suspense account

In the case of borrowers, some practice dividing monthly payments into two so as not to pay all at once. A few weeks later, Customer A has sent the payment details for the above receipt with a reference to Invoice # 61109xyz. Complete Controller is not affiliated with or endorsed by Intuit Inc. Complete Controller is solely responsible for the provision of all services on or accessed through this website. If we are not able to ascertain the true nature of a particular asset, then this account will be classified as a current account. In similar ways, it could be used to park an “unclassified” liability as well.

suspense account

Unfortunately, there was one amount that did not have an account designated. In order to complete the assignment by the deadline, the accountant recorded the “mystery” amount in the general ledger Suspense account. When the controller is available, the accountant will get clarification and will move the amount from the Suspense account to the appropriate account. A suspense account is a general ledger account in which amounts are temporarily recorded. The suspense account is used because the appropriate general ledger account could not be determined at the time that the transaction was recorded. After that, he consulted with Mr. Gladwell who clarified the nature of the operation.

Words Related To Suspense Account

Although DOD and DFAS have taken steps to align their suspense account policies and procedures with relevant federal guidance, GAO found that they were insufficient, outdated, and inconsistently implemented. For example, in March 2020 DOD issued a policy memorandum requiring its component organizations to clear aged suspense account balances—those more than 30 days old—by June 2020.

Holding off on depositing receivables until you have all the facts in hand can result in inaccurate financial statements, especially if it takes a long time to reconcile and if the unidentified payment isn’t an isolated incident . Although it’s critical for a business’s accounting department to establish a suspense account to address these issues, not all do, which often causes a reconciliation glut down the line. Say your accounts receivable department receives a check from a customer for $500 with no invoice attached telling you where to apply the payment. You probably won’t have trouble finding record of that customer owing you money, but without something to tell you exactly where to apply the payment – past due invoices or recent transactions? A common practice of recording in suspense accounts is when a company receives a payment from a particular client but the invoice number is not specified.


The items are identified as expense or income either on the profit and loss statements. If there is any uncertainty of recognition then the item will be posted to the temporary account which is called the suspense account. If you think the suspense account is not closed by the end of the accounting period then you should see the balance in the suspense account if it’s a Debit balance. But, if it is a Credit balance then you would see the details on the liability section of your balance sheet.

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If components could not appropriately research and clear these balances, components were instructed to remove the balances from suspense accounts by transferring them to other accounts. While these efforts reduced the aged balances by roughly $30 billion, guidance on the specific steps to remove the balances was not provided. The lack of specific guidance contributed to components inconsistently removing aged suspense account balances and increased the risk of transactions not being recorded, reconciled, removed, and documented in a consistent and timely manner. As of June 30, 2020, DOD’s suspense account balance was $1.6 billion, of which $366 million was more than 30 days old.

Suspense Account Definition

However, it is important to remember that items in a suspense account represent unallocated amounts. As a result, having a suspense account presented on the financial statements with a balance is generally viewed negatively and can weaken the statement to outside investors. Thus, effort should be made to clear suspense accounts at the end of each financial period. You might receive a partial payment from a customer and be unsure about which invoice they’re paying. Hold the partial payment in a suspense account until you contact the customer. When you find out the invoice, close the suspense account and move the amount to the correct account. If it’s an asset in question, the suspense account is a current asset because it holds payments related to accounts receivable.

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The suspense account holds the transaction, or suspends it, separate from the revenue and expenses of the company or individual until you can learn more information and put it in the appropriate part of the general ledger. This allows you to easily keep track of transactions that may have errors, which keeps the general ledger more accurate. DOD and DFAS have undertaken initiatives to clear certain types of non–suspense account transactions from suspense accounts and reduce suspense account balances. GAO found that these initiatives did not identify and address the root causes of DOD’s suspense account control deficiencies. Contrarily, if your trial balance credits are larger than your debits then this difference records as a debit in your suspense account. However, when you identify the reason for your trial balance and make the correction for the same then these accounts get closed. As a result, the suspense account gets removed automatically from your trial balance.


The Payroll Office provides a monthly report of suspense due to closed projects and activity periods to Contracts and Grants suspense account Accounting . CGA will reach out to departments as needed and provide next steps for clearing suspense back to Payroll.

suspense account

If it is the asset in question then the suspense account is considered as a current asset because it keeps the payment that is related to the accounts receivable. We close the account after making the necessary adjustments so that it’s no longer part of the trial balance.

How Are Suspense Accounts Used In The Real World?

To know more about suspense account in QuickBooks, stick through this guide till the end. Clearing accounts are used temporarily to record transactions until they post them to a permanent account. Clearing accounts are more simple accounts where you easily enter cash received as a clearing amount until the money is acknowledged, verified, and deposited in your bank. Clearing accounts can also be used in a way for accounts receivable. The suspense account is listed on the trial balance under the Other Assets heading.

Suspense accounts help you avoid recording transactions in the wrong accounts. You also avoid failing to record a transaction because of missing information.

Sometimes, you don’t have all the necessary information for accounting. 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 company sends $50 in payment to your client, but you realize the amount may be inaccurate and should be closer to $500. You debit the $50 from a cash account and credit the $50 to a suspense account until you can get more information. Try to notice patterns in suspense accounts with which you work, like whether a certain type of transaction or invoice from a specific sender goes into the suspense account regularly. This can help you and your client watch for errors in those transactions or fix the problem by contacting the sender directly.

For example, a company received $2,500 of payment but there is no other information included in the receipt of funds in the company’s bank account. If you cannot find out who sent you the payment then there is only one way to figure this out; open the invoices and match up the details such as payment. Before you post the payment, you can call the customer so that they can verify the payment. In case you cannot find out the customer then hold this payment in suspense until you identify the right customer who claims this payment or may be you delete the customer from the QuickBooks.

Classification Of Suspense Accounts

Both of these amounts are recorded promptly to make the accounting as accurate as possible. Their balances can be reviewed, which can include the material amounts. In addition, bank authorities regularly monitor and reconcile suspense accounts.

suspense account

When it comes to bookkeeping, accuracy plays an important role to provide relevant, reliable and timely financial reports. To clear your suspense account, you need to find out that your transaction records have an original account. There are several situations for holding an entry in a suspense account. It can be a repository for monetary transactions entered with invalid account numbers. If one of these conditions applies, the transaction should be directed to a suspense account.

What is petty cash book?

The petty cash book is a recordation of petty cash expenditures, sorted by date. In most cases, the petty cash book is an actual ledger book, rather than a computer record. Thus, the book is part of a manual record-keeping system.

Clarify all fees and contract details before signing a contract or finalizing your purchase. Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products. Just like the mortgage suspense account, investors keep their money in this account until such time that they are ready to purchase new investments. This is why transactions must be correctly posted to their proper accounts.

The objective for reviewing items is to shift the transaction to the appropriate account as soon as possible. If you don’t know who made the payment, look at your outstanding customer invoices and find which one matches the payment amount. Contact the customer to verify that it’s their payment and the right invoice. As soon as possible, the amount in the suspense account should be moved to the proper account. In addition,we provide special supportfor non-profit, educational, and government users.

Author: Justin D Smith