You’ve heard about debits and credits. You know they increase and also decrease details accounts. But, how much execute you know around the accounts they affect? There space five varieties of account in accounting.

If girlfriend don’t know what lock are, her crash course has arrived. 

Read on to learn about the different varieties of accounts through examples, dive into sub-accounts, and more. 

Types of accounts in accounting 

When friend buy or sell goods and services, you have to update her business bookkeeping books by recording the transaction in the proper account. This reflects you every the money coming into and going out of her business. And, you can see how much money you have in every account. Sort and track transactions making use of accounts to produce financial statements and also make organization decisions. 

Generally, businesses list their accounts by producing a graph of accounts (COA). A chart of accounts allows you organize her account types, number each account, and easily locate transaction information.

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So, what space the accounts you must keep monitor of? over there are 5 main varieties of ledger accounts…

5 types of accounts 

Although businesses have countless accounts in their books, every account falls under one of the following 5 categories:

AssetsExpensesLiabilitiesEquityRevenue (or income)

Familiarize you yourself with and also learn exactly how debits and also credits influence these accounts. Then, you deserve to accurately categorize all the sub-accounts that autumn under them.

So, just how do debits and credits influence asset, expense, liability, equity, and revenue accounts? do debits to decrease or increase these account in your books? How about credits?

Assets and also expenses rise when girlfriend debit the accounts and decrease when you credit transaction them. Liabilities, equity, and also revenue increase when you credit the accounts and decrease as soon as you debit them.

Here’s a quick-reference chart you have the right to use to acquire started:


A comprehensive look in ~ the varieties of accounts—and your sub-accounts 

By this point, you can be wondering about all the other accounts did you do it seen and also heard of. Where’s the check account? The petty Cash account? The accounts Payable account? These room all instances of account you may have actually in your 5 main accounts. But, you have the right to break things down also more. 

Rather than listing every transaction under the over five accounts, businesses can break accounts down also further using sub-accounts.

Sub-accounts present you specifically where funds room coming in and also out of. And, friend can better track exactly how much money you have actually in each individual account. 

Let’s speak you make utility payments. Rather than listing the end each form of utility price in your cost category, you have the right to use energy sub-accounts to team them under Utilities. This reflects you specifically how much money you’re safety in utilities. 

Here are some accounts and also sub-accounts you can use within asset, expense, liability, equity, and also income accounts.

Asset accounts

Assets are the physics or non-physical types of property that add value to her business. For example, your computer, organization car, and also trademarks are taken into consideration assets.

Some instances of asset account include:

CheckingPetty CashInventory

Although her Accounts receivable account is money you nothing physically have, the is thought about an heritage account due to the fact that it is money owed to you.

Again, debits increase assets and credits decrease them. Debit the matching sub-asset account once you add money come it. And, credit a sub-asset account once you remove money indigenous it.


Let’s look at an example. You sell some inventory and receive $500. You put the $500 in your Checking account. Increase (debit) your Checking account and decrease (credit) her Inventory account.


Expense accounts

Expenses are costs your service incurs during operations. Because that example, office provides are taken into consideration expenses.

Examples of account that fall under the cost account classification include:


Remember the debits rise your expenses, and credits decrease price accounts. When you invest money, you rise your cost accounts.

You can collection up sub-accounts because that insurance (e.g., general liability insurance, errors and also omissions insurance, etc.) to additional break things down. 


Let’s say you invest $1,000 top top rent. Girlfriend pay because that the price with her Checking account. Boost your Rent cost account with a debit and credit your Checking account.

XX/XX/XXXXRent Expense1,000

Liability accounts

Liabilities represent what your company owes. These are prices you have incurred but have not yet paid.

Types of business accounts that loss under the legal responsibility branch include:

Payroll taxation LiabilitiesSales taxation CollectedCredit Memo Liability

Accounts payable (AP) are thought about liabilities and not expenses. Why? because accounts payables are costs you have incurred yet not yet paid for. As a result, you include a liability, or debt.

Credit liability account to boost them. Decrease liability accounts by debiting them.


You buy $500 of inventory on credit. This increases your account Payable account (credit). And, it increases the quantity of perform you have (debit). Your journal entry might look something choose this:

Accounts Payable500

Equity accounts

Equity is the difference in between your assets and also liabilities. It mirrors you just how much your business is worth.

Here room a few examples of equity accounts:

Owner’s EquityCommon StockRetained Earnings

Again, same accounts boost through credits and decrease v debits. As soon as your legacy increase, her equity increases. Once your liabilities increase, her equity decreases.


You invested in stocks and received a dividend the $500. Come reflect this transaction, credit transaction your investment account and also debit her Cash account. 


Revenue accounts

Last yet not least, we’ve arrived at the revenue accounts. Revenue, or income, is money your organization earns. Your revenue accounts track incoming money, both native operations and non-operations.

Examples of income accounts include:

Product SalesEarned InterestMiscellaneous Income

To rise revenue accounts, credit transaction the matching sub-account. Decrease revenue accounts with a debit.


Say you do a $200 sale to a customer who pays v credit. With the sale, you boost your Revenue account through a credit. And, boost your account Receivable account v a debit.

XX/XX/XXXXAccounts Receivable200

Quick-reference list of accounts in accounting

Keeping track of your different varieties of account in audit can be a challenge. Remember, friend can create a chart of accounts to continue to be organized.

Use the list below to aid you determine which types of account you need in business.


Does your accounting technique influence your accounts?

Will you use every one of the above types of account in accounting?

The types of account you use depend on the accounting method you choose for your business. You can choose between cash-basis, modified cash-basis, and accrual accounting.

If you usage cash-basis accounting, execute not usage liability accounts prefer accounts payable and also long-term liabilities.

Modified cash-basis and also accrual accountancy use the same accounts, i m sorry are advanced accounts such as AP and also long-term liabilities.

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This write-up has been updated from its initial publication day of June 25, 2019.