When starting a business the owner introduces assets such as cash and office equipment used within the
business to generate more assets... such as cash and office equipment.
Equity is the ownership of the assets of the business by the owner.
So the start of the accounting equation is :
Alya introduces personal cash to her business
If Alya contributes $600 of her personal cash to her business so that it can
operate, the entry in the accounting books would change both the asset
account and the equity account, increasing each account by $600.
account is the business part (the cash it now has in the Bank Account) and the equity account is Alya's part (the personal cash she has given to the business which is recorded in the Capital account).
These two accounts are on the opposite side of the accounting equation to each other so it keeps the ledgers balanced.
Alya may at any time introduce more cash in which case the asset and
equity accounts will equally increase, thus maintaining the accounting equation
Alya may also chose to withdraw cash for personal use in which case assets and equity will
Here are two diagrams to explain it a bit further.
1. accounting equation starting balance
The first diagram shows our scale with no balances in it. It is in balance because both sides have a nil balance ($0).
2. The first Entry: Increasing the Asset
This second diagram shows just the Asset entry, which is the money in the business Bank Account. See what has happened to the scale - it has tipped upward. This is the only entry so it is out of balance, because in double-entry bookkeeping there should be a second entry which will go on the other side of the equation where the Equity is.
3. the second entry: Increasing the Equity
Now we see what happens to the scale when we enter the $600 the second time on the other side of the accounting equation into the Capital Account increasing this account. It now balances.
Now let's look at what happens if we introduce a Liability into the equation.
The dictionary definition of liable is ‘responsible by law: legally answerable’ (Oxford University Press).
A liability is a financial obligation. The business is legally responsible for the financial obligation.
The obligation could be:-
- Money owed to suppliers/vendors for goods and services purchased (accounts payable).
- A loan that the business is paying back. A loan that takes more than a year to pay back is called a long term liability.
Alya gets a bank loan
Let's see how the accounting equation is kept in balance if Alya gets a loan from the bank of $2,000 so she can buy equipment.
The two accounts affected by this loan transaction are Bank Account and Bank Loan.
The Bank Account is the Asset.
The Bank Loan is the Liability.
Because Assets and Liabilities are on different sides of the equation to each other the books will balance when the values are entered into the bookkeeping ledgers.
Here are the diagrams to demonstrate this.
1. The first entry: increasing the asset
Here we see what happens to the equation when Alya receives the $2,000 cash loan into her business Bank Account from the bank. However, it doesn't balance yet because we have only made one entry. This is double-entry bookkeeping so we need to make a second entry of the same amount.
2. The second entry: increasing the Liability
We make the second entry of $2,000 onto the other side of the equation into the Liability account which increases it, which is the Loan Account.
Now there is $2,600 on the left and $2,600 on the right, so the ledgers balance.
Alya uses the cash loan from the bank to buy a computer for the office. Let's see what happens next.