UK Accounting Glossary
An entry recording an amount owed, listed on the left-hand side or column of an account.
An accounting entry acknowledging sums that are owing.
A debit is a bookkeeping entry that results in the increase of an asset or a decrease in a liability or owners equity. A debit has the opposite effect of a credit, which either decreases an asset or increases a liability or owners equity. A debit (or credit) per se is neither positive or negative for the company’s financial position. For example, if the company receives cash (an asset), a debit is posted to the cash account, because a debit increases an asset. If the company receives a telephone bill (thereby incurring an expense, which decreases owners equity), a debit is posted to the utility expense account, because a debit decreases owners equity. Therefore, rather than consider a debit as something either good or bad, it’s better to think of a debit as merely a left-side bookkeeping entry (assets are listed on the left side of the balance sheet) and a credit as a right-side bookkeeping entry (where liabilities and owners equity can be found).
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This glossary post was last updated: 7th February 2020.