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Basic Financial Statements

 Self-Paced Overview

Double Entry Accounting

Revenues and Expenses

The concept of revenues and expenses is often a little more difficult to understand when first examining the double entry accounting system. One reason for this difficulty is the fact that revenues are treated as credits while expenses are treated as debits. This concept often seems contrary to the logical notion that revenue means more money; and more money means more assets. The term expenses logically means a drain on one's assets. Perhaps when we examine the illustration below, the rationale will seem a little more clear.

Recognize, as you examine the illustration, that the assets of a company represent everything that has value, e.g., the cash, the fixtures, the intangibles; everything. These assets are subject to claims by the creditors and the owners. Revenues, however, allow the owners to seek a higher claim in the assets because their profits have increased. Therefore, think of revenues as credits that increase the owner's equity. Alternatively, expenses are expired assets. They represent contra revenues and reduce the amount of profit to which an owner lays claim.

Revenues and Expenses

Debits

Credits

Assets

Everything
Of Value In
The Company

Expenses

Expired Assets

Left

Liabilities

Claims By Creditors

Owners' Equity

Claims By Owners

Revenues

Claims By Owners

Right

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