T-Accounts Explained With Examples

how to do t accounts

Whether you are an accountant or a decision-maker the language of business finance is rooted in accounting. Whatever your role is in the business, it’s worth grasping the basics of this language. Rent is classed as an operating cost as it’s a standard cost required to run my business. Operating costs are a type of expense so it is debited by £2000. This visual guide helps you ensure figures are being posted in the correct way, potentially reducing data entry errors. In part 2, I mentioned how double-entry accounting can be an arduous process.

how to do t accounts

Even small companies can have general ledgers that are more than 1,000 pages when printed out. Obviously, it would be pretty difficult to search through 1,000 pages in order to find information about one account.


In the journal entry, Accounts Receivable has a debit of $5,500. This is posted to the Accounts Receivable T-account on the debit side. This is posted to the Service Revenue T-account on the credit side.

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The credits and debits are recorded in ageneral ledger, where all account balances must match. The visual appearance of the ledger journal of individual accounts resembles a T-shape, hence why a ledger account is also called a T-account. Overall, it’s worth considering the T account and double-entry system. They do involve some time to prepare, but this ensures that necessary details are recorded on all financial statements. https://www.bookstime.com/ You can see debits and credits clearly laid out in an easy-to-read, visual structure for more effective accounting. You paid “on account.” Remember that “on account” means a service was performed or an item was received without being paid for. You made a purchase of gas on account earlier in the month, and at that time you increased accounts payable to show you had a liability to pay this amount sometime in the future.

What are the Rules for Using T Accounts?

Instead, the accountant uses accounting software to make journal entries. As a result, T-accounts are merely a tool for education and account visualization. The most basic account structure resembles t accounts the letter T. Above the T, the account title and account number are displayed. Debits are always positioned on the left side of the T, whereas credits are always placed on the right.

What are T accounts examples?

  • Rent Expense Account.
  • Accounts Payable Account.
  • Cash Account.
  • Journal Entry.
  • Capital Account.
  • Bank Account.
  • Prepaid Rent Account.
  • Computer Equipment Account.

Daniel is an expert in corporate finance and equity investing as well as podcast and video production. Please comment on one of these accounting issues – Codification of GAAP. You have the following transactions the last few days of April. On January 18, 2019, paid in full, with cash, for the equipment purchase on January 5. On January 12, 2019, pays a $300 utility bill with cash.

5 The effect of profit on the accounting equation

The general ledger is the main ledger in a company’s accounting system. It summarizes all the transactions from every account that were posted throughout the year. Since most companies have many different accounts, their general ledgers can be extremely long.

how to do t accounts

Electronic accounting processes can add another level of security and accuracy to calculations. Whether you’re doing manual or electronic accounting for your small business, you should make T-accounts a habit to double-check your financial standing. Below, we’ll delve further into how this accounting tool works. David has helped thousands of clients improve their accounting and financial systems, create budgets, and minimize their taxes. The major problem with T accounts is that they are time consuming. You need to set up every account separately and then go through them constantly to record every transaction as it comes in.

The next transaction figure of $300 is added on the credit side. On January 3, there was a debit balance of $20,000 in the Cash account. Since both are on the debit side, they will be added together to get a balance on $24,000 . On January 12, there was a credit of $300 included in the Cash ledger account. Since this figure is on the credit side, this $300 is subtracted from the previous balance of $24,000 to get a new balance of $23,700. The same process occurs for the rest of the entries in the ledger and their balances. When calculating balances in ledger accounts, one must take into consideration which side of the account increases and which side decreases.