What is the double entry system of bookkeeping?
The double entry system of accounting is a method for recording business transactions in an account book. The entries are made in the books of accounts and the debits are recorded on one side of the ledger and credits on the other.
The process of bookkeeping is known as a double entry because each transaction involves two entries in different books. For example, when you pay your employees they will record their wages in their payroll records. The same happens when you receive payment from your customers.
The system provides a means to keep track of how much money is coming in or going out through various transactions over time. This helps businesses to make sure they have enough money coming into their business so that they can continue operating without having to rely on loans or investors.
Benefits of the double entry system:
Double-entry accounting has several benefits:
- Accurate financial records: Double-entry accounting provides a complete record of financial transactions. It also allows companies to produce accurate financial statements, which can help the company make better decisions about its long-term goals and finances.
- Provides a complete record of financial transactions: Double-entry accounting allows companies to track all their transactions, which provides a clear picture of how much money they have and how much they owe others. This helps companies understand their cash flow and figure out when they will run out of funds, so they can plan ahead accordingly.
- Provides complete transparency: With double-entry accounting, each transaction is recorded twice — in both accounts — so there are no omissions or errors in the books because every transaction is accounted for. This makes it easy to follow along with your business’s finances at any time, thanks to the accuracy provided by double entry accounting.
- Easy tracking of accounts: This allows managers to keep track of accounts receivable and payable balances at any point in time so that they can be used to determine how much inventory needs to be purchased or what accounts need to be paid each month.
- Reduces administrative costs: With a single-entry system, each transaction must be recorded separately, which means that all transactions must be recorded in the same ledger account. However, with double-entry accounting, each transaction is recorded twice: once on the income statement and once on the balance sheet. This means that there are two separate ledgers, which reduces the number of entries needed to record each transaction. This works especially well with the fund flow statement format or the formats of other financial statements.
How does it compare to single accounting?
Single-entry accounting means that all transactions are recorded once in a ledger. This is the most common method of accounting, as it makes it easier to keep track of a company’s financial position. A single-entry system records only one transaction per ledger entry, and it’s used by many small businesses and sole proprietorships.
Single-entry systems are also called “cash-basis” or “cash-received.” They’re most commonly used by retail stores and restaurants because they require very little paperwork when compared to double-entry systems. For example, instead of having to record every purchase made on the books, single-entry systems require only a single transaction per day or week.
However, single-entry systems do have some disadvantages:
- They require more time spent managing accounts receivable than double entry systems do; this can be problematic if your business doesn’t make enough sales on a regular basis (like if you run a seasonal business during the winter months).
- They’re not as easy to use for bookkeeping purposes; you’ll have to input all transactions manually into your system instead of simply recording them in an existing ledger.