Double Entry Accounting Examples and Explanation

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Ava is a software developer who buys a new laptop for her freelance business for $1,500. Use a double-entry system of accounting to record the transaction. The essential rule of a double-entry accounting system is that every credit in one book of accounts must have a corresponding debit in another book of accounts. Online, open source and free accounting software for small businesses. In fact, a double-entry bookkeeping system is essential to any company with more than one employee or that has inventory, debts, or several accounts.

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A debit ticket is an accounting entry that indicates a sum of money that the business owes. Double entry is an accounting term stating that every financial transaction has equal and opposite effects in at least two different accounts. This then gives you and your investors or bank manager a good picture of the financial health of your business.

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While your ledger gives you an idea of how much money is in your account, it does nothing to help you track your expenses, or know how much money your customers owe you. The closest example of this basic accounting is the bank account ledger you use to keep track of your spending. #3 – Nominal Accounts – Debit all Expenses and Losses and Credit all Incomes and Gains.

  • A debit ticket is an accounting entry that indicates a sum of money that the business owes.
  • A debit results in an increase in an asset account or a decrease in a liability or equity account.
  • With single entries, fraudulent activities become common, and tampering with the record is usual for companies.
  • For example, if John lends $300 to Adam, Adam’s savings account will have a debit of $300 , and his payable account will have a credit of $300 .
  • The basic accounting equation gives a high-level view of a company’s financial health.

It also helped merchants and bankers understand their costs and profits. Some thinkers have argued that double-entry accounting was a key calculative technology responsible for the birth of capitalism. With a double entry system, credits are offset by debits in a general ledger or T-account. The 15th-century Franciscan Friar Luca Pacioli is often credited with being the first to write about modern accounting methods like double-entry accounting. He was simply the first to describe the accounting methods that were already common practice among merchants in Venice.

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You’ll be ahead of the game if you’re already using double-entry bookkeeping. Plus, more accurate data means they can give you better advice on tax deductions and the financial health of your business. Remember that example where you bought $5,000 of equipment for your business?

  • When a company buys a new delivery car, it gives the car dealership cash and receives the car in exchange.
  • Remember that example where you bought $5,000 of equipment for your business?
  • To illustrate how single-entry accounting works, say you pay $1,500 to attend a conference.
  • In accounting, a debit refers to an entry on the left side of an account ledger, and credit refers to an entry on the right side of an account ledger.

By using double-debit memo accounting, you can be sure all of your transactions are following the rules of the accounting equation. Method Of AccountingAccounting methods define the set of rules and procedure that an organization must adhere to while recording the business revenue and expenditure. Cash accounting and accrual accounting are the two significant accounting methods. System Of AccountingAccounting systems are used by organizations to record financial information such as income, expenses, and other accounting activities. They serve as a key tool for monitoring and tracking the company’s performance and ensuring the smooth operation of the firm.

He is a CFA charterholder as well as holding FINRA Series 7, 55 & 63 licenses. He currently researches and teaches economic sociology and the social studies of finance at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. A second popular mnemonic is DEA-LER, where DEA represents Dividend, Expenses, Assets for Debit increases, and Liabilities, Equity, Revenue for Credit increases.

Helps Companies Make Better Financial Decisions

A credit entry raises the balance of revenue and liability or equity accounts. It’s easier to explain debits and credits as accounting concepts, as opposed to physical things. Every transaction within your business produces a debit in one account and a credit in the other.

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Additionally, the nature of the account structure makes it easier to trace back through entries to find out where an error originated. The total amount of the transactions in each case must balance out, ensuring that all dollars are accounted for. Debits are typically noted on the left side of the ledger, while credits are typically noted on the right side. Under the double entry system, future courses are decided by comparing the previous years to the current year’s income expenditure, assets and liabilities. Credit accounts are revenue accounts and liability accounts that usually have credit balances. Debit balances should always equal credit balances in a double-entry system.

To be in balance, the total of debits and credits for a transaction must be equal. Debits do not always equate to increases and credits do not always equate to decreases. Credits are recorded on the right side of a T account in a ledger. Credits increase balances in liability accounts, revenue accounts, and capital accounts, and decrease balances in asset accounts and expense accounts.


Under the double entry system, company profit or loss is determined by preparing income statements for a certain period. It is not used in daybooks , which normally do not form part of the nominal ledger system. Let’s consider the transactions taken in the above examples and apply these rules to see the dual accounts involved in every transaction. Double Entry System of Accounting means every business transaction involves at least two accounts.

For those who do not know about single-entry or double-entry accounting, we’ll ease you into both. However, this will also be a good read if familiar but in a dilemma of which is best for your business. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. He is the sole author of all the materials on This single-entry bookkeeping is a simple way of showing the flow of one account. Public companies must use the double-entry bookkeeping system and follow any rules and methods outlined by GAAP or IFRS .

Whereas, the owner’s claim on the business is recorded on the left side of the Capital Account. As a result, the difference between the two sides, if any, reveals the amount owed by the business to the owner. Whereas, the right side is called the credit side of the T- Account.

Single entry vs Double entry Accounting Explained

DebitCreditCash$10,000Notes Payable$10,000Double-entry bookkeeping is based on balancing the accounting equation. However, satisfying the equation does not guarantee a lack of errors; the ledger may still “balance” even if the wrong ledger accounts have been debited or credited. Double-entry accounting is a system that records every financial transaction in two accounts, one account has a debit, and the other has a credit.

The double-entry system of bookkeeping standardizes the accounting process and improves the accuracy of prepared financial statements, allowing for improved detection of errors. From these nominal ledger accounts, a trial balance can be created. The trial balance lists all the nominal ledger account balances. The list is split into two columns, with debit balances placed in the left hand column and credit balances placed in the right hand column. 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.

Double- bookkeeping is an accounting technique that records a debit and credit for each financial transaction occurring within a company. Companies benefit greatly from using double-entry bookkeeping because it aids in accurate financial reporting and reduces errors and fraudulent activity. Liabilities and equity affect assets and vice versa, so as one side of the equation changes, the other side does, too. This helps explain why a single business transaction affects two accounts as opposed to just one. For example, when you take out a business loan, you increase your liabilities account because you’ll need to pay your lender back in the future.


For this method to work, you will have to record these entries in the proper financial statements, including your balance sheet and income statement. Origins of the debit and credit systemdates back to the late fifteenth century. In accounting, the duality concept, also known as the dual aspect concept, refers to how each transaction made affects a business in two aspects.