ZIMSEC O Level Principles of Accounting: Single entry and Incomplete records: Missing figures

  • As already pointed out creating financial statements using single entry or incomplete records requires filling in the gaps
  • This is because naturally there will be some missing figures/amounts
  • These amounts have to be ascertained
  • We have already looked at how a Statement of Affairs can be used to ascertain profit and capital balances
  • An example was even included to show how this is done
  • Other techniques are also employed to find other missing figures/amounts
  • In the exam you will be typically required to calculate the following figures:
    1. Bank and cash balances at the end of the period this will require you to prepare a summary Cash and Bank Account i.e. Cash Book showing transactions that occurred during the year after the opening Statement of Affairs
    2. Calculate purchases for the period. This can typically be done using the following table:
      Payments to suppliers during the yearxxx
      Less Payments made for last year purchases (i.e. Opening balance for creditors)


      Add Purchases made in this year for which payment has not yet been madexxxx
      Goods bought for the year i.e Purchases for the year


      Alternatively this can also be shown in tabular “T-Account” form:
      Creditor's Control Account
      DetailsAmount ($)DetailsAmount ($)
      Cash/BankxxxBalance b/dxxx
      Balance c/dxxxPurchases for the period (balancing figure)xxx



      As you can see this resembles the Creditor’s Control Account.
      Once credit purchases have been ascertained they have to be combined with Cash Purchases if there are any in order to arrive at total purchases for the period. Special care need to be taken not to include Cash Purchases in the Cash/Bank figure in the control account.
    3. Sales can be calculated using a Debtor’s Control and adding Cash Sales to the resulting Credit Sales figure. Alternatively margin and mark up ratios can be used to obtain either Sales or Purchases/Cost of Sales where one of the figures is known
    4. For expenses take amounts paid during the period and factor in prepaid expenses and accruals
    5. In the instance of cash and bank it is often the case that one of the figures is not given in exams. In such cases just assume the figure that would make the summary Cash Book agree is the missing figure. Where there is no mention of such a figure in the question just assume the amount is drawings i.e. amounts withdrawn by the proprietor for his own personal use
    6. In cases of stock destroyed by fire use is made of ratios to ascertain the missing stock figure. Also the difference between actual Closing Stock/Inventory and what ought to be closing stock/inventory is the value of destroyed stock/inventory
  • The best way to learn how to tackle Incomplete and Single Record questions is through practice
  • We will provide two worked example such questions in order to demonstrate the techniques we have covered thus far
  • Click here to view the first example
  • Click here to view the second example

To access more topics go to the Principles of Accounting Notes.