Error of Transposition

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on March 23, 2023

Transposition Error: Definition

Transposition error is an error that occurs when digits are reversed while recording them. For example, 87 may be recorded as 78, or 420 as 402.

A slide refers to the entry of a number with incorrect placement of decimal points, such as recording 2.170 as 21.700 and 4.500 as 450.

How to Locate and Rectify Transposition Errors

A quick way to check for either a transposition or a slide is to find the difference between the debit and credit column totals of the trial balance and divide this amount by 9.

If the answer does not have a remainder, this indicates that either a transposition error or a slide may have been made.

To find these types of errors, you should carefully check all amounts in the trial balance against the ledger account balances.

It is important to ensure that all balances are correctly copied, and you may need to check the ledger back to the general.

It is also important to determine what type of error has been made. This is because the approach used to correct an error depends on the type.


A payment of $89 was journalized for a telephone bill as a debit to a telephone expense account by $98. It was also credited to cash by $98.

This is an example of a transposition error, where the digits are reversed in the amount.

We can correct this error by making a debit entry to cash by $9 and a credit entry to telephone expense by $9.

Rectification Entry

Transposition Error Rectification Entry

Error of Transposition 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.