Bookkeeping Debits and Credits in the Accounts


For instance, if you did not know the equity of the company but did know its liabilities and assets, you could subtract liabilities from assets in order to determine the equity. Companies compute the accounting equation from their balance sheet. They prove that the financial statements balance and the double-entry accounting system works. The company’s assets are equal to the sum of its liabilities and equity.

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Thus liability accounts such as Accounts Payable, Notes Payable, Wages Payable, and Interest Payable should have credit balances. X purchases new equipment worth $2,000 which decreases its assets and increases its assets. Taking an example of a corporation X to see how its business transactions affect its expanded equation.

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This accounting equation is also prepared in the same conjunction as the balance sheet. If we refer to any balance sheet, we can realize that the assets and liabilities and the shareholder’s equity are represented as of a particular date and time. Hence, as of January 15, only three accounts exist with a balance – Cash, Furniture A/C, and Service Revenue .

This transaction affects both sides of the accounting equation; both the left and right sides of the equation increase by +$250. This transaction affects only the assets of the equation; therefore there is no corresponding effect in liabilities or shareholder’s equity on the right side of the equation. Bankrupt, its assets are sold and these funds are used to settle its debts first. Only after debts are settled are shareholders entitled to any of the company’s assets to attempt to recover their investment. Woofer creates a new “account payable” and adds its value to Accounts payable. Note especially that Accounts payable is a liabilities account, and therefore its balance increases with a credit transaction.

Owners’ Equity

More precisely, a company uses assets to generate revenue; this is everything that the company owns. Liabilities and equity represent the means of acquiring and owning the assets. So, on the left-hand side of the equation you have everything the business owns and on the right-hand side of the equation you have everything the company owes. We will use the accounting equation to explain why we sometimes debit an account and at other times we credit an account.

  • These may include loans, accounts payable, mortgages, deferred revenues, bond issues, warranties, and accrued expenses.
  • So, on the left-hand side of the equation you have everything the business owns and on the right-hand side of the equation you have everything the company owes.
  • The owner’s equity represents the amount that is invested by the owner in the company plus the net profit retained in the company.
  • Metro Corporation earned a total of $10,000 in service revenue from clients who will pay in 30 days.
  • The accounting equation makes sure the balance sheet is balanced, showing that transactions are recorded accurately.
  • The new corporation purchased new asset for $500 but will pay for them later.

In other words, this equation allows businesses to determine revenue as well as prepare a statement of retained earnings. This then allows them to predict future profit trends and adjust business practices accordingly. Thus, the accounting equation is an essential step in determining company profitability. Here are the different ways the basic accounting equation is used in real-life situations. The following examples also show the double entry practice that maintains the balance of the equation.

Example Basic Accounting Equation

Explore ouraccounting degree programs, including ourBachelor’s in Accounting, Master’s in Accountingor MBA with a Specialization in Accounting. Is a factor in almost every aspect of your business accounting. Obligations owed to other companies and people are considered liabilities and can be categorized as current and long-term liabilities. You can start learning these accounting skills today with Forage’s accounting and finance virtual experience programs. Barbara is currently a financial writer working with successful B2B businesses, including SaaS companies. She is a former CFO for fast-growing tech companies and has Deloitte audit experience.


As you will see, on the left-hand side of the equation a debit increases an account, and on the right-hand side of the equation, a credit increases an account. It’s important to note that here, debit and credit are not defined by their everyday usage. Whether or not a debit or credit increases an account is indicated by these signs visible in the image below. Therefore expense accounts will have their balances on the left side. Stockholders’ equity is on the right side of the accounting equation.

Owner’s Equity

Their share repurchases impact both the capital and retained earnings balances. You don’t need to use the company’s Cash Flow Statement to compute the accounting equation. T Accounts are informal financial records used by a company as part of the double-entry bookkeeping process.


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