Double Entry Accounting Examples And Explanation

double entry accounting example

The entry is a debit to the inventory account and a credit to the cash account. And, debit your Technology account to account for the increase. To record the transaction in your books, debit your Inventory account to show the increase in inventory and credit your Accounts Payable account. Cash-basis accounting uses the single-entry accounting method. Modified cash-basis and accrual accounting both use double-entry bookkeeping. That’s a win because financial statements can help you make better decisions about what to spend money on in the future.

  • It has extensive reporting functions, multi-user plans and an intuitive interface.
  • Correcting and identifying errors at the earliest possible stage reduces the risk of making plans or decisions based on inaccurate or incomplete data.
  • Two of the most popular types of accounting are single-entry and double-entry accounting.
  • It reduces the balance in the cash account with a credit for the same amount.
  • Just as liabilities and stockholders’ equity are on the right side of the accounting equation, the liability and equity accounts in the general ledger have their balances on the right side.
  • The second entry is a $1,000 debit to the cost of goods sold account and a credit in the same amount to the inventory account.

The profit and loss statement also indicates revenue, costs, and profit/loss for a specific time period. Additionally, every asset, liability, and capital has its account in the double-entry system. The term “double-entry” refers to the fact that every accounting transaction has two entries and affects two different accounts to preserve the balance. This means that there will be a credit and debit entry for each transaction.

Accounting Equation Approach

The chart of accounts includes account names and general ledger codes for all classes of accounts on the balance sheet and income statement. Standard types of accounts include assets, liabilities, equity, revenue and expenses. In double-entry accounting, businesses can use any combination of the five types of accounts — assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, expense, gains and losses — when recording transactions. Each journal entry has two sides, with debits on the left and credits on the right. The type of account dictates whether it has a normal debit balance or a normal credit balance, and therefore whether debits or credits increase the balance. The general ledger contains each account that the business needs to record its financial transactions. This is where the asset, liability, equity, revenue and expense accounts are located.

double entry accounting example

In this guide, I’ll clarify exactly what double-entry bookkeeping means and how it works. You can use this information to determine if it’s the best choice for your company. While double-entry bookkeeping isn’t necessarily the best approach for every business, it’s going to be the most ideal option for most of you. The books – or ledger – for a business are made up of five main accounts, which are split into groups.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Double Entry Accounting

The main benefit of single-entry accounting is its simplicity. Freelancers and sole proprietors use this system by recording business transactions in a single ledger. The most common single-entry system is a checkbook with income and expenses being added or deducted to a running cash balance. An income statement can be generated from a single-entry system, but records for assets and liabilities necessary to create a balance sheet are not maintained. Debits and credits must always be equal in double-entry bookkeeping.

double entry accounting example

In keeping with double entry, two accounts need to be involved. Because the first account was debited, the second account needs to be credited. Common stock is part of stockholders’ equity, which is on the right side of the accounting equation.

Under the double‐entry bookkeeping system, the full value of each transaction is recorded on the debit side of one or more accounts and also on the credit side of one or more accounts. Therefore, the combined debit balance of all accounts always equals the combined credit balance of all accounts. Because information is collected directly from the double-entry bookkeeping transactions, accounting information in companies that use double-entry bookkeeping is simple to prepare. Businesses must produce accurate financial statements in a timely and efficient manner. Financial statements are used by management to determine how well their companies are performing financially and to create budgets. Because of the dual effect, the double-entry system is precise and thorough. It adheres to generally accepted accounting principles where every transaction gets tracked by a comprehensive interface.


In essence, assets are the things that the corporation possesses. Assets include items such as office furniture, computers, cash, accounts receivable, and so on. Liabilities, on the other hand, are sums of money payable by the company, for example, loans, money owed for items given, or for expenses. Lastly, Capital is what the owner of the firm invests in the form of cash or other assets such as motor cars, premises, and so on. Capital, in its most basic form, refers to the finances brought in by a company’s owner to start up the business. In these types of transactions, general observation can be made.

Your liabilities increase because you will need to pay your creditor back. This is why you need to record two entries for each transaction instead of just one. Additionally, the same transaction would require a credit to the other account involved in the transaction. The business also paid its electric bill, but it is not clear whether the business still has a balance with the electric company or not.

  • For each transaction, the total amount debited must equal the total amount credited.
  • Best accounting software for small businesses can help you choose the right option for you.
  • The credits are recorded on the right side of the balance sheet.
  • Lots of freelancers and sole proprietors use this method because it’s fast and easy.

