Balance: Important characteristic for the bookkeeping

Definition of balance

The word "balance" derives from the Italian adjective "saldo, salda", which in a figurative sense means "to fix" in German. The plural of balance may be either balances, balances or balances. All forms are correct.

The balance is the difference between the debit and credit side of an account. Specifically, the receipts on an account are offset against the outflows at a certain point in time.

The credit page contains all accounts receivable on an account. In the bookkeeping the credit page is always on the left side. Opposite it is the target page on the right side of the account. It lists all expenses.

  1. Debit balance : If there is a higher turnover on the debit side than on the credit side, this results in a debit balance. The account is colloquially "in the minus".
  2. Credit balance : If the turnover on the credit side is higher than on the target side, there is a credit balance. In everyday life is then spoken of that the account is "in plus".

If the amount of your expenses exceeds your earnings, you have a negative balance, that is, a debit balance. If you do not use a disposition credit, you will "overdraw" the account in this case. If there is a debit balance for a long time, the bank will ask you to settle.

Significance for the account management

Determining the balance is important to you, so you know daily how much money you have left in your account. The lower the credit balance, the less money you can spend until the account is overdrawn.

Significance for accounting and corporate balance sheet

The balance is essential for accounting to determine capital availability and profits across multiple accounts. With the help of the balance, the account balance of individual accounts can be calculated at any time.

The balance of an account can be transferred to the company balance sheet.

Asset and liability balance in financial accounting

When a balance sheet is prepared, it is no longer debit or credit balance but assets and liabilities. Within the balance sheet a debit balance is listed on the left side under the assets, a credit balance on the right under the liabilities.

Therefore, balances use the terms asset balance and liability balance instead of debit and credit balance.

To balance an asset balance, the same amount must be posted to the liability side of the balance sheet. The same applies to the settlement of a liability balance. Such a transfer is carried out at the company's annual accounts or when the account is closed.

This method of booking is important because there are fixed principles for the booking, the so-called "principles of proper accounting".

Balance on account management and accounting

In banking practice, the balance is used as the difference for an account. If debits and credits are the same, there are zero euros in the account.

At the same time, the balance itself can not be negative, since account management is a relationship between the debtor and the creditor. In one case the bank is the debtor for the account holder, in the other case the account holder is the debtor and the bank is the creditor.

Thus, the balance is always for one or the other part of a positive sum and a surplus, which can always be attributed to a contractor.

The term "debit" in the account management

If an account is kept as a debit, this means that a permanent overdraft has been set up. The account holder thus becomes the debtor. The debit balance thus results in a debit account balance. This balance is, in accordance with Article 488 of the Civil Code (BGB), a loan liability of the Account Owner to the Bank.

The opposite term is "vreditorisch" and denotes a credit balance of the account. The account holder thus becomes the creditor of the bank and lends her his credit in this sense.

In a superordinate sense, deposits on the account are repayments of loans when there is a debit account management. If payments are made for a debit balance, this is a disbursement of a loan in financial terms.

In return, the payout on a credit balance is merely a return of the safekeeping money and no loan repayment.

Debtor and creditor in accounting

The terms debit and credit play an important role in accounting. There, the "debtors" are entered in the balance sheet, if they still owe a company money.

For example, a customer can be a company that receives an invoice in December of the financial year, but does not pay it until the following year.

Accounts receivable customers are debtors whose accounts are in credit at the end of the fiscal year. This item is listed in the balance sheet under "other liabilities".

In this case, the invoice will be paid later and until the payment term, the invoice amount is considered the credit of the company, which receives the invoice amount.

Accounts payable are those creditors whose invoices have not yet been fully paid by the accounting company. The vendor becomes a customer vendor if his accounts are in debit balance at the end of the fiscal year. Debit creditors are listed in the balance sheet under "Other assets".

average daily balance

The daily balance is the balance that is determined daily by a bank for a particular account. This is the calculated account balance that is displayed after offsetting revenue and expenditure in one day.

Daily balance is not always up to date

The daily balance, however, is not always up to date. For example, if you have paid with your debit card or credit card, the sums are usually booked the next day.

These expenses will not be included in the daily balance. This is especially true if between the use of the payment card and actual debit a weekend or a public holiday.

If you do not withdraw cash from your bank's ATM, the same daily balance will usually be shown on Saturday and Sunday, although you may have paid with both of your credit cards on both days.

Closing balance

A closing balance is the balance created at the end of a billing cycle. According to paragraph 355, paragraph 1 of the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch, HGB), the annual accounts must be cleared once a year, ie a balance. Interest is included. Some banks have their own terms and conditions such as the savings banks, which provide a quarterly balance.

Business accounts must be billed once a month. In this way, the VAT is calculated, which must be paid by VAT companies to the tax authorities. This VAT is recorded on invoices for expenses and revenues.

Also for credit card holders the balance is relevant, because it is carried out at each billing month, as the cardholder receives an invoice for the sum of his credit card payments.

Note deadlines!

Bank customers have to carefully check the balance of accounts or accounts, because they have only six weeks to report errors in debits to the bank.

If the account holder does not file an objection within this period, the waiver of the opposition shall be deemed acceptance of the clearance of accounts. In the case of faulty SEPA debits, customers have eight weeks to object.

overdraft credit

If you use a credit line for your account, the balance is usually specified. This is the current balance to which the discounting of your account is added.

Thus, the amount of the balance depends on the amount of the overdraft facility granted to you by your bank as part of the credit line. In practice, the balance is displayed to an account, for example, in online banking.

This is then the amount of money that is available to you including the scope of the overdraft granted. However, you should take into account that you are on target and have to pay interest, even if you still have money after the calculation of the disposition balance.

value date balance

The value date balance could also be referred to as a "provisional balance". Because in comparison to the traditional balance, the value date balance also includes credits that have been credited, but whose value you can not yet dispose of. This can be, for example, incoming payments via checks. At the same time, direct debits or transfers that the creditor has already entered, but which have not yet been deducted from the account, are also taken into account in the value date balance.

The purpose of this balance is that the bank informs you of the receipts, but the bank allows itself a period within which it can check checks for debits. If the deadline has expired, the money is available to you or it will be deducted from your account for good.

This is important for value balance

Since the value date balance is money that is either still credited to or debited from your account, you must be careful in both cases.

Therefore, pay attention to the value date. It indicates when the respective booking is executed after the bank has checked.

  • For debits : Make sure that your account is sufficiently covered during a value date check.
  • For deposits : Remember that the currency balance has not yet been fully booked. You therefore can not dispose of the money yet. If you still need money, you may need to use your credit line to withdraw money. In this case, overdraft interest is due, even if the amount of money over the value date balance is already theoretically available. Also take into account that credit interest on your account will only arise if the value date balance has been booked after the deadline.

How to calculate the balance

The balance on your account is the difference between revenue and expenditure. Therefore, you only have to offset revenue and expenses to calculate the balance. The calculated number indicates whether your account is in plus or minus. It can also show you the remaining available money. If you use a credit line, you can use the balance.

An example of a daily balance:

Post reservation will
wage 2,500 euros +
foods 150 euros –
Health insurance 250 euro –
Monthly rate car 200 euros –
average daily balance 1900 euros +

Amelia Smith

You might also like