DEFINITION of 'T-Account'

An informal term for a set of financial records that use double-entry bookkeeping. The term T-account describes the appearance of the bookkeeping entries. If a large letter T were drawn on the page, the account title would appear just above the T, debits would be listed under the top line of the T on the left side and the credits would be listed under the top line of the T on the right side, with the middle line separating the debits from the credits.


In double-entry bookkeeping, a widespread accounting method, all financial transactions are considered to affect at least two of a company's accounts. Because of this, the credits and debits on each side of the T account must match. If a bookstore sold $20 worth of books, it might debit its cash account $20 and credit its books or inventory account $20. This double-entry system shows that the company now has $20 more in cash and a corresponding $20 less in books.

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