The accounting equation and the principles of double entry bookkeeping

What are T-Accounts

Elsewhere on the P&L you see ‘costs’ or ‘expenses’ which are deducted from revenue and therefore reduce the profit being generated. Note that the word ‘purchases’ relates to the specific cost of items that you buy with the intention of selling on to customers. So whilst you can ‘purchase a till’ for your sandwich shop, this is not categorised as a ‘purchase’ in the same way that buying bread, cheese and ham would be. When you think of any transaction, think about what it does. You have made a sale so your income has increased, if this is the case then per the table you have a credit to sales and you have more cash, a debit in the asset cash.

  • Our Account with them is money that THEY owe us, as you would if you were writing to one of your creditors.
  • However, the steps taken above represent the system that is used in accounting to work out and show the closing balance, and thus should be learned and practiced.
  • Either they struggle collecting payments or have long operating cycles (e.g. projects that take over a year to complete and get paid for).
  • Everything from assets and liabilities to revenues, expenses, and equity.
  • For example, if a business will have trade creditors, a ‘Trade creditors’ nominal ledger account will be needed.
  • On a balance sheet, accounts receivable is always recorded as an asset, hence a debit, because it’s money due to you soon that you’ll own and benefit from when it arrives.

And when you record said transactions, credits and debits come into play. To increase a Credit nominal ledger account, you have to Credit the account. To increase a Debit nominal ledger account, you have to Debit the account. If double entry bookkeeping is done properly, you’ll know where every penny comes from and goes.


When a company is managing its accounts, it will create separate ‘nominal ledger’ accounts where the details of the financial transactions which have taken place are recorded. Could anyone tell me another way to understand the debit and credit on a T account or legder account. When i study the text book, i think i understand real estate bookkeeping then after a while i am lost again. My understanding of a T account is the debit side is where the money goes out and credit is where the money comes in. I keep relating the T account with direct debit and those debit and credit on the bank statement. Sometimes, i am a bit confused with the textbook’s explanation .

What are the 3 parts of T account?

Every T account has three main elements: the account name at the top of the T, a debit entry on the left side, and a credit entry on the right side.

Both the sales account and the sales ledger control account are contained in the nominal ledger and are therefore part of the double entry bookkeeping system. The nominal ledger is where all of the individual ledger accounts are gathered and is also sometimes called the ‘main ledger’ or the ‘general ledger’. Once the customer has paid, you’ll credit the accounts receivable on your trial balance and debit your cash account. And on the balance sheet, you’ll remove the amount from accounts receivable and add it to your cash total . It’s a shortcut that helps students get to the right answer even when they don’t understand fundamental accounting concepts.

Bank Statements – the confusion they cause

Update your ledgers when there are changes to the original transactions or journal entries. The reason this is the opposite to yours is that if you have a DEBIT card bank account with them this is money they owe to you whereas a CREDIT card will be money you owe them. Let’s look at some examples of typical business transactions and how they might impact your accounts. Firstly, you probably know a lot more about debits and credits than you might think, consider your own DEBIT and CREDIT Cards. Compute the difference between the amounts in the debit and credit columns of an account and enter it on the side with the lowest amount as a balance carried down (c/d). One entry is known as a credit entry and the other a debit entry.

If it will incur an expense for heating and lighting, a ‘P&L – Heating and Lighting’ nominal ledger account will be needed. If it has motor vehicles, a ‘Motor Vehicles – cost’ and a ‘Motor Vehicles – accumulated depreciation’ nominal ledger accounts will be needed, etc. On a trial balance, accounts receivable is a debit until the customer pays.