Difference Between Single Entry and Double Entry System

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 24, 2022


Difference Between Single Entry and Double Entry System Difference Between Single Entry and Double Entry System

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Bookkeeping is keeping track of a company's financial transactions, organizing them for future reference, and preparing financial statements. Businesses employ either a single-entry or a double-entry system to record transactions. The first is more straightforward and takes less time, whereas the second record all transactions, which takes a lot of time and work.

Maintaining accurate financial records necessitates the use of bookkeeping. However, many small businesses fail to put it into practice. Bookkeeping can help you build a budget, ensure tax compliance, evaluate your firm's performance, and make decisions.

Single-Entry vs Double System

The single-entry system is a way of documenting financial transactions in an organization. Just one entry is made after each operation, which can be a debit or a credit, depending on the nature of the transaction. A double-entry system is a bookkeeping approach in which each debit entry has a corresponding credit entry, and each credit entry has a corresponding debit entry. A single-entry system is a simple approach that does not necessitate any special skills or knowledge. In contrast, the double-entry method of bookkeeping is a complicated method that requires special skills and information. You cannot use a single-entry system to generate a trial balance or profit and loss account, which means you cannot use it to display the country's financial situation. Still, you may use a double-entry system to prepare a trial balance and a statement of financial position for a business. Complexity accounts maintained and error detection are some of the other distinctions between single-entry and double-entry systems.

Difference Between Double Entry And Single Entry in Tabular Form

Table: Single-Entry System vs Double Entry System
Basis of Difference
Single-Entry System
Double Entry System
A single-entry system isn't enough. Both characteristics are documented in some cases, while either one or none are recorded in others.
A double-entry system keeps track of both sides of a transaction and provides complete financial information.
It would help if you documented only the balances of cash, debtors, and creditors.
You must
understand each financial word used by the firm entity.
The cost of managing the accounts is reduced under this arrangement since there are fewer accounts.
This method of transaction recording is costly. As a result, some business people consider it a luxury.
Comfort with Accounting Principles
You can maintain accounts in any way that is convenient for the individual.
To record transactions in this system, skilled accountants are required.
Book Accuracy
Book accuracy checks are not possible with the single-entry method.
You can check the correctness of books with a trial balance.
Number of Accounts Available
The only things kept are personal bank accounts and a cash book.
There are many different kinds of personal, honest, and nominal accounts that you can prepare.
Financial Status
Determining a company's financial health is complex without a trustworthy balance sheet.
The balance sheet details the financial situation.
Fraud Risks
The accounts are more simply updated when using a single-entry system. As a result, the danger of fraud increases.
By detecting omission and commission errors, the double-entry method decreases the risk of fraud.
Only small firms can use this method.
This solution is appropriate for businesses of all sizes.
Single-entry accounts are not considered reliable in a dispute and are not admissible evidence.
Double-entry accounts are admissible as evidence in the event of a disagreement.

What Is Single-Entry System?

The single-entry system of bookkeeping is the earliest technique of keeping financial records, in which each financial transaction is recorded. Because transactions are only recorded once in this system, the corresponding opposing entry is not made. Due to a single-entry for each transaction, complete transaction records are not kept. It primarily records transactions involving cash receipts and payments.

Sole proprietorships and partnership firms are the most common users of record-keeping. This system does not necessitate a high level of knowledge and competence for entering transactions. It is unprepared for journals, ledgers, and trial balance. The income statement, on the other hand, is prepared to determine the company's profit or loss.

Because some flaws, like one-sided entry, make reconciliation of accounts impossible, the risk of fraud and errors is high. As a result, it differs from Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Furthermore, the accounting records kept under this approach are insufficient for tax purposes.

Accounting Fundamentals: Single-entry System

  • Single-entry bookkeeping may be the best alternative if you run a small business with a low volume of transactions.
  • With single-entry accounting, y
  • ou may keep track of cash, tax-deductible expenses, and taxable income.
  • In contrast to a check register, a single-entry system only has one entry for each transaction.
  • Positive and negative values are typed in a single column.
  • For revenue and expenses, use a two-column ledger with single-entry bookkeeping.
  • Because each transaction is entered on a single line, it is still referred to as "single-entry accounting."
  • A business owner can only open and handle personal accounts in this accounting system.

A cash book is used in single-entry bookkeeping to monitor revenue and expenses. Start with your current cash balance for a given period, add your income and subtract any expenses. You can compute the cash balance at the end of the selected period after accounting for all of these activities. An organization is unlikely to go overdrawn on its bank account due to the continual update of the amount. The balance of a small business may always be seen at a glance.

What Is Double Entry System?

Luca Pacioli invented the Double Entry System, a scientific way of preserving financial records, in 1494. This approach is founded on the duality principle, which states that every transaction has two sides. Therefore, each transaction impacts two accounts simultaneously, one being debited and the other being credited.

E.g., Assume Mr. A has acquired products worth Rs.1000 from Mr. B in exchange for cash. On the one hand, he has received things, and on the other, the cash has been provided to Mr. B. As a result, you should have seen that you obtained the things by paying cash. As a result, this system captures both elements of a single transaction, i.e., the increase in items and the simultaneous loss in cash, as its name implies.

 First, every transaction is recorded using a detailed protocol. The technique begins with preparing source papers, followed by the diary, ledger, trial balance, and finally, financial statements.

