What Is The Accounting Equation?

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the accounting equation is defined as

The accounting equation states that the total assets of the individual or the business equals the sum of the liabilities and equity. In the case of an individual, the total What is bookkeeping assets equal the sum of liabilities and owners equity, whereas in the case of a company, the sum of assets equals the sum of liabilities and stockholders equity.

Debt can help you continue your operations and expand until you receive the money or make more sales. However, responsible companies can use debt to invest in their operations. Debt financing is usually cheaper than equity financing due to tax advantages of borrowing vs. raising capital via equity channels. When you make a sale and extend credit to the customer, you will not receive cash immediately for the transaction. Financing business operations are beyond the scope of this article. But a proper understanding of the accounting equation is a great start. Keeping in mind how assets are financed will go a long way in understanding how the accounting equation operates.

The investors interpret whether the company has enough assets or many liabilities or is performing well in the financial matter. A company’s quarterly and annual reports are basically derived directly from the accounting equations used in bookkeeping practices. These equations, entered in a business’s general ledger, will provide the material that eventually makes up the foundation of a business’s financial statements. This includes expense reports, cash flow, interest and loan payments, salaries, and company investments.

This global adherence makes the account-keeping system and tally system standardized globally, and it is much easier to perform. The accounting equation ensures that every transaction recorded has a dual effect, and there is a relationship between the three components of the balance sheet. An asset is a resource controlled by a business which is of economic use to the business. Examples of assets include land, buildings, vehicles, inventory, accounts receivable, cash and cash equivalents, etc.

  • The equation here ensures that the sum of debits and credits always matches up to the company assets.
  • Similar to liabilities capital is also an obligation of the business to pay to the owner; however business is not obligated to pay the amount of capital in the normal course of events.
  • It offers key information to banks, creditors, or investors who are either checking the loan application or thinking to invest in the firm.
  • Course Hero is not sponsored or endorsed by any college or university.
  • The purpose of earning revenues is to benefit the stockholders of the business.

Rieva is a small-business contributor for Fundbox and CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. She has spent 30+ years covering, consulting, and speaking to small businesses owners and entrepreneurs. Having increases on one side and decreases on the other reduces recording errors and helps in determining the totals of each side of the account as well as the account balance.

Expanded Accounting Equation:

In order to understand the accounting equation, you have to understand its three parts. Good examples of assets are cash, land, buildings, equipment, and supplies. Money that is owed to a company by its customers, Accounting Periods and Methods which is known as accounts receivable, is also an asset. A financial statement that presents the revenues and expenses and resulting net income or net loss of a company for a specific period of time.

It can be regarded as the very basis of maintaining accounts for any particular organization. The accounting equation is further extended mainly through the equity point of view. The equity is split into owner’s capital, owner’s withdrawal, revenue, and expenses. Not only does the balance sheet reflect the basic accounting equation as implemented, but also the income statement. In its most basic form, the accounting equation shows what a company owns, what a company owes, and what stake the owners have in the business. These are the resources that the company has to use in the future like cash, accounts receivable, equipment, and land.

the accounting equation is defined as

Liabilities means the items or resources of value a company owes or needs to pay to a third party. It includes long-term debt, rent, taxes, salaries, wages, utilities, and dividends payable. Thus, although the accounting equation formula seems like a one-liner, it contains a lot of meaning to it and can be explored deeper with complex expense entries as well. Rule Of AccountingAccounting rules are guidelines to follow for registering daily transactions in the entity book through the double-entry system.

ShareholdersA shareholder is an individual or an institution that owns one or more shares of stock in a public or a private corporation and, therefore, are the legal owners of the company. The ownership percentage depends on the number of shares they hold against the company’s total shares. It is shown as the part of owner’s equity in the liability side of the balance sheet of the company.

More About Definition And Explanation Of Accounting Equation

It tells us how much money any business has in the bank and how likely it is for the business to meet all its financial obligations. It also helps us in evaluating the amount of profit or loss that a business has incurred since its inception.

the accounting equation is defined as

In order to avoid unnecessary detail in the owner’s capital balance, a separate record is kept for drawings to include all the withdrawals made by the owner during the year. At the end of accounting period, the total amount in the drawing account is closed and adjusted against the owner’s capital to determine the net value of owner’s investment left within the business after all withdrawals. In financial accounting, an asset is any resource owned by the business. Anything tangible or intangible that can be owned or controlled to produce value and that is held by a company to produce positive economic value is an asset.

