What is a Normal Balance in Accounting?


The normal balance of the Delivery Expense account is a debit balance. For example, when making a transaction at a bank, a user depositing a $100 check would be crediting, or increasing, the balance in the account. But for accounting purposes, this would be considered a debit. While the two might seem opposite, they are quite similar.

Expense accounts normally carry a debit balance, so a credit appears as a negative number. With the advent of computers, using a positive number to indicate a debit and a negative number to indicate a credit became the norm for data entry.

Record the Payment of a Cash Expense

Expenses carry a debit balance while incomes carry a credit balance. The concept can be explained using two accounting equations. Doube-entry accounting ensures that the total amount of debits equals the total amount of credits. Learn the basics of how this accounting system is reflected in journals and ledgers through examples, and understand the concept of normal balances. Within IU’s KFS, debits and credits can sometimes be referred to as “to” and “from” accounts. These accounts, like debits and credits, increase and decrease revenue, expense, asset, liability, and net asset accounts. This standard discusses fundamental concepts as they relate to recordkeeping for accounting and how transactions are recorded internally within Indiana University.

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A contra account contains a normal balance that is the reverse of the normal balance for that class of account. The contra accounts noted in the preceding table are usually set up as reserve accounts against declines in the usual balance in the accounts with which they are paired. All this is basic and common sense for accountants, bookkeepers and other people experienced in studying balance sheets, but it can make a layman scratch his head. To better understand normal balances, one should first be familiar with accounting terms such as debits, credits, and the different types of accounts. Basically, once the basic accounting terminology is learned and understood, the normal balance for each specific industry will become second nature.

How to Keep Track of Petty Cash

Depending on the normal balance type, the sides that increase and decrease may vary. It is a contra revenue account having debit balance as the normal balance of revenue is credit. They are used to keep track of the historical cost of assets instead of reducing the value of an asset. Another example of a contra account is a discount allowed account, which is the contra account to revenue account. Some accounts have “Debit” Balances while the others have “Credit” balances. The normal account balance is nothing but the expectation that the specific account is debit or credit. Few accounts increase with a “Debit” while there are other accounts, the balances of which increases while those accounts are “Credited”.

expense accounts

In accounting, an account is a specific asset, liability, or equity unit in the ledger that is used to store similar transactions. We can illustrate each account type and its corresponding debit and credit effects in the form of anexpanded accounting equation. Is found by calculating the difference between debits and credits for each account. You will often see the termsdebitandcreditrepresented in shorthand, written asDRordrandCRorcr, respectively.

What is the Normal Balance for Expense Accounts?

This usually requires finding the document that generated the entry. During 2025, the company repaid $35,000 of long-term notes payable. Identify whether the normal balance is a debit​ or credit​ . The company purchased $500 of office supplies on credit. The company purchased land valued at $7,500 and a building valued at $40,000. The purchase is paid with $15,000 cash and a long-term note payable for $32,500. The company purchased $2,000 of office supplies on credit.

What has a normal debit balance?

Accounts that normally have a debit balance include assets, expenses, and losses. Examples of these accounts are the cash, accounts receivable, prepaid expenses, fixed assets (asset) account, wages (expense) and loss on sale of assets (loss) account.

To account for questionable account entries, credits increase the amount of that account and debits decrease the amount in that account. Liabilities, income and equity accounts have natural assets. If a debit is applied to one of these accounts, the account balance has decreased. For example, debit from the accounts payable to the balance sheet indicates a reduction in liabilities. Counter-credit is most likely a cash loan, as the reduction of a liability means that the debt is paid and the money is an outflow.

Advanced Accounting

Explain how to remember accounting normal balances for each account. Below is a basic example of a debit and credit journal entry within a general ledger. On the contrary, when an amount is accounted for on the opposite side of its normal balance, it decreases that amount. A dangling debit is a debit entry with no offsetting credit entry that occurs when a company purchases goodwill or services to create a debit. The debit balance, in a margin account, is the amount of money owed by the customer to the broker for funds advanced to purchase securities. A debit is a feature found in all double-entry accounting systems. Debits represent money being paid out of a particular account; credits represent money being paid in.


This report can be modified and manipulated to focus can be assets… It refers to the anticipation that a certain kind of account would have either a credit or debit balance depending upon the classification in the accounts chart. The company paid $2,000 cash to settle the account payable created in transaction c. So, if you purchased $450 worth of office supplies, it means you have a $450 Debit in the Office Supplies account. Video explaining how equity and normal balances are related.

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