When a trial balance does not agree efforts are made to locate errors and rectify them. However, if reason for disagreement of trail balance cannot be found, a new account called suspense account is opened in order to give trial balance an appearance of agreement. Then final accounts are prepared. Debit balance in suspense account is shown on assets side while credit balance is recorded on liabilities side.
A suspense account is opened in two instances i.e.
(i) To balance a disagreed trial balance — In the trial balance, if the debits are short the difference has to be debited to Suspense Account and if the credits are short, Suspense Account has to be credited to make trial balance agree apparently. Thus trial balance is tallied and final accounts are prepared. Later when errors are detected, the rectifying entries are passed. The suspense account will show balance until all entries are corrected. When all errors affecting the trial balance have been rectified by means of journal entries, the Suspense Account will show no balance.
(ii) To post uncertain items: Sometimes, an item cannot be posted to the correct account because of lack of information. In this case, all the errors are rectified by means of journal entries opening suspense account. Thus, suspense account is opened and is given the debit or credit as the case may be. When debit is short of credit, the difference is debited to Suspense Account making the debits equal to the credits. Similarly, if in a rectifying journal entry, credit is otherwise short of debit, the difference is credited to suspense Account. ‘Ltrer when error’s are detected, the rectifying entries are passed.