Normal Debit and Credit Balances for the Accounts

statement of cash

They are used to keep track of the historical normal balance of assets instead of reducing the value of an asset. Another example of a contra account is a discount allowed account, which is the contra account to revenue account. An account’s assigned normal balance is on the side where increases go because the increases in any account are usually greater than the decreases. Therefore, asset, expense, and owner’s drawing accounts normally have debit balances. Liability, revenue, and owner’s capital accounts normally have credit balances.


When deciding to go to college, you give up time and money to get a degree or the benefits… When we’re talking about Normal Balances for Expense accounts, we assign a Normal Balance based on the effect on Equity. Because of the impact on Equity , we assign a Normal Debit Balance. Every transaction that happens in a business has an impact on the owner’s Equity, their value in the business. Harold Averkamp has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years.

Accounting Terms: Replenishing Petty Cash

Normal balance, as the term suggests, is simply the side where the balance of the account is normally found. Liabilities live on the right side of the accounting equation and are therefore normal credit accounts. They are also the opposite of Assets, if that helps you remember. The company paid $500 cash to settle the payable created in transaction c. The normal balance side of any expense account is ____. The normal balance side of an owner’s capital account is ____. The normal balance side of any liability account is ____.

asset account cash

Accounts with balances that are the opposite of the normal balance are called contra accounts; hence contra revenue accounts will have debit balances. Since Cash has a normal debit balance and Sales has a normal credit balance, the transaction above increased the Cash and Sales accounts. To better visualize debits and credits in various financial statement line items, T-Accounts are commonly used. Debits are presented on the left-hand side of the T-account, whereas credits are presented on the right. Included below are the main financial statement line items presented as T-accounts, showing their normal balances. The normal balance for each account type is noted in the following table.

How to Know What to Debit and What to Credit in Accounting

In a general ledger, or any other accounting journal, one always sees columns marked “debit” and “credit.” The debit column is always to the left of the credit column. Next to the debit and credit columns is usually a “balance” column. Under this column, the difference between the debit and the credit is recorded.

A revenue account has a normal credit balance; a debit balance in the revenue account indicates that a company has incurred a loss. Revenues and gains are recorded in accounts such as Sales, Service Revenues, Interest Revenues , and Gain on Sale of Assets. These accounts normally have credit balances that are increased with a credit entry. In a T-account, their balances will be on the right side. Another example – let’s take Accounts Payable.


Assets and expenses have natural debit balances. This means that positive values for assets and expenses are debited and negative balances are credited. Contrarily, purchasing postage is an expense, and therefore will be debited, which will increase the expense balance by $12.70. When the account balances are summed, the debits equal the credits, ensuring that the Academic Support RC has accounted for this transaction correctly. This general ledger example shows a journal entry being made for the collection of an account receivable.

Is revenue a debit or credit?

Revenue. In a revenue account, an increase in debits will decrease the balance. This is because when revenue is earned, it is recorded as a debit in the bank account (or accounts receivable) and as a credit to the revenue account. An increase in credits will increase the balance in a revenue account.

To increase liability and capital accounts, credit. Assets generally come under real and personal accounts.

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