Bookkeepers become fluent in the language very quickly and begin to think in terms of T- accounts, which are visual representations of accounts listing debits on the left and credits on the right. Double-entry accounting is also the foundation for accrual-basis accounting. Most companies adhere to this accounting method because it provides a more accurate picture of their financial health. As with all rules, there are exceptions, but Marilyn’s reference to the accounting equation may help you to learn whether an account should be debited or credited. The entry is a debit of $4,000 to the fixed assets account and a credit of $4,000 to the cash account. You buy $1,000 of goods with the intention of later selling them to a third party.

As a result, every transaction is recorded in two accounts, a process known as double-entry. General journals are often used to record daily transactions. For example, when a sale is made, the amount of the sale is recorded in the sales journal. When a vendor is paid, the payment amount is recorded in the cash disbursements journal.


Successful branding is why fashions by Georgio Armani bring to mind style, exclusiveness, desirability. Branding is why riding Harley Davidson motorcycles makes a statement about the owner’s lifestyle. Strong branding ultimately pays off in customer loyalty, competitive edge, and bankable brand equity. Free AccessFinancial Modeling ProUse the financial model to help everyone understand exactly where your cost and benefit figures come from.

double entry accounting example

Marilyn points back to the basic accounting equation and tells Joe that if he memorizes this simple equation, it will be easier to understand the debits and credits. Double-entry bookkeeping is an accounting method where you equally record a transaction in two or more accounts. A credit is made in at least one account, and a debit is made in at least one other account. Here’s how paying an employee could look – the details will depend on your chart of accounts. You’re increasing your expenses with a debit entry and decreasing your cash with a credit entry. Accurate bookkeeping is essential for tracking where and when a company spends and earns its money. While a single-entry accounting system may be appropriate for some small businesses, a double-entry accounting system may be required to ensure you’re getting a complete picture.

In this article, we’ll explain what double-entry accounting is, how it differs from single-entry accounting, list benefits and give examples of double-accounting. Essentially, the representation equates all uses of capital to all sources of capital (where debt capital leads to liabilities and equity capital leads to shareholders’ equity). For a company keeping accurate accounts, every single business transaction will be represented in at least of its two accounts. For example, let’s say you run, a company that allows users to buy, sell, and trade bagels. You use Modern Treasury to move funds between customer accounts you operate on behalf of your customers.

Best Free Accounting Software For 2022

It is expensive to maintain a double-entry accounting system. It can be difficult for particularly small businesses to maintain the number of books required. We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. Our priority at The Blueprint is helping businesses find the best solutions to improve their bottom lines and make owners smarter, happier, and richer.

  • Expense accounts and asset accounts will increase when they are debited.
  • Unlike single-entry accounting, double entries cover liabilities and assets.
  • There are two different ways to record the effects of debits and credits on accounts in the double-entry system of bookkeeping.
  • Bench gives you a dedicated bookkeeper supported by a team of knowledgeable small business experts.
  • Conversely, a rise in the account balance is shown by a debit entry for assets and expenses.

The debits increase assets or the expense account of the concerned person. Credits, on the other hand, decrease the expense account and increase the equity account. How the bookkeeper and accountant handle each transaction for an account depends on which of the five account categories includes the account. Also, whether a debit or a credit increases or decreases double entry accounting example the account balance also depends on the account’s category. Exhibit 1 summarizes debit and credit conventions for the five account types. The double-entry approach, in other words, was a response to merchants, bankers, and investors, who found simple cash basis accounting inadequate. They needed systems that support better forms of error-checking.

Most of the accounting software today uses a double-entry system. Futuristic decisions can be sound in nature due to the intricate recording of financial transactions. Liability Account – This account shows what the same individual or entity owes to the market.

For the sale of stock to investors, you would generate cash and increase equity. Amanda Bellucco-Chatham is an editor, writer, and fact-checker with years of experience researching personal finance topics. Specialties include general financial planning, career development, lending, retirement, tax preparation, and credit.

Types Of Accounts

Double-entry bookkeeping is designed to reflect the greatest truism of business – you don’t get anything for nothing. If something comes into your business, it’s because you gave something up. Free AccessProject Progress ProFinish time-critical projects on time with the power of statistical process control tracking. The Excel-based system makes project control charting easy, even for those with little or no background in statistics. Free AccessFinancial Metrics ProKnow for certain you are using the right metrics in the right way. Handbook, textbook, and live templates in one Excel-based app.

Double‐entry Bookkeeping

Another column will contain the name of the nominal ledger account describing what each value is for. The total of the debit column must equal the total of the credit column. This is always the case except for when a business transaction only affects one side of the accounting equation.

Each individual’s unique needs should be considered when deciding on chosen products. If a transaction occurred in which your assets increased, this would require a debit to the asset account involved. The following journal entries will show what the above transactions would look like in a double-entry accounting system. We are going to list both the advantages and disadvantages of a single entry accounting system. This is different than single-entry accounting, in which only expenses and revenue are tracked. Use our balance sheet template in Excel to track your assets and liabilities.