What are balance sheet accounts?

Definition of Balance Sheet Accounts

Balance sheet accounts are one of two types of general ledger accounts. (The other accounts in the general ledger are the income statement accounts.)

Balance sheet accounts are used to sort and store transactions involving a company's assets, liabilities, and owner's or stockholders' equity. The balances in these accounts as of the final moment of an accounting year will be reported on the company's end-of-year balance sheet.

Balance sheet accounts are also referred to as permanent or real accounts because at the end of the accounting year the balances in these accounts are not closed. Instead, the ending balances will be carried forward to become the beginning balances in the next accounting year. (This is different from the income statement accounts which are closed at the end of each accounting year and will begin the following year with zero balances.)

Examples of Balance Sheet Accounts

Examples of a corporation's balance sheet accounts include Cash, Temporary Investments, Accounts Receivable, Allowance for Doubtful Accounts, Inventory, Investments, Land, Buildings, Equipment, Furniture and Fixtures, Accumulated Depreciation, Notes Payable, Accounts Payable, Payroll Taxes Payable, Paid-in Capital, Retained Earnings, and others.

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