Accounting for Beginners | What is Debit & Credit ? Difference Between Debit and Credit |
Debit and Credit are two most common words in finance and accounting
In double entry book system, every debit must have a corresponding credit entry.
A debit is an accounting entry that either increases an asset or expense account, or decreases a liability or equity account. It is positioned to the left in an accounting entry.
A credit is an accounting entry that either increases a liability or equity account, or decreases an asset or expense account. It is positioned to the right in an accounting entry.
Whenever an accounting transaction is created, at least two accounts are always impacted, with a debit entry being recorded against one account and a credit entry being recorded against the other account. There is no upper limit to the number of accounts involved in a transaction – but the minimum is no less than two accounts. The totals of the debits and credits for any transaction must always equal each other, so that an accounting transaction is always said to be “in balance.” If a transaction were not in balance, then it would not be possible to create financial statements. Thus, the use of debits and credits in a two-column transaction recording format is the most essential of all controls over accounting accuracy.

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There can be considerable confusion about the inherent meaning of a debit or a credit. For example, if you debit a cash account, then this means that the amount of cash on hand increases. However, if you debit an accounts payable account, this means that the amount of accounts payable liability decreases. These differences arise because debits and credits have different impacts across several broad types of accounts, which are:

Asset accounts. A debit increases the balance and a credit decreases the balance.
Liability accounts. A debit decreases the balance and a credit increases the balance.

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