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'Switching Off' the Suspense Account in a P&L

Is there any way to stop the Suspense Account from appearing when generating a P&L?

I ask because I am having major problems reconciling sales with monies which come into the live bank feed because we have multiple payment providers dumping aggregate receipts from different days into the live bank feed. It’s near impossible to match/split every single sale to the monies landing into the live bank feed from SagePay and WorldPay - there just isn’t enough time to dedicate to finding every single sale from different channels.

Our individual sales which are recorded every day into old-fashioned sales-receipt books are logged in Quickfile in holding accounts I have set up - one for credit card sales, one for PayPal sales and one for eBay Adyen sales. So one way or the other, everything that comes into the till is recorded and finds its way into the nominal ledger.

Some stuff is easy to reconcile from our live PayPal and bank feeds, but other stuff remains un-tagged and appears in the suspense account which annoyingly slots itself into the P&L. At the moment all my boss is concerned with is looking at a monthly P&L but the inclusion of the suspense account figure is ruining his experience! We’ve not long switched to Quickfile and I’m sure I’ll whittle away at the suspense account entries in time, but for now they are very much unwanted in the P&L list!

Hi @thedrumdoctor

Unfortunately this is how double entry bookkeeping works. Until you have allocated these payments to an invoice to determine which nominal they should go against then they will appear in the suspense account

Ok, thanks for that explanation. We were using Solar Accounts before and that didn’t show a suspense account in the P&L.

One of the problems is, the aggregate incoming payments to the bank account are never going to be matched up to invoices as there are so many variables in the business when it comes to invoicing. Without going into details, it is going to be impossible to tag some things as sales. Is there another nominal account or journal entry these could be moved to to make them ‘out of scope’ so to speak?

You could journal them to another nominal code, but it should reflect the real movement.

When you say variables, do you mean things like card merchant fees?

Not as such…but for example, take eBay’s new Adyen payment system.

We sell a lot on eBay and now they simply dump the aggregate amount of sales into the business bank account LESS the selling commission. However, for VAT purposes, our sale must be recorded as what we sold it for, despite what we actually receive in the bank account being less. The live eBay feed comes in and it’s great for matching or creating sales invoices and tagging them so they land in the sales nominal account. It’s also great for creating purchase invoices for the sales commission fees which eBay now take at source. But trying to reconcile the eBay live feed with the eBay income that arrives into the business bank account is near impossible. So there are lines of income for our eBay sales LESS FEES in our live feed from the bank account which cannot be tagged as sales because the sales have already been tagged from the live Bay feed. But all those bank payments from eBay end up in the suspense account in the nominal ledger!

Other issues I have found so far, is that it is near impossible to match up aggregate income from manual sales receipts landing in our bank account’s live feed from WorldPay and SagePay. It’s another huge knot we just don’t have the time to untangle on a daily basis. If they logged every single payment (like PayPal do in their live feed) it would be great. But they don’t, so once again, we end up with incoming payments which we can’t tag. We also have to differentiate between new and used sales (we do this in our invoices) and make sure they go into different nominal accounts (new sales and second hand sales) because of the bespoke second-hand margin agreement we have with HMRC.

So whilst it would be great to just tag every aggregate payment that lands in the bank account from payment providers as simply ‘sales’, the recording of those sales has to be more granular. Quickfile has great tools for granularity - better than Solar Accounts did - but the suspense account is causing a small headache at this point. Well actually, it’s not the suspense account as such, because this is double-entry book-keeping, but its the payment providers lumping payments together which we can’t reconcile ending up in the suspense account!

Even if your allocating all money in from different payment providers to seperate accounts and then crediting your invoices against those amounts, the suspense account should either be zero or it will include transactions you haven’t tagged yet. There’s no way to avoid it.

My advice would be to track down what that suspense account figure is. It isn’t because you can’t reconcile payments, if you are doing what you say you are doing, the suspense account should still be zero. Or not if you haven’t allocated all payments.

The reason why your other software didn’t show it in the P and L is because some software don’t, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there or didn’t have a balance.

As @QFMathew says, you’ll need to find what that balance is and allocate it to the right place.

It could even be something as simple as a bank opening balance with no matching tag to which it relates to.

For example when you switched software you’d have had a balance of somewhere carried forward, quickfile doesn’t know what that balance relates to until you journal it somewhere.if you don’t you’ll have a balance in the suspense account.

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You need to treat eBay like another payment provider - when you create invoices and purchases from the eBay feed you mark them as paid in full there and then using a holding bank account, then all the bulk payments you receive into your main bank account from eBay can be tagged simply as bank transfers from the same holding account.

This is what you’re supposed to do anyway for card payments, as you have to treat the “payment from customer” as happening on the day you authorised their card, not the day a few days later when the payment provider (eBay in this case) actually transferred the funds to you.

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I see…the penny has dropped! Thanks. I can see it’s a money shifting exercise now after all!

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