Errors of Omission

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on April 27, 2023

Errors of Omission: Definition

When some transactions are completely omitted from the books of accounts or entered but not posted, they are treated as errors of omission.

If a transaction is omitted altogether from the books of accounts, there would be neither a debit nor a credit entry in the ledger. Hence, the trial balance will not be affected.

Types of Errors of Omission

There are two types of errors of omission:

Partial Omission

The transaction is recorded in the books but not posted to the ledger. This type of error can happen in any subsidiary book.

For example, goods purchased and returned to the supplier may be entered in the purchase returns book but not posted in the debit of supplier account.

Complete Omission

The transaction is completely omitted from being recorded in the books. For example, a transaction relating to the receipt of cash may not be recorded in the cash book.

Partial omissions are easy to locate, but this is not the case with complete omissions. One can only learn about such errors when the statement of accounts is received from or sent to creditors or debtors, as the case may be.

Effect on Accounts

The ledger will have no record of the transaction because there will be no debit or credit entry in the ledger.

Rectification of Entry

The transaction is recorded in the general journal in the same way that it would have been recorded when it originally took place. The reason for the delay is given in the narration.


A credit note for $2,750, received from Hattar Wholesalers, was misplaced and not recorded in the books.

It was discovered two months later on 21 July 2017. For this reason, the following rectification entry was made in the journal.

Rectification Entry in Journal

Errors of Omission 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.