Errors of commission

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Errors of Commission – Definition

These types of errors occur due to the negligence of book-keeper, clerk or accountant. As errors of commission are often caused due to the mistake committed by the clerk, they are also called as clerical errors. Also known as error of inadvertence.

If we debit or credit an account, other than the correct account, but with the correct amount, the total debits and credits in the ledger will remain equal and hence the trial balance will not disclose the error.

We take a look at a few examples to illustrate how these errors are caused:

(a). Entering the wrong amount in the correct subsidiary book.
(b). Posting the correct amount to a wrong subsidiary book.
(c). Posting the wrong amount to the correct side of the account.
(d). Posting a correct amount to the wrong side of the account.
(e). Posting is done twice (double posting).
(f). Posting to the wrong account of the same class i.e., cash paid to B is debited to B and Bros. account.
(g). Other types of errors arising out of casting, posting, carryforwards, balancing, etc. also fall under this category.

Effects on Accounts

Two effects are possible:

  • Either the correct account will not be debited and an irrelevant account will be debited
  • The correct account will not be credited and an irrelevant account will be credited.

Rectification of entry

If an irrelevant account is debited instead of the correct account:
Debit the account that should have been debited.
Credit the account that has been erroneously debited.

If an irrelevant account is credited, instead of the correct account:
Debit the account that has been erroneously credited.
Credit the account that should have been credited.


A credit sale of goods for $7,200 to Mr. David was erroneously debited to Mr. John’s account.

errors of commission


A cheque for $3,480 was received from Royal Motors but was erroneously credited to TAU Motors’ Account.

errors of commission example

7 thoughts on “Errors of commission”

  1. Edmond Galea says:

    Hi, I agree with the above examples but does an error of commission always involve personal accounts? What if I pay $20 for motor expenses and by mistake I enter it in the stationery account?

  2. Mark says:

    Yes it’s still considered as error of comission.

  3. Amanda says:

    Is the second example correct??
    Original (incorrect) entry would have been Dr Bank and Cr TAU Motors, surely the reversing journal entry would have Dr TAU Motors (credited in error) and Cr Royal Motors (who sent the cheque and expect their balance to be reduced!) I’m confused….

    1. coldplay says:

      it’s a correction entry, not an original entry. plus, bank was already debited so there is nothing wrong with that.

    2. osca says:

      i think bank account is the one so am confused toooo

  4. Tungamirai Gumbochuma says:

    I agree with Amanda. In our books we have the Bank acc and TAU Motors acc of which Tau Motors is an irrelevant account there so our correcting entry should be Debit Tau Motors acc to close the wrong acc and Credit Royal motors acc which is the relevant account.

  5. Tungamirai Gumbochuma says:

    How it was recorded in the books

    Bank (dr) 3480
    Tau motors(cr) 3480
    Truly nothing shuld be corrected regarding the bank entry but Tau motors is irrelevant therefore it has to be closed and a correct entry shuld be made in the correct account (Royal motors).
    rectifying entry
    Tau motors (dr) 3480
    Royal motors (cr) 3480

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