This audit Basics accuse discusses the 5 account types in the graph of Accounts. We define each account type, comment on its unique characteristics, and provide examples.

You are watching: Identify each account as asset, liability, or equity.


Account form Overview

Having a great understanding that the account types is crucial for anyone creating accounts, posting transactions and journal entries, or analysis financial reports. We briefly define each account type below.

Assets: tangible and intangible items that the firm owns that have value (e.g. Cash, computer systems, patents)Liabilities: money that the firm owes to rather (e.g. Mortgages, car loans)Equity: that portion of the complete assets the the owner or stockholders of the company completely own; have paid because that outrightRevenue or Income: money the agency earns native its sales of products or services, and interest and dividends earned from marketable securitiesExpenses: money the firm spends to produce the products or services that it sells (e.g. Office supplies, utilities, advertising)


Assets can be defined as objects or entities, whether tangible or intangible, that the firm owns that have financial value. Tangible assets space physical entities the the organization owns such as land, buildings, vehicles, equipment, and also inventory. When Intangible assets space things that represent money or value, e.g. Account Receivables, patents, contracts, and certificates that deposit (CDs).

Assets are likewise grouped according to either your life span or liquidity - the speed at i m sorry they deserve to be converted right into cash. Current assets room items the are fully consumed, sold, or converted into cash in 12 months or less. Instances of present assets encompass accounts receivable and prepaid expenses.

Fixed assets are tangible assets v a life expectations of at the very least one year and also usually longer. Resolved assets might include machinery, buildings, and vehicles. Addressed assets are typically not really liquid.

Because the their greater costs and also longevity, assets room not expensed, yet depreciated, or "written off" end a variety of years follow to among several depreciation schedules.


Liabilities room the debts, or financial obligations of a service - the money the business owes to others. Liabilities are classified as existing or long-term. Current liabilities room debts that space paid in 12 month or less, and also consist mostly of monthly operating debts. Examples of present liabilities may encompass accounts payable and customer deposits.

Current liabilities are usually paid with existing assets; i.e. The money in the company"s check account. A company"s working capital is the difference between its current assets and current liabilities. Managing short-term debt and having enough working funding is crucial to a company"s permanent success.

Long-term liabilities are commonly mortgages or loans provided to purchase or maintain fixed assets, and also are paid off in years rather of months.


Equity is the utmost prominence to the company owner since it is the owner"s financial re-superstructure of the company - or that section of the full assets of the company that the owner fully owns. Equity may be in assets such as buildings and equipment, or cash. Same is also referred to together Net Worth.

For example, if you purchase a $30,000 car with a $25,000 loan and $5,000 in cash, girlfriend have got an asset of $30,000, however have only $5,000 the equity. The Balance sheet equation is:

Assets = legal responsibility + Owner"s Equity

We have the right to see how this equation works through our example: $30,000 asset = $25,000 liability + $5,000 Owner Equity.

A tutorial

Types of equity Accounts

There room three types of same accounts that will fulfill the requirements of most tiny businesses. These accounts have various names relying on the company structure, so us list the various account names in the chart below.

Contribution (Money Invested): There room times when agency owners must invest their very own money into the company. It might be start-up funding or a later on infusion the cash. When this occurs, a Capital or Investment account is credited. See the first row in the table below.

Distribution or draw (Money Withdrawn): If a business is profitable, the owners often want few of the profit returned to them. To monitor this activity, a Draw or Distribution account is debited. This is the just Equity account (non-contra) the receives debits. See the second row in the table below.

Accumulation native Prior Years: To tracks a company"s Net earnings as that accumulates over the years, Retained Earnings or Owner"s Equity is credited. ~ above the an initial day of the budget year, most bookkeeping programs immediately credit this account with the previous year"s network Income. Check out the third row that the table below.

NOTE: many single-owner companies go into journal entries to "close out" the Contribution and also Draw account to Retained earnings on the critical day that the fiscal year. Partnerships, however, may pick not to close out these accounts so the a long-term record that partner activity is maintained.

Sole ProprietorPartnershipSubchapter S Corporation
Money investedOwner"s invest - or -Capital ContributionPartner A resources Contribution,Partner B funding Contribution, etc.Paid in resources - or -Capital Contribution
Money withdrawnOwner"s DrawPartner A Draw,Partner B Draw, etc.Distribution
Cumulative earnings (less $$ withdrawn)Owner"s same - or -Owner"s CapitalPartner A Equity,Partner B Equity, etc.Retained Earnings

Income or Revenue

Income is money the business earns from selling a product or service, or indigenous interest and dividends ~ above marketable securities. Other names for revenue are revenue, pistol income, turnover, and the "top line."


Net income is revenue much less expenses. Various other names because that net revenue are profit, network profit, and also the "bottom line."

Income is "realized" differently relying on the accounting method used. When a company uses the Accrual basis accounting method, the revenue is counted as quickly as one invoice is gotten in into the accountancy system.

If the Cash basis bookkeeping method is used, the revenue is no realized till the invoice is paid.

Income accounts room temporary or nominal accounts since their balance is reset come zero in ~ the starting person of each brand-new accounting period, commonly a fiscal year. Most audit programs execute this job automatically.


Expenses space expenditures, regularly monthly, that allow a company to operate. Instances of prices are office supplies, utilities, rent, entertainment, and also travel.

Like revenue accounts, cost accounts space temporary account that collection data because that one accounting duration and space reset come zero in ~ the beginning of the next bookkeeping period. Most audit programs perform this task automatically.


A unique type of price account, Depreciation Expense, is provided when purchasing resolved Assets. Costly items, such as vehicles, equipment, and computer systems, space not expensed, but are depreciated or written off end the life span of the item.

Another distinct account is gathered Depreciation—a contra-account. Gathered Depreciation is used to balance out the asset account for the item. Depreciation have the right to be very complicated, so we recommend seeing her Accountant for assist with the depreciation that Assets.

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Disclaimer:: Keynote support is providing general information in a very readable layout as a service to the visitor. We have made every initiative to provide information accurate as to the day of this article. Every customer environment and also each transaction is unique, so please usage the information and also examples in this post only as a guide. In addition, the leader cannot infer indigenous this post that Keynote support is providing financial or accountancy advice. Consult with a jae won or accounting professional for assistance with your distinct requirements.