Action on Account

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Action on Account

Quick Summary of Action on Account

A civil lawsuit maintained under the common law to recover money owed on an account.

Full Definition of Action on Account

The action on account was one of the ancient forms of action. Dating back to the thirteenth century, it offered a remedy for the breach of obligations owed by fiduciaries. Originally, the action allowed lords to recover money wrongfully withheld by the bailiffs of their manors, whom they appointed to collect fines and rents. Later, statutes extended the right so that lawsuits could be brought against persons who were required to act primarily for someone else’s benefit, such as guardians and partners. Eventually, the action withered away because its procedure was too cumbersome, and fiduciaries came under the jurisdiction of the special court of the king, called the Chancery.

An action on account is different from a modern-day accounting, which is a settling of accounts or a determination of transactions affecting two parties, often when one party asks a court to order the other party to account.

Cite Term

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Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Action on Account. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. October 16, 2021
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Action on Account. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: October 16, 2021).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Action on Account. Retrieved October 16, 2021, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Action on Account are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 8th October, 2021 | 0 Views.