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Explain the terms ‘Over-subscription’ and ‘Under-subscription’. How are they dealt with in accounting records?

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When shares are issued to the public for subscription through the prospectus by well managed and financially strong companies, it may happen that the total number of applications received for shares exceeds the number of shares offered by the company to the public, such situation is called the situation of over-subscription. A company can opt for any of the three alternatives to allot shares in case of over-subscription of shares. 

(i) Excess Applications are Refused and Money Received on Excess Applications is Returned to the Applicants.

(ii) If the Applicant are made Partially Allotment (or Pro-rata Basis) In case of over-subscription, when a company allots shares rateable to all the applicants, it is called as pro-rata allotment. In such a case the main problem is what to do with the excess amount received on an application.

Practically, it will be quite irrational to refund the excess money first and then ask the allottee applicants to pay the allotment money. In practice, generally, excess application money received on these shares is adjusted towards the amount due on allotment or call. For this purpose, the entry is made as follows

(iii) Pro-rata and Refund of Money In case of over-subscription, the director can adopt a combination of the above two alternatives i.e., they, can accept full allotment to some applications, a pro-rata allotment to others and no allotment to the rest.

Under-Subscription: In case when share are issued by the company and the number of shares applied by the public is lesser than the number of shares issued this is called the situation of under-subscription. 

As per the Comprise Act, the minimum subscription is 90% of the shares issued by the company. This implies that the company can allot shares to the applicants provided if applications for 90% of the issued shares are received. Otherwise, the company should refund the entire application amount received. In this regard, the necessary journal entry is passed only after receiving and refunding of the application. In this case, normal entries are made as the adjustment is not needed for any excess.

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