• Created by: latifat
  • Created on: 02-10-17 09:45

What is an Account

To keep a company's financial data organized, accountants developed a system that sorts transactions into records called accounts. When a company's accounting system is set up, the accounts most likely to be affected by the company's transactions are identified and listed out. This list is referred to as the company's chart of accounts. Depending on the size of a company and the complexity of its business operations, the chart of accounts may list as few as thirty accounts or as many as thousands. A company has the flexibility of tailoring its chart of accounts to best meet its needs.

Within the chart of accounts the balance sheet accounts are listed first, followed by the income statement accounts. In other words, the accounts are organized in the chart of accounts as follows:

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Debit and Credit

Generally these types of accounts are increased with a debit:

Dividends (Draws)

You might think of D - E - A - L when recalling the accounts that are increased with a debit.

Generally the following types of accounts are increased with a credit:

Stockholders' (Owner's) Equity

You might think of G - I - R - L - S when recalling the accounts that are increased with a credit.

To decrease an account you do the opposite of what was done to increase the account. For example, an asset account is increased with a debit. Therefore it is decreased with a credit.The abbreviation for debit is dr. and the abbreviation for credit is cr.

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  1. On June 1, 2016 a company borrows $5,000 from its bank. This causes the company's asset Cash to increase by $5,000 and its liability Notes Payable to also increase by $5,000. To increase the asset Cash the account needs to be debited. To increase the company's liability Notes Payable this account needs to be credited. 


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What is the double entry system?

The double entry system of accounting or bookkeeping means that every business transaction will involve two accounts (or more). For example, when a company borrows money from its bank, the company's Cash account will increase and its liability account Loans Payable will increase. If a company pays $200 for an advertisement, its Cash account will decrease and its account Advertising Expense will increase.

Double entry also allows for the accounting equation (assets = liabilities + owner's equity) to always be in balance. In our example involving Advertising Expense, the accounting equation remained in balance because expenses cause owner's equity to decrease. In that example, the asset Cash decreased and the owner's capital account within owner's equity also decreased.

A third aspect of double entry is that the amounts entered into the general ledger accounts as debits must be equal to the amounts entered as credits.

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