contra asset account

An asset account which is expected to have a credit balance (which is contrary to the normal debit balance of an asset account). The contra asset account is related to another asset account. For example, the contra asset account Allowance for Doubtful Accounts is related to Accounts Receivable. The contra asset account Accumulated Depreciation is related to a constructed asset(s), and the contra asset account Accumulated Depletion is related to natural resources.

The net of the asset and its related contra asset account is referred to as the asset's book value or carrying value.