An accounting transaction is a business activity or event that causes a measurable change in the accounting equation. An exchange of cash for merchandise is a transaction. Merely placing an order for goods is not a recordable transaction because no exchange has taken place. In the coming sections, you will learn more about the different kinds of financial statements accountants generate for businesses.
In the previous section we described specific types of accounts that business activities fall into, namely:
Assets (what it owns)
Liabilities (what it owes to others)
Equity (the difference between assets and liabilities or what it owes to the owners)
These are the building blocks of the basic accounting equation. The accounting equation is:
ASSETS = LIABILITIES + EQUITY
A sole proprietorship business owes $12,000 and you, the owner personally invested $100,000 of your own cash into the business. The assets owned by the business will then be calculated as:
$12,000 (what it owes) + $100,000 (what you invested) = $112,000 (what the company has in assets)
In a sole-proprietorship, equity is actually Owner's Equity. If the business in question is a corporation, equity will be held by stockholders, which uses stockholder's equity but the basic equation is the same:
ASSETS = LIABILITIES + EQUITY
A business owes $35,000 and stockholders (investors) have invested $115,000 by buying stock in the company. The assets owned by the business will then be calculated as:
$35, 000 (what it owes) + $115,000 (what stockholders invested) = $150,000 (what the company has in assets)
Since each transaction affecting a business entity must be recorded in the accounting records based on a detailed account (remember, file folders and the chart of accounts from the previous section), analyzing a transaction before actually recording it is an important part of financial accounting. An error in transaction analysis could result in incorrect financial statements.
To further illustrate the analysis of transactions and their effects on the basic accounting equation, we will analyze the activities of Metro Courier, Inc., a fictitious corporation. Refer to the chart of accounts illustrated in the previous section.
1. Owners invested cash
Metro Courier, Inc., was organized as a corporation on January 1, the company issued shares (10,000 shares at $3 each) of common stock for $30,000 cash to Ron Chaney, his wife, and their son. The $30,000 cash was deposited in the new business account.
The new corporation received $30,000 cash in exchange for ownership in common stock (10,000 shares at $3 each).
We want to increase the asset Cash and increase the equity Common Stock.
Metro issued a check to Rent Commerce, Inc. for $1,800 to pay for office rent in advance for the months of February and March.
Transaction analysis (to save space we will look at the effects of each of the remaining transactions only):
The corporation prepaid the rent for next two months making an advanced payment of $1,800 cash.
We will increase an asset account called Prepaid Rent (since we are paying in advance of using the rent) and decrease the asset cash.
6. Making a payment in advance.
The only account balances that changed from transaction 5 are Cash and Prepaid Rent. All other account balances remain unchanged. The new accounting equation would be: Assets $30,200 (Cash $13,900 + Supplies $500 + Prepaid Rent $1,800 + Equipment $5,500 + Truck $8,500) = Liabilities $200 + Equity $30,000
7. Selling services for cash.
During the month of February, Metro Corporation earned a total of $50,000 in revenue from clients who paid cash.
The corporation received $50,000 in cash for services provided to clients.
We want to increase the asset Cash and increase the revenue account Service Revenue.
7. Selling services for cash .
Wait a minute...the accounting equation is ASSETS = LIABILITIES + EQUITY and it does not have revenue or expenses...where do they fit in? Revenue - Expenses equals net income. Net Income is added to Equity at the end of the period. Assets $80,200 (Cash $63,900 + Supplies $500 + Prepaid Rent $1,800 + Equipment $5,500 + Truck $8,500)= Liabilities $200)+ Equity $80,000 (Common Stock $30,000 + Net Income $50,000). Note: This does not mean revenue and expenses are equity accounts!
8. Selling services on credit.
Metro Corporation earned a total of $10,000 in service revenue from clients who will pay in 30 days.
Metro performed work and will receive the money in the future.
We record this as an increase to the asset account Accounts Receivable and an increase to service revenue.
8. Selling services on credit.
Remember, all other account balances remain the same. The only changes are the addition of Accounts Receivable and an increase in Revenue. Assets $90,200 (Cash $63,900 + Accounts Receivable $10,000 + Supplies $500 + Prepaid Rent $1,800 + Equipment $5,500 + Truck $8,500)= Liabilities $200 + Equity $90,000 (Common Stock $30,000 + Net Income $60,000).
9. Collecting accounts receivable.
Metro Corporation collected a total of $5,000 on account from clients who owned money for services previously billed.
Metro received $5,000 from customers for work we have already billed (not any new work).
We want to increase the asset Cash and decrease (what we will receive later from customers) the asset Accounts Receivable.
Metro Corporation paid a total of $900 for office salaries.
The corporation paid $900 to its employees.
We will increase the expense account Salaries Expense and decrease the asset account Cash.
10. Paying Office Salaries.
Remember, net income is calculated as Revenue - Expenses and is added to Equity. The new accounting equation would show: Assets $89,300 (Cash $68,000 + Accounts Receivable $5,000 + Supplies $500 + Prepaid Rent $1,800 + Equipment $5,500 + Truck $8,500)= Liabilities $200 + Equity $89,100 (Common Stock $30,000 + Net Income $59,100 from revenue of $60,000 - expenses $900).
11. Paying utility bill.
Metro Corporation paid a total of $1,200 for utility bill.
The corporation paid $1,200 in cash for utilities.
We will increase the expense account Utility Expense and decrease the asset Cash.
11. Paying Utility Bill
Click Transaction analysis to see the full chart with all transactions. The final accounting equation would be: Assets $88,100 (Cash $66,800 + Accounts Receivable $5,000 + Supplies $500 + Prepaid Rent $1,800 + Equipment $5,500 + Truck $8,500) = Liabilities $200 + Equity $87, 900 (Common Stock $30,000 + Net Income $57,900 from revenue of $60,000 - salary expense $900 - utility expense $1,200).
Licenses and Attributions
CC licensed content, Shared previously
Accounting Principles: A Business Perspective. Authored by: James Don Edwards, University of Georgia & Roger H. Hermanson, Georgia State University. Provided by: Endeavour International Corporation. Project: The Global Text Project . License: CC BY: Attribution
All rights reserved content
Transaction Analysis - Basic Example. Authored by: AccountingWITT. License: All Rights Reserved. License terms: Standard YouTube License