What is a Suspense Account?

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The suspense account can also be used when there are issues regarding which department should be billed for an expense. These funds are placed into the suspense account until these disputes are resolved. The funds are debited to the suspense account for an expense that cannot be decided. When the business receives a payment that cannot be correctly categorized, the transaction credits the suspense account.

If the trial balance’s credits exceed the debits, record the difference as a debit. If the debits exceed the credits, enter the difference as a credit. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued mortgage servicing rules that went into effect on January 10, 2014. These rules generally require that loan servicers promptly credit a consumer’s account on the day a full payment is received, subject to a few exceptions. A suspense account is an account that is used to temporarily store money until a decision is made about where the money will be allocated. It identifies where the money came from and allows the money to be used as payment to one or more policies.

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Ensure consistent regulatory and tax compliance by automating non-trade transactions and invoices while enforcing trading relationships and policies, as well as required taxes and transfer pricing. There are several situations for holding an entry in a suspense account. A financial institution is a company that focuses on dealing with financial transactions, such as investments, loans, and deposits. The amount of money held in suspense account is referred to as the “suspense balance.” Add suspense account to one of your lists below, or create a new one.

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. When you get the information you need, reverse the suspense account entry and make an entry in the permanent account. This closes out the suspense account and posts the transaction to the correct account. Use a suspense account when you buy a fixed asset on a payment plan but do not receive it until you fully pay it off.

Definition: What Is a Suspense Account?

Accordingly, there should be a daily measurement of the balance in the suspense account, which the controller uses as the trigger for ongoing investigations. An accountant was instructed to record a significant number of journal entries written by the controller of a large company. 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. As soon as he has more information about the nature of the transaction, he will transfer the funds from the Suspense account to the appropriate account.

  • The suspense account gives the accountant the time she needs to identify the transaction yet still have it in the record.
  • Two different types of suspense accounts include the mortgage suspense account and the brokerage suspense account.
  • If the business does not know which bill or invoice a payment is for, the business can place the funds into the suspense account until it is determined.
  • Simply sticking with ‘the way it’s always been done’ is a thing of the past.
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Once the department has been specified, the accountant or management will be able to quickly bill that department. Finally, for the buying department to complete the transaction, the accountant will credit the suspense account and debit the supply account. When a fixed asset is purchased on a monthly payment basis, delivery of the asset takes place after complete payment. However, after paying the last instalment and receiving the asset, you need to close the particular suspense account and enter this transaction into a new asset account. Sometimes, there needs to be clarity regarding payments due by a client because of unclear invoices.

Why are suspense accounts necessary?

Energize your accounting team by creating capacity with automation. Centralize, streamline, and automate intercompany reconciliations and dispute management. Continuously monitor for risk with automated fluctuation analysis. Match, analyze, and reconcile millions of transactions in minutes. Drive visibility, accountability, and control across every accounting checklist. Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work.

A general ledger is where a business records its assets and liabilities on an ongoing basis, broken into separate categories or accounts. Suspense accounts are used for assets or liabilities that require further clarification before they can be assigned a permanent place in the ledger. Similarly, if a borrower pays more than they owe for a particular month—without designating how those funds should be applied—the servicer may put the extra money into a suspense account for the time being. When you make a full monthly mortgage payment to your loan servicer, it uses part of the payment to reduce the principal balance and some to pay interest. If your loan is escrowed for taxes and insurance, part of the payment goes into an escrow account. Unmatched amounts are clearly indicated, meaning you can go back and match them easily once you know where they belong.

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  • If the business makes a payment toward a customer, but their bank account information changes, they can place the transaction into the suspense account until it is resolved.
  • It was presented in good time for the suspense account to be cleared up before the end of the present financial year.
  • Close the suspense account and open a separate asset account once you’ve made the final payment and received the item.

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Debitoor also has an ‘Other Income’ option, where you can place income that cannot be matched to an invoice. As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites.

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Time to reform your compliances

Any amount that is posted to the suspense account should be there on a temporary basis only, as this amount needs to be investigated and posted to the correct account. It identifies where the money came from and allows the money to be used as payment to various polices. Suspense account transactions consist of entries with discrepancies or uncertainties. For instance, let’s say someone makes a deposit yet accidentally writes the wrong account number. The money gets placed in a suspense account until the issue gets fixed. Later, when they receive more information, they can transfer the entry from the suspense account to the correct account.

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Most accountants clear out suspense accounts on a monthly or cyclical basis, which will give them a zero balance. Because it’s only a temporary account, it’s not good to leave unidentified transactions in suspense for too long. A balance in a suspense account for an extended period is a sloppy way to manage transactions and violates accounting principles. The nature of accounting is to properly identify all transactions and code them to the right accounts, not leave them floating in an suspense account. The suspense account gives the accountant the time she needs to identify the transaction yet still have it in the record.

After you make the final payment and receive the item, close the suspense account and open a separate asset account. If it’s an asset in question, the suspense account is a current asset because it holds payments related to accounts receivable. A suspense account could also be a liability if it holds accounts payables that you don’t know how to classify. 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.

Multiple Suspense Accounts

Suspense account entries would then take either a credit or a debit format. Also, in another account, enter the same amount with an opposite entry. A mortgage servicer can credit a partial payment to your account, return the payment to you, or put it in a suspense account.

On the other hand, if the debit balance is more, then the balance is credited. General suspense accounts are used in a business to place funds temporarily. Two different types of suspense accounts include the mortgage suspense account and the brokerage suspense account. The purpose of the suspense account is to have an account specifically for miscellaneous or unclassified transactions.

unclassified transactions

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Suspense Accounts in Business

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What Is the Difference Between a Suspense Account and a Clearing Account?

Amounts subject to legal dispute are also recorded in a suspense account. For example, payments may be received with invalid or unclear account information. Other details may also be unclear, such as the amount of the transaction or the payee.

For instance, if you are tracking expenses for the production department, the accountant could include a suspense account for unknown production expenses. The department expense accounts feed into the general ledger’s main expense account at the close of a business cycle in a summarized line entry. By having this level of detail at a department level, it allows the business owner to track expenses by department. The departmental suspense account allows for an entry to be in balance when there is no account for that part of the transaction. A suspense account is one that temporarily records transactions that have yet to be assigned to their proper accounts. The suspense account is situated on the general ledger and is used to temporarily store specific transaction amounts.


However, all transactions require complete and accurate information before they can be entered into the financial records. Since our founding in 2001, BlackLine has become a leading provider of cloud software that automates and controls critical accounting processes. Whether new to BlackLine or a longtime customer, we curate events to guide you along every step of your modern accounting journey.

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Suspense Account is primarily prepared to rectify all the one-sided errors, which affect the trial balance. Those errors that do not affect the trial balance are not rectified by the suspense account. Errors are rectified by debiting the correct account and crediting the Suspense account. Similarly, when a correct account is credited, the Suspense account is debited. When all the rectified entries are recorded into a suspense account, it should not be left with any balance. If the suspense account is showing a balance, it means that some errors still exist.