Single Entry Bookkeeping

Single-entry bookkeeping refers to a system of accounting where each transaction is only recorded once.

Single-entry bookkeeping records the following transactions:

  • Taxable income
  • Tax-deductible expenses
  • Cash

Transactions are in one column and are either positive or negative. Although revenue and expenses can be split into separate columns, each transaction remains on one line, so this still qualifies as single-entry bookkeeping.

Accounting software can perform single-entry bookkeeping, but in its simplest form, it can be performed on paper. 

A single-entry bookkeeping system is used to keep track of a business's finances. Every transaction has one entry, and most entries record either incoming or outgoing funds. Normally, transactions are recorded in a document called a "cash book" that organizes transactions by details such as date, description, and income or expense type.

Businesses that use a single-entry system record revenue when it comes in and expenses when it is paid. Companies that use a double-entry bookkeeping system record revenue when it is earned, not received, and expenses are recorded when they are incurred, not paid.