Single Entry Bookkeeping System in Accounting [Notes with PDF]

In this article, we will learn in-depth about the single-entry bookkeeping system in accounting, including its definition, features, application area, how to determine the profit and loss under a single entry system, the difference between the single entry, and double-entry system, and much more.

Let’s Start

What is a Single Entry Bookkeeping System in Accounting?

A single-entry bookkeeping system is a method that records each accounting transaction with one entry to the accounting records, instead of the vastly more widespread double-entry bookkeeping system.

A single-entry accounting system is centered on the results of a business that are reported within the income statement. 

The method goes by the name single entry is nothing but an admixture of a single entry, double entry, and no entry.

Prof. William Pickles

The core information tracked under this method is cash disbursements and cash receipts.

A single entry system does not record the assets and liability accounts. These items must be tracked separately.

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What are the Features of Single Entry Bookkeeping System

The single-entry bookkeeping system is an accounting method that is defective, incomplete, and unscientific, and its use and applicability are limited.

Although this method is not universally used in this circumstance, the following characteristics of this accounting system are discussed in light of its practical application:

1.Absence of universally accepted policy:

In this technique of accounting, there are differences from one institution to the next.

Institutions adopt accounting methods according to their needs and the interests of the owner.

As a result, there are no universal rules and regulations in this scenario.

2. Nature of business:

Generally, sole proprietorships, small businesses, limited partnership businesses, and social organizations maintain accounts in this manner.

The Joint Venture Company does not follow this procedure in any of its operations.

According to the Companies Act, the joint venture business maintains the accounts in accordance with specific rules.

3. Preservation of certain accounts:

Singe entry system usually preserves cash and personal accounts. It does not preserve asset and nominal accounts properly.

4. Mixed accounting procedure:

For some transactions, a single system records both sides of a transaction as debit and credit.

In some transactions, only one party is recorded. In some transactions, neither party is recognized.

For these reasons, this method is called an incomplete accounting system with a combination of mixed accounting systems.

5. Determining the result:

In the case of a single entry system, it does not record the complete account of income and expenditure, so in the case of determining profit, it calculates the net profit or loss of the business by deducting the initial capital from the closing capital.

Suitable fields for Single entry Bookkeeping System

Characteristics of organizations that keep accounts under single entry systems are:

  1. Small businesses that are not financially well-off.
  2. Businesses with a small amount of capital.
  3. Those with a low level of business continuity and stability.
  4. Cash transactions outnumber loan transactions.
  5. In preserving business transactions, there is no accountability.
  6. There is no legal requirement to keep records.
  7. Businesses that are under the direct control of the owner.
  8. Transactions are possible when relying on memory power.
  9. Where there is a lack of general education and accounting knowledge.

Institutions that keep accounts in a single entry system include small grocery stores, tailor shops, fruit shops, small hotels, restaurants, stationery shops, and non-permanent sole proprietorships and partnership businesses, etc.

How to Determine the Profit and Loss of the Business under the Single Entry System?

The following formula or methods is applied for determining the profit and loss of the business.

Profit or Loss = ((Closing Capital+ Drawings)-(Opening Capital+ Additional Capital))

Opening Capital=Total Opening Assets-Total Opening Liabilities

Closing Capital= Total Closing Assets-Total Closing Liabilities

The difference is considered as profit when the total amount of closing capital and drawings is bigger than the total amount of opening and additional capital and as a loss when it is smaller.


Mr. Jam is a small Businessperson. The following information is extracted from his accounts book.

Particulars01.01.2019 31.12.2019
Total Assets    $12,000  $20,000 
Total Liabilities     $ 5,000  $12,000

In 2019 his additional capital $1,500 and total drawings $ 1,000

Calculate Profit & Loss for the year.


We know,

Opening Capital  = Total opening assets-Total opening liabilities

                                   = $12,000-$5,000


Closing Capital = Total Closing assets-Total closing liabilities



Profit or Loss = (Closing Capital + Drawings)-(Opening Capital + Additional Capital)

                    = ($8,000+$1,000)-($7,000+$1,500)

                    = $9,000-$8,500

                    = $500

Amount of profit =$500

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Difference between Single Entry and Double Entry Bookkeeping System.

The following are the points of differences between the single entry system and double entry system:

Sl No.Single Entry Bookkeeping SystemDouble Entry Bookkeeping System
1.The method of accounting during which just one-sided entry is required to record financial transactions is a single-entry bookkeeping system.The Accounting system, in which each transaction affects two accounts at the same time, is known as the double-entry system.
2.As under this technique both the aspects of all transactions aren’t recorded, it’s impossible to organize balance and thereby verify the arithmetical accuracy of books of account.The arithmetic accuracy of the books can be verified through the Trial Balance.
3.No account is maintained with respect to assets and liabilities. So, the balance sheet cannot be prepared.The financial position of the business can be compared by preparing a balance sheet.
4.In this system, it is not possible to prepare a profit and loss account. However, Profit and loss are determined through a statement by comparing closing capital with the opening capital, but it is not reliable.In this system profit and loss accounts can be determined easily.
5.Under this system, full information isn’t available from the books of accounts since it doesn’t maintain a detailed record of all transactions.Under this system, it is easy to get all the required information at any time since it maintains a detailed record of all transactions.
6.Since only a couple of persons are sufficient for performing accounting jobs, here Secrecy is often maintainedSince accounting under this technique requires a large number of employees, sometimes it’s not possible to maintain secrecy.
7.It is not easy to detect mistakes and deflections under this system.It is easier to detect mistakes and deflections under this system.
8.It is not a scientific accounting system.It is a scientific accounting System.

Now, I hope you have understood.

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