Dual Aspect Concept | Duality Principle in Accounting
Dual Aspect Concept, also known as Duality Principle, is a fundamental convention of accounting that necessitates the recognition of all aspects of an accounting transaction. Dual aspect concept is the underlying basis for double entry accounting system.
In a single entry system, only one aspect of a transaction is recognized. For instance, if a sale is made to a customer, only sales revenue will be recorded. However, the other side of the transaction relating to the receipt of cash or the grant of credit to the customer is not recognized.
Single entry accounting system has been superseded by double entry accounting. You may still find limited use of single entry accounting system by individuals and small organizations that keep an informal record of receipts and payments.
Double entry accounting system is based on the duality principle and was devised to account for all aspects of a transaction. Under the system, aspects of transactions are classified under two main types:
Debit is the portion of transaction that accounts for the increase in assets and expenses, and the decrease in liabilities, equity and income.
The classification of debit and credit effects is structured in such a way that for each debit there is a corresponding credit and vice versa. Hence, every transaction will have 'dual' effects (i.e. debit effects and credit effects).
The application of duality principle therefore ensures that all aspects of a transaction are accounted for in the financial statements.
Mr. A, who owns and operates a bookstore, has identified the following transactions for the month of January that need to be accounted for in the monthly financial statements:
|1. Payment of salary to staff||2,000|
|2. Sale of books for cash||5,000|
|3. Sales of books on credit||15,000|
|4. Receipts from credit customers||10,000|
|5. Purchase of books for cash||20,000|
|6. Utility expenses - unpaid||3,000|
Under double entry system, the above transactions will be accounted for as follows:
|1. Salary Expense||Increase in expense||2,000|
|Cash at bank||Decrease in assets||2,000|
|2. Cash in hand||Increase in assets||5,000|
|Sales revenue||Increase in income||5,000|
|3. Receivables||Increase in assets||15,000|
|Sales revenue||Decrease in income||15,000|
|4. Cash at bank||Increase in asset||10,000|
|Receivables||Decrease in asset||10,000|
|5. Purchases||Increase in expense||20,000|
|Cash at bank||Decrease in asset||20,000|
|6. Utility Expense||Increase in expense||3,000|
|Accrued expenses||Decrease in asset||3,000|