T Accounts A Guide to Understanding T Accounts with Examples


The Unearned Revenue account would be used to recognize this liability. This is a liability the company did not have before, thus increasing this account.


All of these transactions must be properly recorded and analyzed. The business earned $10,500 for services rendered to its customers.

T-Account in Accounting

Electronic accounting processes can add another level of security and accuracy to calculations. A T-account isn’t a type of account in your books, but rather a device you use for visualizing how to record an accounting transaction. To record these two movements, every account is divided in two sides. Increase is recorded on one side and decrease is recorded on the other side. It is at the discretion of every company to tailor its chart of accounts to best suit its needs. Depending on the size and nature of a business, the chart of accounts can include a few dozen accounts – or a few thousand.

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Whether a increases or decreases an account’s net balance depends on what kind of account it is. The basic principle is that the account receiving benefit is debited, while the account giving benefit is credited. For instance, an increase in an asset account is a debit. An increase in a liability or an equity account is a credit. As you can see, all of the journal entries are posted to their respective T-accounts. The debits for each transaction are posted on the left side while the credits are posted on the right side. In this example, the column balances are tallied, so you can understand how the T-accounts work.

Credit Account (#

On T Account Examples 3, 2019, issues $20,000 shares of common stock for cash. No matter the account, the debit side is always on the left, and the credit side is always on the right. The terms”Debit” and “Credit,”which accountants learn on their first day of accounting class, are significant and often used terminology in the field. Many small business lenders or grant programs ask for thorough documentation of your business’s financial standing during the approval process. Increases to the Truck Loan account go on the right side of the T; decreases go on the left. Increases to the Vehicles account to go on the left side of the T; decreases go on the right. Increases to the Cash account go on the left side of the T; decreases go on the right.

  • A debit card is used to make a purchase with one’s own money.
  • This T format graphically depicts the debits on the left side of the T and the credits on the right side.
  • At its basis debit simply means left side; credit simply means right side.
  • Adjustments entries are frequently made to make up the differences.
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Again, the customer views the credit as an increase in the customer’s own money and does not see the other side of the transaction. This use of the terms can be counter-intuitive to people unfamiliar with bookkeeping concepts, who may always think of a credit as an increase and a debit as a decrease. This is because most people typically only see their personal bank accounts and billing statements (e.g., from a utility). A depositor’s bank account is actually a Liability to the bank, because the bank legally owes the money to the depositor.

T – Account ExamplesFormat, Cheat Sheet & Examples

The figures on your company’s financial statements tell only a small part of the story even though they reflect the bigger picture. Once the journal entries have been made in the general journal, the next step is to post them to their individual t-accounts in the general ledger. As discussed in the previous step, journal entries are used to record a business transaction and subsequently a change in the accounting equation. The opposite of what increases the account balances will hold to decrease those accounts. For instance, a debit is used to increase an expense account, therefore logically a credit would be used to decrease that account. The left side of any t-account is a debit while the right side is a credit. Debits and credits can be used to increase or decrease the balance of an account.


Let’s illustrate the general journal entries for the two transactions that were shown in the T-accounts above. In double-entry bookkeeping, each accounting entry affects at least two of the company’s accounts. When a debit is entered onto the left side of one account, it sends a credit to the right side of another account. If you enter a transaction on the credit side in one account, there will be a corresponding entry on the debit side of another account.

Top 5 Ways Accounts Are Used in BUSINESS:

It is accepted accounting practice to indent credit transactions recorded within a journal. Liability accounts record debts or future obligations a business or entity owes to others. When one institution borrows from another for a period of time, the ledger of the borrowing institution categorises the argument under liability accounts. Each transaction that takes place within the business will consist of at least one debit to a specific account and at least one credit to another specific account. A debit to one account can be balanced by more than one credit to other accounts, and vice versa. For all transactions, the total debits must be equal to the total credits and therefore balance. Gift cards have become an important topic for managers of any company.

These documents will allow for financial comparisons to previous years, help a company to better manage its expenses, and allow it to strategize for the future. A double entry system is considered complex and is employed by accountants or CPAs . The information they enter needs to be recorded in an easy to understand way. This is why a T account structure is used, to clearly mark the separation between “debits” and “credits”.

How are T-accounts used in accounting?

The same process occurs for the rest of the entries in the ledger and their balances. The following are selected journal entries from Printing Plus that affect the Cash account. We will use the Cash ledger account to calculate account balances.

  • However, it will most likely be caught if there’s an audit.
  • Every day, I receive cash from my coffee sales shown in the debit column on the left.
  • We will use the Cash ledger account to calculate account balances.
  • Write 5,000 in the right Credit column of the Cash T-account.
  • That’s because we increased our rent expense for the amount of the rent.

In the debit column for this cash account, we see that the total is $32,300 (20,000 + 4,000 + 2,800 + 5,500). The credit column totals $7,500 (300 + 100 + 3,500 + 3,600).