In accounting, account titles are the names given to the various categories used to keep track of a businesses finances. For any and every transaction, these accounts are updated to reflect what happened in an organized and consistent manner.

The account titles are found on the business' general ledger, which is a running list of all these transactions. When compiled by an accountant, the general ledger accounts combine to form the company's financial statements. 

For example, let's say a business pays cash to buy new inventory from its suppliers. The bookkeeper credits (adds) the inventory account on the general ledger for the cost of that new inventory. That updates the books to show that new inventory has been purchased and is now owned by the company.

Likewise, the accountant will debit (subtract) the same amount from the cash account on the general ledger. That indicates that the company paid for the new inventory with cash, and therefore, the company's cash balance has decreased by the cost of the new inventory.

There are a near endless possibility of account titles used by the millions of business around the world. However, we can consolidate that list to the most common accounts, which are organized below by each's location on the financial statements.

Common Account Titles: Income Statement

Account TitleType of Account
Sales Revenue
Cost of Goods Sold Cost of Goods Sold
Advertising Expense Operating expense
Amortization Expense Operating expense
Insurance Expense Operating expense
Rent Expense Operating expense
Salaries and Wages Operating expense
Utilities Expense Operating expense
Marketing Expense Operating expense
Gain on sale Other Income
Interest Income Other Income
Loss on sale Other Expense
Interest Expense Other Expenses
Income Tax Taxes

Common Account Titles: Balance Sheet

Account Title Type of Account
Cash Current Assets
Marketable Securities Current Assets
Accounts Receivable Current Asset
Inventory Current Assets
Prepaid expenses Current Assets
Allowance for Doubtful Accounts Current Assets
Buildings Fixed Assets
Equipment Fixed Assets
Leasehold Improvements Fixed Assets
Accumulated Depreciation Fixed Assets
Land Fixed Assets
Investment in Bonds Investments
Investment in Stocks Investments
Goodwill Intangible Assets
Intellectual Property Intangible Assets
Accounts Payable Current liability
Cash Dividends Payable Current Liability
Income Tax Payable Current liability
Capital Stock Shareholders Equity
Common Stock Shareholders Equity
Dividends Shareholders Equity
Paid-In Capital Shareholders Equity
Preferred Stock Shareholders Equity
Retained Earnings Shareholders Equity
Treasury Stock Shareholders Equity

Accountants can help with your financial planning, but so can brokers. If you're trying to locate a good one, visit our broker center for assistance.

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