Accounting Equation: Definition, Formula & Examples


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This makes sense when you think about it because liabilities and equity are essentially just sources of funding for companies to purchase assets. When looking at a balance sheet, you will see both current and noncurrent assets. This definition means they can be turned into cash within 12 months or less. On top of that, you will also see financial ratios like debt to equity ratio, working capital ratio, and asset turnover ratio. Although the balance sheet always balances out, the accounting equation can’t tell investors how well a company is performing.

What is the Accounting Formula?

It’s best to view a cash flow statement over time so you can see trends in different areas and compare companies against one another. Every business keeps its assets and liabilities in check by tracking them on their balance sheet. The total value of all your assets is tracked at one side of a balance sheet, while your liabilities are listed at another column. A general ledger is a record-keeping system for a company’s financial data, with debit and credit account records validated by a trial balance. The double-entry practice ensures that the accounting equation always remains balanced, meaning that the left side value of the equation will always match the right side value. Locate the company’s total assets on the balance sheet for the period.

  • The equation is generally written with liabilities appearing before owner’s equity because creditors usually have to be repaid before investors in a bankruptcy.
  • Uses the accounting equation to show the relationship between assets, liabilities, and equity.
  • Sold T-shirts for $800 on credit, the cost of those shirts were $550.
  • The working capital formula is Current Assets – Current Liabilities.
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As you can see, shareholder’s equity is the remainder after liabilities have been subtracted from assets. This is because creditors – parties that lend money such as banks – have the first claim to a company’s assets. Journal entries often use the language of debits and credits . A debit refers to an increase in an asset or a decrease in a liability or shareholders’ equity. A credit in contrast refers to a decrease in an asset or an increase in a liability or shareholders’ equity. The $30,000 cash was deposited in the new business account.


Expenses may even include noncash expenses such as depreciation. Now that you understand the parts of the accounting equation, let’s talk about how it works. Equity represents the portion of company assets that shareholders or partners own.


As a result, the income statement account balances were set to zero and the Retained Earnings balance increased by the net income amount of $800. The Retained Earnings account normally has a credit balance. Closing entries move the credit balances of revenue accounts into Retained Earnings and cause that account to increase. Closing entries also transfer the debit balances of expense accounts into Retained Earnings, causing it to decrease. Thus, although the accounting equation formula seems like a one-liner, it contains a lot of meaning and can be explored deeper with complex expense entries. Ledger AccountLedger in accounting records and processes a firm’s financial data, taken from journal entries.

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Interest accounting equationInterest Payable is the amount of expense that has been incurred but not yet paid. It is a liability that appears on the company’s balance sheet. Interest Payable is the amount of expense that has been incurred but not yet paid.

  • As implied in the discussion of owner’s equity, the net income from the income statement posts to owner’s equity thus linking the balance sheet and the income statement together.
  • Ledger AccountLedger in accounting records and processes a firm’s financial data, taken from journal entries.
  • Essentially, the representation equates all uses of capital to all sources of capital, where debt capital leads to liabilities and equity capital leads to shareholders’ equity.
  • The last component of the accounting equation is owner’s equity.
  • We’ll share ideas on how to streamline your accounting practices to save more money and time.
  • What affects the income statement also affects the balance sheet, and any change on the balance sheet must be captured by the cash flow statement.

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