Because this system performs full-fledged transaction recording, there are fewer chances of fraud and embezzlement. Errors are immediately detectable. Due to the two-fold element, you can also reconcile the accounts. Transactions should also be recorded utilising the Double Entry System, according to tax legislation. Although to keep records according to this approach, a person must have professional skills. Furthermore, due to the system's intricacy, it is time-consuming.

Accounting Fundamentals: Double Entry System 

  • In a double-entry bookkeeping system, a transaction is split across two accounts. The debit account is debited, and the credit account is credited.
  • Thanks to a two-fold effect, the method is accurate, thorough, and compliant with GAAP. Each transaction is meticulously documented.
  • This process begins with source documents and progresses to the journal, ledger, and trial balance before compiling financial statements.
  • There is less potential for fraud and embezzlement because this system thoroughly records transactions. Errors are visible.
  • You can reconcile the accounts because of their dual nature.
  • According to tax requirements, transactions should also be recorded utilizing a Double Entry Accounting system. However, this approach takes longer than using the single-entry method.

The debits and credits must always match for error-free transactions. The following formula underpins the double-entry accounting system:

Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s equity

It would help if you balanced your equation on both sides at all times.

Main Between Double Entry System and Single-Entry System in Points

  1. The type of record captured in the books of accounts and the technique by which it is captured two significant differences between single-entry and double-entry systems. A single-entry system records only one transaction, which can be a debit or credit transaction. On the other hand, each transaction in a double-entry system is recorded twice. This indicates that there is an equal and opposite credit entry for every debit input. Therefore, any transaction in the business is documented as a debit or credit entry.
  2. The complexity and volume of transactions determine who uses a single-entry system or a double-entry system. Small businesses, such as sole proprietorships and partnerships, typically employ the single-entry method. Small and large businesses utilize the double-entry technique to keep track of their financial transactions. However, because this method ensures accuracy, large firms must use a double-entry system to record their transactions.
  3. The implementation of a single-entry bookkeeping system is free. A single-entry system does not require qualified individuals to assist in transaction recording. It's an easy way to keep track of business activity. Implementing a double-entry bookkeeping system is a technical task that requires competent employees. Unfortunately, hiring qualified individuals, such as trained accountants, to assist in the sophisticated procedure of recording financial transactions comes at a high expense.
  4. When an organization uses the single-entry method to record business activity, it is tough to uncover problems in bookkeeping. In addition, there is no equivalent record to compare, indicating that arithmetic inaccuracy is relatively high. On the other hand, the double-entry method allows for quick error identification because each entry has a corresponding entry that can be compared. This indicates a high level of arithmetic precision.
  5. The single-entry bookkeeping system aids in the maintenance of personal and transparent accounts of the organization's debtors and creditors. It's also worth noting that the single-entry system is used while inputting entries in the cashbook.The double entry technique is widely used to keep track of all personal, real, and nominal accounts. It's also utilized to maintain track of the company's sophisticated financial statements, which include things like share allotment.
  6. Because all of the transactions recorded in the books of accounts are incomplete, you cannot utilize the single-entry system to prepare the company's trial balance. However, because debit and credit transactions are kept, a trial balance can be recorded using the information stored in the books of accounts, making it simple to prepare the system.
  7. The information gathered using the single-entry system cannot be used to create the profit and loss account. Unfortunately, this means that the system will be unable to assist the organization in determining its financial situation. On the other hand, the organization's double-entry method for documenting financial transactions helps prepare trading profit and loss records. This indicates that the dual entry bookkeeping system assists the company in determining its financial status.
  8. A single-entry system is a bookkeeping method in which just one portion of a transaction, such as debit or credit, is recorded. A double-entry system is a method of recording transactions in which both sides of a transaction are recorded.
  9. Single-entry Transactions are simple. However, Double Entry Systems are complex and require accounting skills to keep records.
  10. In a single-entry system, incomplete records are kept, whereas, in a double-entry system, entire transaction records are kept.
  11. Comparing two accounting periods in a single-entry system is quite challenging. On the other hand, in the double-entry method, we may readily compare two accounting periods.
  12. Personal and monetary accounts are managed using the Single-entry System. Personal, honest, and nominal accounts, on the other hand, are kept using the Double Entry System.
  13. Small businesses benefit from the Single-entry System, while large corporations prefer the Double Entry System.
  14. Frauds and embezzlement are easy to spot in a double-entry system, but they are difficult to spot in a single-entry system.


Because the business organization or owner lacks the financial capacity to absorb the cost of bookkeeping, the single-entry approach is ideal for tiny business owners. To put it another way, all business owners must employ the double-entry accounting procedure. Although a person with less accounting knowledge can use the single-entry system to keep records, the double-entry system arose due to the method's shortcomings. As a result, practically every country now uses the double-entry method to maintain accounting records.


  • https://khatabook.com/blog/difference-between-single-entry-and-double-entry-bookkeeping/#:~:text=A%20single%20Entry%20System%20is%20a%20bookkeeping%20system%20in%20which,of%20a%20transaction%20are%20recorded.
  • https://tutorstips.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Chart-of-Difference-between-Single-Entry-System-and-Double-Entry-System.pdf


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"Difference Between Single Entry and Double Entry System." Diffzy.com, 2023. Mon. 20 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-single-entry-and-double-entry-345>.

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