Trial Balance Errors

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on March 06, 2023

What Errors Affect the Trial Balance?

Errors that affect the trial balance usually involve only one account in any transaction. That account has either one of the following:

  • An over-debit or an over-credit
  • An under-debit or an under-credit

Rectification of trial balance errors requires only one entry in the relevant account. This brings the trial balance back to agreement.

However, when a trial balance is out of the agreement at the end of a period, it is common to open a Suspense Account and to enter the difference in trial balance into this account.


The entry made in the suspense account is equal to the amount of difference in the two columns of the trial balance. It is made on the side that has a smaller total in the trial balance.

Therefore, if the Dr. side of the trial balance has a total of $64,380 and the total of the Cr. side is $64,210, the Suspense Account would appear as follows:

Suspense Account For Rectification of Trial Balance Errors

Opening a suspense account brings the trial balance into agreement. If an error is discovered after a suspense account has already been opened, the rectification entry must be a double entry and passed through the suspense account.

Trial Balance Errors 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.