'Footing' Definition:

Footing means getting the sum of the amounts entered in the debit and credit columns of an account. It is useful in computing for account balances.

Contents:
  1. Definition of footing
  2. Purpose
  3. Examples

Purpose of Footing

Every account has a debit column and a credit column. The debit column is on the left side of the account while the credit column is on the right. Amounts are entered to these columns as business transactions are recorded and posted. Once all transactions are recorded and posted, the account balances are computed. Account balances are the amounts that are reported in the financial statements.

To get the balance of an account, all amounts on the debit column are added. All amounts on the credit column are also added. This process is known as "footing". The account balance is then computed by getting the difference between total debits and total credits.

Example

Assume the following amounts were entered in the service equipment account during the period.

Service Equipment
20,000 20,000
22,000 16,000
16,000  
17,500  

The amounts in the debit column are added. The same is done in the credit column. Drawing a single horizontal line means that a mathematical operation has been made. The totals are written after the line.

Service Equipment
20,000 20,000
22,000 16,000
16,000  
17,500  
75,500 36,000

Total debits amount to $75,500 while total credits amount to $36,000. The account balance is computed by getting the difference. Another line is drawn (again, to indicate that a mathematical operation has been performed). The difference is placed in the column having the higher total amount.

Service Equipment
20,000 20,000
22,000 16,000
16,000  
17,500  
75,500 36,000
39,500  

At the end of the accounting period, Service Equipment has a debit balance of $39,500.

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