Debit vs Credit: An Accounting Reference Guide +Examples

There are several types of inventory management systems businesses can adopt based on their needs. Some companies use manual methods like spreadsheets while others rely on automated software designed specifically for tracking inventory costs and quantities across multiple locations. Determining whether inventory is a credit or debit in your business depends on your specific accounting method and the nature of your transactions. While both methods have their advantages and disadvantages, it’s important to choose one that suits your business needs. On the one hand, crediting your inventory can help you keep better track of what you have in stock.

  • Before getting into the differences between debit vs. credit accounting, it’s important to understand that they actually work together.
  • Note that the actual sales price ($Y) is typically higher than the cost of the inventory sold ($Z), reflecting the company’s profit on the sale.
  • An increase in the value of assets is a debit to the account, and a decrease is a credit.
  • Implementing accounting software can help ensure that each journal entry you post keeps the formula and total debits and credits in balance.
  • Reporting options are also good in Xero, and the application offers integration with more than 700 third-party apps, which can be incredibly useful for small businesses on a budget.
  • Kashoo offers a surprisingly sophisticated journal entry feature, which allows you to post any necessary journal entries.

Revenue accounts record the income to a business and are reported on the income statement. Examples of revenue accounts include sales of goods or services, interest income, and investment income. In this article, we break down the basics of recording debit and credit transactions, as well as outline how they function in different types of accounts.

When to Use Debits vs. Credits in Accounting

Reporting options are also good in Xero, and the application offers integration with more than 700 third-party apps, which can be incredibly useful for small businesses on a budget. Xero is an easy-to-use online accounting application designed for small businesses. Xero offers a long list of features including invoicing, expense management, inventory management, and bill payment. Recording a sales transaction is more detailed than many other journal entries because you need to track cost of goods sold as well as any sales tax charged to your customer.

Harold Averkamp (CPA, MBA) has worked as a university accounting instructor, accountant, and consultant for more than 25 years. The term debit comes from the word debitum, meaning “what is due,” and credit comes from creditum, defined as “something entrusted to another or a loan.” To manufacture a salable product, a company needs raw material and other resources which form the inventory and come at a cost. Additionally, there is a cost linked to the manufacturing of the salable product using the inventory. Debit your Cost of Goods Sold account and credit your Finished Goods Inventory account to show the transfer. When an item is ready to be sold, transfer it from Finished Goods Inventory to Cost of Goods Sold to shift it from inventory to expenses.

  • Kashoo is an online accounting software application ideally suited for start-ups, freelancers, and small businesses.
  • This means your inventory has been sold, or turned over, three times during the year.
  • If you need to purchase a new refrigerator for your restaurant, for example, that would be a credit in your cash account because the money is leaving your business to purchase an item.
  • With perpetual inventory, you can regularly update your inventory records to avoid issues, like running out of stock or overstocking items.
  • After dividing $20,000 into $60,000, your inventory turnover ratio is three.
  • This formula is used to determine how quickly a company is converting their inventory into sales.

Before getting into the differences between debit vs. credit accounting, it’s important to understand that they actually work together. To help you better understand these bookkeeping basics, we’ll cover in-depth explanations of debits and credits and help you learn how to use both. Keep reading through or use the jump-to links below to jump to a section of interest.

Journal entry: example

General ledger accounting is a necessity for your business, no matter its size. If you want help tracking assets and liabilities properly, the best solution is to use accounting software. Here are a few choices that are particularly well suited for smaller businesses. The journal entry includes the date, accounts, dollar amounts, and the debit and credit entries. You’ll list an explanation below the journal entry so that you can quickly determine the purpose of the entry.


Overordering or underordering could have negative consequences for the business’s cash flow and overall financial health. On the other hand, not having enough inventory could mean missed opportunities for sales and revenue growth. This highlights the importance of effective procurement strategies that ensure optimal levels of inventory are maintained at all times.

What is the Difference Between Credit and Debit?

Usually, this type of inventory forecast is done days out, to prepare for the next fiscal year. However, annual forecasts will keep you on the ball with seasonal sales. Inventory has value and a business needs to account for it throughout the year. An inventory value adjustment happens when inventory loses value from theft, damage, shrinkage, deadstock, purchase value goes down, etc. You make an accounting adjustment noting the change in your inventory account.

When you increase assets, the change in the account is a debit, because something must be due for that increase (the price of the asset). There are a few theories on the origin of the abbreviations used for debit (DR) and credit (CR) in accounting. To explain these theories, here is a brief introduction to the use of debits and credits, and how the technique of double-entry accounting came to be. Refer to the below chart to remember how debits and credits work in different accounts. Remember that debits are always entered on the left and credits on the right. Credits increase equity accounts, while debits decrease equity accounts.

Double-Entry Accounting

For example, if a business takes out a loan to buy new equipment, the firm would enter a debit in its equipment account because it now owns a new asset. When an item is ready to be sold, it is transferred from free estimate templates for word and excel finished goods inventory to sell as a product. You credit the finished goods inventory, and debit cost of goods sold. An accounting journal is a detailed record of the financial transactions of the business.

So with a sale, you can also recognize the change in inventory and COGS. Therefore, you debit $500 to COGS because that was your cost to purchase the watches and credit the inventory account for $500. Sometimes called “net worth,” the equity account reflects the money that would be left if a company sold all its assets and paid all its liabilities. The leftover money belongs to the owners of the company or shareholders.

Depending on your transactions and books, your accounts may look or be called something different. But how do you know when to debit an account, and when to credit an account? To ensure that everyone is on the same page, try writing down your accounting routine in a procedures manual and use it to train your staff or as a self-reference. Even if you decide to outsource bookkeeping, it’s important to discuss which practices work best for your business.

How Do You Tell Whether Something Is a Debit or Credit in Accounting?

Knowing how much inventory you have on hand, as well as how much you need to have in stock, is a crucial part of running your business. To help keep track of inventory, you need to learn how to record inventory journal entries. Debit always goes on the left side of your journal entry, and credit goes on the right. In double-entry bookkeeping, the left and right sides (debits and credits) must always stay in balance. Your decision to use a debit or credit entry depends on the account you’re posting to and whether the transaction increases or decreases the account. The debit increases the equipment account, and the cash account is decreased with a credit.

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