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The Accounting Equation with Real Life Examples ExamSuccess Blog


what is the accounting equation

Obligations owed to other companies and people are considered liabilities and can be categorized as current and long-term liabilities. Rebekiah has taught college accounting and has a master’s in both management and business. On January 3, Joe purchased an office table for his company, which cost him $5,000.

what is the accounting equation

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 . Responses should be able to evaluate the benefit of investing in college is the wage differential between earnings with and without a college degree. The accounting equation is something that must be understood thoroughly by those who deal with money and those who want to ensure they are making the best decisions financially. In April, First Shop, Inc. paid a portion of its accounts payable by $250. To illustrate how the accounting equation works, let us analyze the transactions of a fictitious corporation, First Shop, Inc. They include items such as land, buildings, equipment, and accounts receivable.

Understanding the Parts

To record capital contribution as stockholders invest in the business. If something is off, research your financial documents to make sure all transactions are accurate in your records.

Net income reported on the income statement flows into the statement of retained earnings. If a business has net income for the period, then this will increase its retained earnings for the period. This means that revenues exceeded expenses for the period, thus increasing retained earnings. If a business what is the accounting equation has net loss for the period, this decreases retained earnings for the period. This means that the expenses exceeded the revenues for the period, thus decreasing retained earnings. The accounting equation emphasizes a basic idea in business; that is, businesses need assets in order to operate.


The accounting equation states that assets are equal to the sum of the total liabilities and owner’s equity. 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 and salary and company investments. You may have made a journal entry where the debits do not match the credits.

This becomes an important financial record for future reference. If we refer to any balance sheet, we can realize that the assets and liabilities and the shareholder’s equity are represented as of a particular date and time.

Not All Transactions Affect Equity

Designed to ensure your books remain balanced, learn more about how to use the accounting equation in your small business. Uses the accounting equation to show the relationship between assets, liabilities, and equity. When you use the accounting equation, you can see if you use business funds for your assets or finance them through debt.

Which is a permanent account?

Permanent accounts are those accounts that continue to maintain ongoing balances over time. All accounts that are aggregated into the balance sheet are considered permanent accounts; these are the asset, liability, and equity accounts.

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? Where the tightrope walker uses the pole to maintain balance, the accountant uses a basic mathematical equation that is called the accounting equation. The accounting equation is similar to the format of the balance sheet.

Explaining the Accounting Equation in Context

Some common examples of assets are cash, accounts receivable, inventory, supplies, prepaid expenses, notes receivable, equipment, buildings, machinery, and land. Here are the different ways the basic accounting equation is used in real-life situations. The following examples also show the double entry practice that maintains the balance of the equation. Assets will always equal the sum of liabilities and owner’s equity. Every transaction demonstrates the relationship of the elements and shows how balance is maintained. The accounting equation formula is based on the double-entry bookkeeping and accounting system.

what is the accounting equation

Company ZZK plans to buy office equipment that is $500 but only has $250 cash to use for the purchase. Paul took $1000 from his savings to contribute to the starting business. He also took a soft loan of $4000 from a credit union to buy office supplies.

What is double-entry bookkeeping?

As a small business, your purchases are funded by either capital or debt. Tim worked as a tax professional for BKD, LLP before returning to school and receiving his Ph.D. from Penn State. He then taught tax and accounting to undergraduate and graduate students as an assistant professor at both the University of Nebraska-Omaha and Mississippi State University. Tim is a Certified QuickBooks Time Pro, QuickBooks ProAdvisor for both the Online and Desktop products, as well as a CPA with 25 years of experience. He most recently spent two years as the accountant at a commercial roofing company utilizing QuickBooks Desktop to compile financials, job cost, and run payroll. Assets can be described as the value of the things owned by the firm for the purpose of using them in the business.

  • The accounting equation shows the balance of a company’s resources .
  • Double-entry bookkeeping is a fundamental accounting concept that requires every financial transaction to affect at least two different accounts.
  • The global adherence to the double-entry accounting system makes the account keeping and tallying processes more standardized and more fool-proof.
  • Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years.
  • You will notice that stockholder’s equity increases with common stock issuance and revenues, and decreases from dividend payouts and expenses.

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