Debits vs. Credits

Accounting lingo can get a bit confusing at times and no where quicker than debits vs. credits. Most business managers and individuals without a finance background have found themselves buried in a torrent of debit and credit conversations with their accountant at least few times. Hereâ s a quick guide on what those mean. Debits and credits are the basis of double-entry bookkeeping, for every debit there is a credit. This shows that the impact of any form of transaction will have at least two impacts on the financial statements.

Debits and credits either reduce or increase the balance of an account, depending on the type of account.

Debits Credits
Balance Sheet
  • Increase Asset Accounts
  • Decrease Liability Accounts
  • Decrease Equity Accounts
  • Increase Liability Account
  • Increase Equity Accounts
  • Decrease Asset Accounts
Income Statement
  • Increase Expense Accounts
  • Decrease Revenue Accounts
  • Increase Revenue Accounts
  • Decrease Expense Accounts
Now when your accountant tells you that heâ ll credit the cash account and debit the liability account you know heâ s talking about reducing cash and reducing the liability (heâ s probably talking about paying a bill). This quick table should help you decipher some of the conversations and e-mails from your accountant.
By Jeffrey Glen

Copyrighted 2016. Content published with author's permission.

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