The Double-Entry Counting Method

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2022-09-23 06:00:13

This document is a gentle introduction to the double-entry counting method, as written from the perspective of a computer scientist. It is an attempt to explain basic bookkeeping using as simple an approach as possible, doing away with some of the idiosyncrasies normally involved in accounting. It is also representative of how Beancount works, and it should be useful to all users of plain-text accounting .

Note that I am not an accountant, and in the process of writing this document I may have used terminology that is slightly different or unusual to that which is taught in perhaps more traditional training in accounting. I granted myself license to create something new and perhaps even unusual in order to explain those ideas as simply and clearly as possible to someone unfamiliar with them.

I believe that the method of double-entry counting should be taught to everyone at the high school level everywhere as it is a tremendously useful organizational skill, and I hope that this text can help spread its knowledge beyond professional circles.

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