What Is the Accounting Equation?

Accounting Equation

Accounting Equation

According to the accounting equation, a company’s total assets equal the sum of its liabilities and shareholders’ equity. The accounting equation ensures that the balance sheet is always in balance. To know more about subsidy meaning, click here. Accounting equations are also known as basic accounting equations or balance sheet equations.

Key Takeaways

  • The accounting equation is regarded as the bedrock of the double-entry accounting system
  • The accounting equation shows on a company’s balance that the sum of the company’s liabilities and shareholders’ equity equals the sum of the company’s total assets
  • The company’s assets are the valuable resources it controls. Their obligations are represented by their liabilities
  • Both liabilities and shareholders’ equity represent how a company’s assets are financed
  • Financing via debt appears as a liability, whereas financing via equity shares appears in shareholders’ equity.

Understanding the Accounting Equation

Any company’s financial position, large or small, is determined by two key components of the balance sheet: assets and liabilities. The third section of the balance sheet is owners’ equity, also known as shareholders’ equity.

The accounting equation depicts how these three critical components are related to one another.


Cash and cash equivalents, as well as liquid assets such as Treasury bills and certificates of deposit, are examples of assets.

Accounts receivable are the sums of money owed to the company by its customers for the purchase of its products. Inventory is also regarded as an asset.


Liabilities are debts owed by a company and costs that must be paid in order for the company to continue operating.

Debt, whether it is a long-term loan or a bill that must be paid, is a liability.Rent, taxes, utilities, salaries, wages, and dividends payable are all costs.

Shareholders’ Equity

The shareholders’ equity figure is calculated by subtracting a company’s total assets from its total liabilities. It is the total amount of money that a company would have if it liquidated all of its assets and paid off all of its liabilities. 

Retained earnings are part of a company’s equity. This figure represents the total earnings that were not distributed to shareholders as dividends.

Accounting Equation Formula and Calculation

Assets=(Liabilities+Owner’s Equity)

The balance sheet contains the elements that make up the accounting equation:

  • Find the total assets of the company on the balance sheet for the period
  • Add up all liabilities, which should be listed separately on the balance sheet
  • Find the total shareholder equity and add it to the total liabilities
  • The total assets will equal the total liabilities plus total equity.

Limits of the Accounting Equation

Despite the fact that the balance sheet always balances, the accounting equation cannot tell investors how well a company is performing. Investors must interpret the numbers to determine whether the company has too many or too few liabilities, insufficient or excessive assets, or whether its financing is adequate to ensure long-term growth.

The accounting equation expresses the relationship between the three balance-sheet components: assets, liabilities, and equity. If everything else is equal, a company’s equity will rise when its assets rise, and vice versa. Adding liabilities reduces equity, while reducing liabilities (for example, by paying off debt) increases equity. These fundamental concepts are critical to modern accounting methods. Learn more about business loan rate of interest

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