Governmental accounting versus Corporate accounting

I work for a city government and through my job have been introduced into the world of governmental accounting. I enjoy accounting. Something I didn't think I would ever say when I was taking my first accounting class as an undergraduate student. When I heard of accrual accounting and that if a company receives a payment they debit cash, I thought it was crazy. However over ten years later here I am a graduate student. I do not want to be a CPA. I do want to be an analyst. I saw a trick to keep track of how debits (Dr.) and credits (Cr.) affect, different categories on the financial statements.

On one hand make the "Hang Ten" sign. With the thumb and small finger pointed up, and the pointer, middle, and ring finger pointed down, this is a visual aid to help remember how debits affect - assets, liabilities, operating expenses, revenue, and equity. If you have the hang ten sign then using the previous order, a debit will increase the fingers pointing up and decrease those pointing down. So a debit will increase assets and equity while a debit will increase liabilities, expenses, and revenue.

Next is credits. Hold up your hand and the thumb and small finger should touch so that only the three middle fingers are pointing up. Credits will decrease assets and equity while credits will increase liabilities, expenses, and revenue.

This is a simple explanation to help remember what a Dr. and Cr. do.


Scott R.

4.0 graduate student in accounting and finance and did I mention...

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