money.
  • GoCardless helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of admin your team needs to deal with when chasing invoices.
  • A suspense account is an account in the general ledger in which amounts are temporarily recorded.
  • It is used to mitigate risk which is addressed and when the errors are rectified.

Placing the suspense account on the balance sheet

suspense account definition

The unclassified transactions temporarily “parked” in this account are a “suspense” that we need to investigate and relocate into their correct accounts accordingly. Because transactions in a suspense account are unallocated, the account should be considered temporary. A partial payment occurs when a customer does not pay the full amount owed for a transaction.

Assets not yet received

Recording and acknowledging such transactions is essential to ensuring accuracy in financial statements. There are several best practices that can be applied to the use of a suspense account. First, regularly review the items in the account, with the objective of shifting transactions into their appropriate accounts as soon as possible. Accordingly, there should be a daily measurement of the balance in the suspense account, which the controller uses as the trigger for ongoing investigations. Finally, all suspense account items should be researched and eliminated by the end of the fiscal year. Otherwise, a company is issuing financial statements that contain unidentified transactions, and which are therefore incorrect.

How to use suspense accounts

While suspense accounts are invaluable tools in accounting for managing transactions that cannot be immediately classified, they also come with their own set of challenges. Here are some of the key difficulties that can arise when using suspense accounts and tips on how to address them. The brokerage suspense account is essential for managing the fluid nature of investments and transactions. It provides a buffer that safeguards both the investor’s assets and the brokerage firm’s integrity until the proper allocations can be made.

What if amounts can’t be identified?

suspense account definition

Just like any to-do pile, the suspense account cannot hold your mystery amounts forever, and its proper place will need to be determined. Businesses may decide to clear their suspense accounts quarterly, while smaller companies may do so more often. Suspense accounts in a company’s general ledger typically contain entries where there are uncertainties or discrepancies that need to be resolved. In another scenario, a customer might make a payment but fail to specify which of several outstanding invoices they intended to pay off with those funds. Once the nature of a transaction is clarified, the accountant can then move the funds from the suspense account to the appropriate permanent account.

  • If there is credit balance in suspense a/c, it is shown on asset side of balance sheet.
  • From an accounting perspective, suspense accounts are used to reconcile the ledgers in the occasion that the nature of one or more transactions is unclear.
  • When debits and credits don’t match, hold the difference in a suspense account until you correct it.
  • Just as with the main balance sheet, suspense accounts can broadly be divided into assets and liabilities.
  • To close the suspense account, credit the suspense account and debit the supplies account for the purchasing department.

Recording journal entries

In investing, a suspense account is a type of brokerage account where a customer’s proceeds from selling an investment may be recorded until the customer uses the money to invest in something else. A trial balance is a worksheet with totals of all accounts in the general ledger. Trial balances are usually prepared at the end of the reporting period to make sure that all credits and debits are equal.

suspense account definition

How To Use Suspense Accounts?

suspense account definition


  • They serve as a holding pen for financial amounts that cannot be immediately classified into the standard chart of accounts due to incomplete data or uncertainty regarding their proper placement.
  • He has been a manager and an auditor with Deloitte, a big 4 accountancy firm, and holds a degree from Loughborough University.
  • Lobek notes that now the company uses software to scan invoices, receipts and bills, it is far easier to keep track of transactions.
  • Another type of asset suspense account, the entry would be in this section if money had been received but an invoice hadn’t yet been issued.

Business Class

  • By addressing these procedural gaps, organizations can reduce the volume of transactions that require suspense account classification, streamlining accounting operations and enhancing overall financial management.
  • However, the purchase order does not specify which departmental budget the cost should be allocated to.
  • As soon as you find out what the transaction was, it must be moved from the suspense account into its correct place on the ledger.
  • As the name suggests, a suspense account is an account that temporarily records amounts that are yet to have their proper accounts determined.

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