Classification of Errors in Accounting

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on March 22, 2023

Accounting errors are classified broadly into two groups: those that affect the agreement of a trial balance and those that don't.

Errors Leaving the Trial Balance Unaffected

A trial balance will not be affected if the total of all debit entries in the ledger is equal to the total of all credit entries.

Therefore, if, despite an error, debit entries remain equal to credit entries, the trial balance will agree and hence fail to disclose the presence of an error.

Errors that do not affect the agreement of a trial balance are:

Errors Affecting the Trial Balance

If an error results in unequal debit and credit entries in the ledger, the trial balance will fall out of agreement and thereby disclose the presence of the error.

Such errors are usually the result of clerical oversight. The following are the common ones:

  • Posting an entry on the wrong side of the ledger

Classification of Errors in Accounting FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.