Debits and credits

Debits and credits in double-entry bookkeeping are entries made in account ledgers to record changes in value resulting from business transactions. A debit entry in an account represents a transfer of value to that account, and a credit entry represents a transfer from the account.[1][2] Each transaction transfers value from credited accounts to debited accounts. For example, a tenant who writes a rent cheque to a landlord would enter a credit for the bank account on which the cheque is drawn, and a debit in a rent expense account. Similarly, the landlord would enter a credit in the rent income account associated with the tenant and a debit for the bank account where the cheque is deposited.

Debits and credits are traditionally distinguished by writing the transfer amounts in separate columns of an account book. This practice simplified the manual calculation of net balances before the introduction of computers; each column was added separately, and then the smaller total was subtracted from the larger. Alternately, debits and credits can be listed in one column, indicating debits with the suffix "Dr" or writing them plain, and indicating credits with the suffix "Cr" or a minus sign. Debits and credits do not, however, correspond in a fixed way to positive and negative numbers. Instead the correspondence depends on the normal balance convention of the particular account.[3]

  1. ^ McClung, Robert (1913). The Theory of Debit and Credit in Accounting. Retrieved 27 March 2023.
  2. ^ Fisher, Irving (1912). Elementary Principles of Economics. p. 69.
  3. ^ Flannery, David A. (2005). Bookkeeping Made Simple. pp. 18–19.

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