What is the double-entry system?

Definition of Double-Entry System

The double-entry system of accounting or bookkeeping means that for every business transaction, amounts must be recorded in a minimum of two accounts. The double-entry system also requires that for all transactions, the amounts entered as debits must be equal to the amounts entered as credits.

Example of a Double-Entry System

To illustrate double entry, let's assume that a company borrows $10,000 from its bank. The company's Cash account must be increased by $10,000 and a liability account must be increased by $10,000. To increase an asset, a debit entry is required. To increase a liability, a credit entry is required. Hence, the account Cash will be debited for $10,000 and the liability Loans Payable will be credited for $10,000.

Double Entry Keeps the Accounting Equation in Balance

Double entry also means that the accounting equation (assets = liabilities + owner's equity) will always be in balance. In our example, the accounting equation remained in balance because both assets and liabilities were each increased by $10,000.