Double Entry System in Accounting Advantages, Examples & Types


There are strict rules and concepts in this system, making it challenging to learn. Small business owners who are already overworked may become discouraged as a result. To understand what the double entry system of accounting is, we must first understand that there are two sides to every transaction. A single entry keeps incomplete records, but a double-entry keeps both sides of records.

Hence, the double-entry system of accounting suggests that every debit should have a corresponding credit. I) Before you get started, you should spend some time getting familiar with the fundamentals of debits and credits. In a bookkeeping method known as “double entry,” each transaction will involve a debit as well as a credit entry.

Credit Aspects- The another aspects may be Giving aspects, outgoing aspects or income aspects. The double-entry system of accounting involves recording transactions with two parties and an exchange of equal amounts of money. Income accounts are further classified into Gains and revenue accounts. Other examples include income from interest and services revenue.

The terms debit and credit should not be taken to mean, respectively, favorable and unfavorable things. As has been seen previously, what has been given above is suitable only if the number of transactions is small. But if the number is large, a different procedure of putting increases and decreases in different columns will be useful and this will also yield significant information. The transactions given above are being shown below according to this method. The financial position of the firm or the institution concerned can be ascertained at the end of each period, through preparation of the balance sheet.

All debits don’t generally increase the account nor do all credits decreases the accounts. A debit entry may increase one record and in the meantime decline another record. The double entry system of bookkeeping can be traced back to early middle age and if records are to be believed, it’s been in practice even before the 12th century. The man behind this popular method of booking was the Italian mathematician Luca Pacioli who first published his comprehensive thesis on the principles of Double Entry System in 1494. Every account in a business transaction takes the format of letter T. Such accounts have a left and a right side that record increase or decrease in the particular item.

Double Entry System: Definition of Double Entry System, Features and 3 Principles

As a result of this, in order to correctly record transactions, you need to have an understanding of how these two concepts function. The total debits must equal the total credits for each transaction, according to the double entry principle, which serves as the cornerstone of all double entry systems. In other words, the debits and credits must always match when transactions are entered into ledger accounts. In a double-entry accounting system, every transaction is recorded in two or more separate accounts. The ledger is balanced by recording equal debit and credit entries for each transaction. This system ensures preliminary accuracy by comparing whether the debit and credit sides of each entry are equal.

A single entry system refers to the form of bookkeeping where each company maintains its financial transactions in a single-entry log. The single-entry system does not involve any formal training and is usually based on new businesses because of its cost-effectiveness and simplicity. On the other hand, using the double-entry system can be beneficial when producing an enterprise’s trial balance and statement of changes in financial situation. To apply these principles, one must first determine the type of account. These form the basis of accounting and are thus referred to as the Golden Rules of accounting. Without knowing the golden rules of accounting, one cannot make journal entries and thus cannot accurately account for transactions.

  • On the other hand, using the double-entry system can be beneficial when producing an enterprise’s trial balance and statement of changes in financial situation.
  • The records in the double-entry system affect all the transactions in the business.
  • Although double-entry accounting does not prevent errors entirely, it limits the effect any errors have on the overall accounts.
  • It records two aspects of each transaction simultaneously in two separate accounts giving their names debit’ and ‘credit’ respectively.
  • This system gives you a clearer picture of your finances and can help you avoid making mistakes.

On the other hand, money raised has been invested in two types of assets–fixed assets and current assets. In the case of liabilities and capital, increases are recorded on the right-hand side and decreases on the left-hand side. Familiarize with the term ‘account’ and understand the classification of accounts into personal, real and nominal.

Principles of double entry system

This principle is the foundation of Double Entry System of accounting. So let’s understand what is Double Entry System of accounting given this in the backdrop. Thus, all financial transactions have an opposite and equal entry in at least two different accounts. The double-entry system of bookkeeping is widely used, and it includes detailed descriptions of the services and products, expenses, income, bad debt, loans, etc. Once your double-entry accounting system is in place, you must choose which transactions should be recorded as credits and which as debits. Liabilities and revenues are typically classified as credits, while assets and expenses are debits.

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All the double entry system of accounting means transactions recorded in the books of accounts are based on this principle of accounting. The single entry system records the description, date, transaction value, expenses and income, and lastly balance. This is maintained while doing every transaction for the company. According to the Dual Aspect Concept, all business transactions have a two-way or dual effect. This tells us that the business transaction of the particular entity has a minimum of two accounts which are recorded in the books. Over time, the double entry system became the standard method of bookkeeping used by businesses around the world.

Debits are typically noted on the left side of the ledger, while credits are typically noted on the right side. Peggy James is an expert in accounting, corporate finance, and personal finance. He was well-known as the Father of Accounting, and he explained the double entry accounting method in detail to readers.

History of Double Entry System

If you aren’t sure how to classify a transaction, you should talk to an accountant or other financial expert right away. The double entry system is the preferred method of bookkeeping for most businesses because it provides a more complete and accurate picture of their financial transactions. Journal Entry means recording business transactions in the journal for each transaction a separate entry is record.

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The meaning of the double-entry system is generally based on the Dual Aspect Concept. The Dual Aspect Concept is based on the fundamentals of accounting principles. All the transactions related to the business are recorded in the book which is specifically based on the principle of accounting. All the day to day finally activities are recorded and measured by the accounting and bookkeeping process. An event between two economic entities like between customer and business, or vendor and business-like known as a transaction. However, this system does not provide a complete picture of the business’s financial transactions, and it is difficult to track the flow of funds and identify errors in the records.

