Debit vs Credit in Accounting: Difference and Comparison

In olden times people did not have currency; they used the barter system to trade, which continued for a long time. But there was a glitch in the barter system as there was no measurement or pricing system.

Gradually, currency was introduced, and there was a vast improvement in the trading system.

Key Takeaways

  1. Debit transactions increase asset or expense accounts and decrease liability or equity accounts, reflecting money spent or received.
  2. Credit transactions decrease asset or expense accounts and increase liability or equity accounts, representing money owed or earned.
  3. Debits and credits must always balance in double-entry accounting systems, ensuring accurate financial records.

Debit vs Credit in Accounting

A debit entry in an accounting system is a record of a transaction that increases the assets, expenses, or dividends paid accounts and decreases the liabilities or revenue accounts. A credit entry in an accounting system is a record of a transaction that increases the liabilities, equity, etc.

Debit vs Credit in Accounting

A Debit in a company’s balance sheet shows the data that is recorded as the outcome of either the rise in the asset or the reduction of the liabilities.

According to accounting principles, debits are balanced by credits, which function in the opposite direction. A debit statement is the recording of a payment owed or made. The Debit entry is made on the left side of the ledger account.

A Credit entry implies a reduction in the assets and an increment in the liabilities.

In simple words, Credit can be considered as a loan or credit agreement in which a contract is made to borrow funds or to purchase goods or services in exchange for a future payment. The credit entry is made on the right side of the ledger account.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDebitCredit
DefinitionDebit is the use of value for the transactionCredit is the source of value for a transaction
ApplicationCredit is used to express the increase or decrease of liabilities and income or assets and expenses.Credit expresses the increase or decrease of liabilities and income or assets and expenses.
JournalDebit is the first account that is recordedCredit is recorded after the Debit account, followed by the word “To.”
Placement in the T-formatIt is always placed on the right sideIt is always placed on the left side
EquationAssets = Liabilities + Equity is affected by Debiting one accountAssets = Liabilities + Equity is affected by Crediting one account

What is Debit in Accounting?

A Debit is an accounting entry that increases the assets or expense account and decreases liabilities on the Company’s balance sheet.

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Debit is an entry resulting from making a payment or owing one; a ledger account consists of two sides,: the left and right. The Debit account always reflects on the left t side of an entry and is denoted by “Dr.

A Debit is characteristic of all Double-Entry Accounting structures. All the Debit entries are placed at the top of a Standard Journal Entry, while the Credits are placed below Debits.

Debits and credits are utilized to ensure all entries are balanced in trial and adjusted trial balances. To balance a ledger, all debits must equal all the credits.

There is one more type of Debit called the Dangling debits; these are the debit balances that do not have an offsetting credit balance, so they cannot be written off.

An expense of this type is reflected in financial accounting and is created when a company purchases goodwill or services to create debit.

In a standard accounting transaction, at least two accounts are affected, recording a Credit entry against one account and a Debit entry against another.

What is Credit in Accounting?

A credit entry is an entry that decreases a liability’s value or increases the value of an asset’s value. Credit has to be made in the books of accounts for any aspect that gives or expands benefits. In a ledger account, the credits are entered on the right side.

For example, Small business owners purchase refrigerators for their businesses. An entry is made to show the transaction in which the asset account is being debited to show the increase in the asset balance, and the cash account is credited to show that the cash account has decreased.

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A negative balance in a Credit account is due to a loan and sets of liabilities; in other words, accounts that deal with a negative balance mainly receive the credits. These accounts are known as Credit accounts.

The definition of credit is to receive something of worth and repay the lender at a later date, with interest, through a contractual accord.

Credit is an accord to purchase something with the promise to pay for it later or an express promise to do so; this is what we refer to as buying on credit.

Also, some golden rules in accounting are important to understand accounting basics. They are as follows:

1. We should always Debit what comes in and Credit what goes out.

2. All the expenses and losses are Debited, and all incomes and gains are credited.

3. The receiver is Debited, and the giver is Credited.

Main Differences Between Debit and Credit in Accounting

1. Debit is always maintained on the left side of the ledger, and the Credit is maintained on the right side  

2. The receiver is Debited, and the giver is credited to a Personal account.

3. In a Real account, what comes in is Debited, and what goes out is Credited.

4. All the expenses and losses are debited, and all incomes and gains are credited to the Nominal

    account.

5. When there is an increase in cash, inventory, plant and machinery, land, buildings, dividend, etc., we

     see a rise in the Debit; when there is an increase in shareholders, rental income, Accounts

     payable, etc., we see an increase in Credit.

Difference Between Debit and Credit in Accounting
References
  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378426608001878
  2. https://search.proquest.com/openview/3c0cf69a30d6581a19f2ba4603d36654/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=31655

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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7 thoughts on “Debit vs Credit in Accounting: Difference and Comparison”

  1. The piece was informative until the section on the main differences between debit and credit, which is completely incorrect.

    Reply
  2. I disagree with the placement of credit and debit, and their effect on the equation in this response, this article states it wrong.

    Reply
  3. The tone of the entire piece, with the exception of the paragraph on Golden Rule 3, I found to be a little over the top.

    Reply
  4. The information on how a debit entry implies a reduction in the assets and an increment in the liabilities is of critical importance.

    Reply

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