What is a T-Account?

Time to go old school here. I remember clearly my first high school accounting class – it would have been more appropriately titled a bookkeeping class as the highlight was setting up and accounting for a new business in its first year. We learned things from writing a check to recording journal entires to

There are a lot of things I learned in my first accounting course in high school that are now obsolete – including punch cards, reel to reel back-up tapes and check book registers (at least in my world). There is one tool that I use today quite regularly – a T-account.

So what is a T-Account? The most basic concept in accounting is balance. Every journal entry needs to have a debit and a credit. The balance sheet needs to have equal amounts of assets and liabilities and equity.

photo credit: Image from page 24 of “Little journeys to the homes of eminent orators” (1903) via photopin (license)

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