Double Entry

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Double Entry

A bookkeeping system that lists each transaction twice in the ledger.

Double-entry bookkeeping is a method whereby every transaction is shown as both a debit and a credit. This is done through the use of horizontal rows and vertical columns of numbers. The reason for the use of this bookkeeping method is that if the total of horizontal rows and vertical columns is not the same, it is easier to find mistakes than when the records are kept with only a single entry for each item.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

DOUBLE ENTRY. A term used among merchants to signify that books of account are kept in such a manner that they present the debit and credit of every thing. The term is used in contradistinction to single entry.
     2. Keeping books by double entry is more exact, because, presenting all the active and all the passive property of the merchant, in their respective divisions, there cannot be placed an article to, an account, which does not pass to some correspondent account elsewhere. It presents a perfect, view of each operation, and, from the relation and comparison of the divers accounts, which always keep pace with each other, their correctness is proved; for every commercial operation is necessarily composed of two interests, which are connected together. The basis of this mode of keeping books, and the only condition required, is to write down every transaction and nothing else; and to make no entry without putting it down to the two agents of the operation. By this means a merchant whose transactions are extensive, comprising a great number of subjects, is able to known not only the general situation of his affairs, but also the situation of each particular operation. For example, when a merchant receives money, his cash account becomes debtor, and the person who has paid it, or the merchandise sold, is credited with it; when he pays money, the cash account, is credited, And the merchandise bought, or the obligation paid, is debited with it. See Single entry.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Double-entry bookkeeping, for example, emerged in the midst of flourishing trade in the Mediterranean after the Crusades.
However, in order to give value to this content, the importance of Pacioli in the development of double-entry bookkeeping is exaggerated.
According to historical studies of contemporary accounting, the balance sheet originated in the West, derived from the balance of accounts procedure in double-entry bookkeeping. It evolved to the mandatory primary financial statement in business sectors, particularly since the Industrial Revolution in Europe in the eighteenth century [Littleton, 1933; Chatfield, 1977].
Woodbridge's exhortation to reconsider injustices represented within revenge plays is well taken, but several points in the book warrant expansion, especially the connection to double-entry bookkeeping. As she notes in referencing Mary Poovey, the very idea of "balance" in balanced books is a pure fiction driven by adjusting levels of profits or loss on one side: "balanced" does not mean zero-profit accounts or "breaking even." Indeed, Woodbridge points out that positive profit, and not a break-even level, is what revengers (and bookkeepers within companies and nations) really want: "revengers sought not a tie game but victory" (16).
Jane concentrates on the central concept of the surplus early on and its relationship to double-entry bookkeeping. When we get to the end of her book I find myself in the company of people who were my colleagues in Cambridge, such as Amartya Sen, Joe Stiglitz, Partha Dasgupta, Richard Stone and James Meade, who made up the national accounts in the UK.
Unlike more complicated invoicing softwares, Turbo Invoicer is extremely easy to use and does not require knowledge of accounting and double-entry bookkeeping. Business people can install the software and, within half an hour, be creating and printing professional invoices for their products and services.
--Income tax reductions for education and medical fees given to self employed business owners will not sunset as scheduled at the end of 2010, but be effective until the end of 2012, if conditions are met: the owners need to accept credit cards, issue receipts for cash payment, use double-entry bookkeeping, and honestly report their income.
According to Wikipedia, a web-based encyclopedia, the double-entry bookkeeping system was codified in the 15th century and refers to a set of rules for recording financial information in a financial accounting system in which every transaction or event changes at least two different accounts.
"Double-entry bookkeeping" is one of the great discoveries of European civilisation, but five centuries later most people are still muddled about assets and liabilities.
Or you might want to go back to where it all started and inspect an original volume of Luca Pacioli's Summa de Arithmetica, printed in 1494 and considered the first published description of double-entry bookkeeping.