The normal balance of an account is on the side where an increase in the account is recorded. Knowing the normal balance of an account may help you trace errors. We use the terms debit and credit repeatedly in the recording process to describe where entries are made in accounts.

Definition And Explanation Of Accounting Equation

The third part of the accounting equation is shareholder equity. It amazes me how those men and women manage to walk across that thin wire stretched way above the ground. What also amazes me is that the thing they use to keep their balance is just a long pole. It’s hard to believe, but did you know that an accountant and a tightrope walker have the same goal?

When entrepreneurs set up a business, the assets of the business (such as office equipment, inventories, cash, etc.) come from two sources. They are either purchased using cash invest in the business by the owners (i.e. equity), or they are purchased using loans obtained from third parties (i.e. liabilities). This also holds true for additional investments of capital made or additional loans obtained. It is the most basic principle of financial accounting and it underlies the double entry accounting. An income statement is prepared to reflect the company’s total expenses and total income to calculate the net income to be used for further purposes. This statement is also prepared in the same conjunction as the balance sheet.

Liabilities are a company’s obligations—amounts the company owes. The accounting equation shows the balance of a company’s resources . The company’s assets are shown on the left side of the equation, and the liabilities and equity are shown on the right side. The equation illustrates that all of a company’s resources are provided by their creditors or their owners . The concept of the expanded accounting equation does not extend to the asset and liability sides of the accounting equation, since those elements are not directly altered by changes in the income statement. Thus, there is no need to show additional detail for the asset or liability sides of the accounting equation.

But that would be more a function of an audit task rather than using the accounting equation to determine the financing the accounting equation is defined as of individual assets. For instance, companies could pay cash for an asset, but where did that cash come from?

Since the balance sheet is founded on the principles of the accounting equation, this equation can also be said to be responsible for estimating the net worth of an entire company. The fundamental components of the accounting equation include the calculation of both company holdings and company debts; thus, it allows owners to gauge the total value of a firm’s assets. Now that we’ve explored income and how it is recorded on an accrual or cash basis, let’s take a look at expenses.

It is defined as the value of the assets contributed by the owners. The total equity value is computed by adding equity value to the total income earned and retained by the company. Shareholders’ equity means the amount that a company needs to return to its shareholders if all the assets were liquated and all liabilities are paid off. In June 20X3, Kumar Sangakara started a tourism business with LKR 15 million in personal savings. Out of the money he invested, he purchased office building worth LKR 10 million and office equipment worth LKR 3 million. He kept LKR 2 million in cash to pay routine expenditures and obtained 10 vehicles from Marwan Atapatu Bank for total value of LKR 20 million. Rules Of DebitDebit is an entry in the books of accounts, which either increases the assets or decreases the liabilities.

What Is A Debit And Credit In Accounting?

Expenses can be defined as events that result in money leaving, or flowing out of, your business . The money may be flowing out of the business immediately, or at a later date, such as with the payment of a bill at the end of a payment term. Some common examples of expenses include wages paid to employees, insurance, and loan payments. Whereas an increase in income leads to an increase in owner’s equity, expenses and owner’s equity are conversely related, meaning that as expenses go up, owner’s equity goes down, and vice versa. The balance sheet shows a company’s financial position at the end of a specific period.


The key roles of the accounting equation incorporate the calculation of company holdings and company debts that let company owners find out the total value of an asset of the firm. Then this transaction will have two effects on the balance sheet.

A Little More On Accounting Equation

The worth of an owner in an asset or group of assets is called an equity. One of the most important uses of this equation occurs as the foundation of the double-entry bookkeeping system which is used for keeping track of debits and credits.

Asset is any property owned by an individual or a company, which has some value and is able to meet debts, commitments and legacies. Liability represents legal debts that occur in business during the course of business operations. Equity represents the ownership in any asset after the debts connected to that asset are paid off.

From the following statements, identify the correct definition of equity. When there is a purchase of an asset in a company, the purchase amount should also be withdrawn from some account in the company . Hence, the account from where the amount is withdrawn gets credited, and there needs to be an account debited accounting for the asset purchased . Unearned revenue from the money you have yet to receive for services or products that you have not yet delivered is considered a liability. Obligations owed to other companies and people are considered liabilities and can be categorized as current and long-term liabilities.

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