It is fundamental to the double-entry bookkeeping system of accounting, which helps us understand from the illustration above that total assets should be equal to total liabilities. The accounting equation shows on a company’s balance that a company’s total assets are equal to the sum of the company’s liabilities and shareholders’ equity. The buyer pays cash to cover a debt to the seller with two transactions. Firstly, the buyer debits accounts payable, because the debt is now settled, and secondly, the buyer credits for the amount of the payment. These two decreases occur on different sides of the Balance sheet, maintaining the balance.


In the third column, using the accounting equation, calculate the net amount of the asset . When finished, total the columns to determine your net worth. The laptop still costs $1,000, but the business has only $100 in cash assets. Shanti purchases the laptop with a credit card, and the clerk finalizes the sale.

Accounting equation examples

You only enter the transactions once rather than show the impact of the transactions on two or more accounts. The accounting equation comes into play for making quarterly and annual reports of the businesses in bookkeeping practices. It is used in the general ledger of a business to provide the material that eventually makes up the foundation of the financial statements of a business. The double-entry system is accepted and adhered to globally. 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.

What is the accounting equation?

Ans: It is a basic accounting equation that states that the sum total of a company’s liabilities and equity is equal to its assets.

These what is the accounting equation are what the company holds onto at the end of a period to reinvest in the business, after any distributions to ownership occur. Stated more technically, retained earnings are a company’s cumulative earnings since the creation of the company minus any dividends that it has declared or paid since its creation. One tricky point to remember is that retained earnings are not classified as assets.

accounting equation definition

Because there are two or more accounts affected by every transaction carried out by a company, the accounting system is referred to as double-entry accounting. We calculate the expanded accounting equation using 2021 financial statements for this example. To trace back the numbers, refer to the same Alphabet Inc. Balance Sheets shown above and the Income Statement and detailed Statement of Stockholder’s Equity in this section. Share repurchases are called treasury stock if the shares are not retired. Treasury stock transactions and cancellations are recorded in retained earnings and paid-in-capital.

  • Metrics Pro InfoFinancial Modeling ProUse the financial model to help everyone understand exactly where your cost and benefit figures come from.
  • An income statement is prepared to reflect the company’s total expenses and total income to calculate the net income for different purposes.
  • Prepaid expenses are items paid for in advance of their use.
  • Paying salary will reduce cash and also reduce the Owner’s equity as an expense.

Answers will vary but may include vehicles, clothing, electronics (include cell phones and computer/gaming systems, and sports equipment). They may also include money owed on these assets, most likely vehicles and perhaps cell phones. In the case of a student loan, there may be a liability with no corresponding asset .