This has necessitated the understanding of various types of accounts that are pertinent to the double-entry system. If there is a Double-entry system, what happened to the Single-entry system? This bookkeeping system deserves mention in this section before we understand what the Double entry system brought to the table.

The single entry system is not accepted by the tax department but the double-entry system is accepted by the taxation department. Frauds are easily detectable in a double-entry system, whereas they are not in a single entry system. Expense Account – This account reflects the total expenditure on goods and services, brand-lifting costs, advertising and publicity charges, etc. Revenue Account – This account is used to track the cash received by the account entity in revenues or interest.

A transaction for $1000 must be credited $1000 and debited $1000. The system is based on recording each business transaction as two financial changes, recorded as debits or credits in separate accounts. In a double-entry accounting system, each transaction is recorded in at least two different types of accounts, such as assets, liabilities, owner’s equity, revenue, and expenses.

A double-entry bookkeeping system is where a corresponding entry is made for every transaction, i. The basis of the double-entry bookkeeping system is that every transaction has two parts and affects two ledger accounts. The double-entry system of bookkeeping deals with two or more accounts for every business transaction. The system of book-keeping recognizes two aspects of a transaction and records them giving their names of debit and credit in two separate accounts with equal effect. As a result, the total of all debits equals the total of all credit or vice versa. A double-entry bookkeeping system is where a corresponding entry is made for every transaction, i.e. debits and credits.

Organisations use either a single entry or a double-entry system to record transactions. The first is easier and takes less time, while the second completely records all transactions that require a lot of time and effort. Credits to one account must equal debits to another to keep the equation in balance.

A transaction is a two way process in which value is transferred from one party to another. In it either a party receives a value in terms of goods etc. and passes the value in terms of money or vice versa. Therefore, one can easily make out that in a transaction, a party receives as well as passes the value to other party. For recording transaction it is very important that they are supported by a substantial document like purchasing invoices, bills, pay-slips, cash-memos, passbook etc. Double-entry accounting refers to the method of bookkeeping which helps a company to maintain its account and keep it balanced which shows the true picture of the finances of the company. Double-entry refers to the use of an accounting asset which is a summation of liabilities and equity.

Its widespread adoption was due in part to the rise of capitalism and the need for businesses to maintain accurate financial records. The double entry system of accounting maintains comprehensive, chronological records of every single transaction that a business enters into. This gives plenty of scope to make detailed charts on the growth of the business. There are accounting ratios that analysts use, which can only be derived from double entry books of accounts.

– Quasi Single Entry

Read our article ‘Golden Rules of Accounting – Debit and Credit’ to know in detail with examples. If you’re still having trouble, try looking at your transactions from an alternative perspective. Look at them in terms of what went into and what came out of your business, rather than what was debited and what was credited. This can help you identify any possible inconsistencies in your entries.

Our Goods & Services Tax course includes tutorial videos, guides and expert assistance to help you in mastering Goods and Services Tax. Clear can also help you in getting your business registered for Goods & Services Tax Law. The detailed records of accounts maintained under the double-entry system can also be used for comparison purposes. The details of the previous year can be compared with the details of the current year, and any deviations found during comparison can be worked on. Hire a seasoned accountant or bookkeeper to help you with your double-entry accounting system if you’re still having issues. They will be able to point out any errors you may have made and provide advice on how to correct them.

This is the recording of the double effect of every transaction which gave birth to the Double Entry System. For example, a copywriter buys a new laptop computer for his business for $1000. He credits his technology expense account $1000 and debits his cash account $1000. This is because his technology expense assets are now worth $1000 more and he has $1000 less in cash.

debit entry

The purchase of office furniture shall be recorded in a double-entry system as follows. Keep this simple rule in mind when using the double-entry bookkeeping system. The double-entry system makes it easy for the business to identify dues owed to lenders, suppliers, and service providers.

  • Errors cannot be easily found in a single entry system while errors can be easily detected in a double-entry system.
  • The system was also facilitated by the development of paper and the printing press, which made it easier to create and maintain written records.
  • The meaning of the double-entry system is generally based on the Dual Aspect Concept.
  • For example, when a company buys inventory, it must record it in both the purchase/supplies account and the accounts payable.
  • In other words, the debits and credits must always match when transactions are entered into ledger accounts.
  • The business results of the current year can be compared with those of the previous years and also with other business firms.

For example, when a company buys inventory, it must record it in both the purchase/supplies account and the accounts payable. Both the supplies and accounts payable ledgers will increase by the amount of the purchase. The records in the single entry system are only related to business. The records in the double-entry system affect all the transactions in the business. The continuous process of tracking changes in various types of accounts while continued business operations are known as accounting and book-keeping.


In addition to the personal and cash accounts, several subsidiary accounts are maintained in this method of accounting. Additional important information, such as wages, rent, and salaries, is also available. Since the cable bill is a nominal account, the expense of the bill is debited, and the cash account is credited, being a real account. As the salary is a nominal account, the rule is to debit all expenses and cash, being a real account, is credited as the cash payment reduces the asset. Here is the example of double entry bookkeeping system which shows you how to maintain double entry accounting system. The modern double entry system is an advanced version of the traditional method.

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