written by | May 9, 2022

What is Single Entry System of Bookkeeping?

A single-entry system allows for only one entry per transaction, and it can be an income account or an expense account. One of the most popular single-entry bookkeeping systems is the cash book. Accounting is the recording and classification of financial transactions quantifiable in monetary terms. These transactions are then analysed and reported to determine the account's strength.

There are two main methods of accounting: 

  • Single-entry bookkeeping 
  • Double-entry bookkeeping

The single-entry system is not like the double-entry system, and it only records one entry per transaction with simple methods. Most entries record outgoing or incoming funds in a cash book is a journal that includes description, date and income columns.

Did you know?

A majority of accounting firms offer accounting and booking services to their customers. In 2022, the global market for accounting services will grow to ₹868 crores as per the experts.

Also Read: What is the Difference Between Single Entry and Double Entry Bookkeeping?

What is the Single Entry System of Accounting?

Only one side of each transaction is recorded in single entry accounting systems. This occurs because each transaction is recorded using only one entry. As a result, no nominal or real accounts are used in a single entry system. Cash and accounts receivable are the focus.

A single entry accounting system can be described as a system that firms use to get by rather than a system that they would find desirable.

Single Entry System Features

Following are the prominent features of single entry system:

Personal Accounts

Only individuals can create or maintain these accounts. Real and nominal accounts do not have the same weight.

Maintenance of Cash Books

The cash book, which includes personal and business transactions, is prepared and maintained.

Original Vouchers

These original vouchers are important because they allow you to gather information about the parties, date, amount and discount (if applicable).

Profit or Loss

The amount of profit or loss earned is an estimate based on the available information, and it is impossible to determine exact yields.

Final Accounts

It is difficult to prepare final accounts in the single entry system due to the lack of real and nominal accounts. To prepare the financial statements, you need to analyse and convert all information to a double-entry system. After that, you (or the professional you hired) can prepare trading and profit & loss accounts. The figures for assets, liabilities and other information are calculated using the available information, but they can also be estimated.

The statement of affairs replaces the balance sheet.


This system is suitable for small businesses such as partnerships and sole proprietorships, keeping credit and cash transaction records.

What's the Difference Between Single-Entry System and Double-Entry Bookkeeping Practices?

Single Entry System

First, let's clarify what a single entry system is. We often call this system a pure system of entry. This system does not use the format of traditional dual recording. Instead, you keep only one cashbook. This cash book will record all money transactions, and this system will not allow for any other ledgers. All personal transactions are in a logbook.

This method isn't very scientific, as you can see. Today, we don't even use it that often. Mostly, individuals use a single entry system to create final accounts using incomplete records. Other important features and advantages of the single entry system include:

  • This system will ignore real and nominal accounts.
  • Personal transactions, including businesses, will get recorded as one book since only one cash book can be kept.
  • There is no trial balance, so we can't verify the accuracy of accounting numbers.
  • We can only determine profit or loss but cannot assess the financial situation.

Double Entry System

After looking at the single entry system meaning, let's examine what a double entry system is. Well, it's a traditional and more conventional method for accounting transactions, and this method is a bit scientific. The principle of double-entry is that each transaction will impact two accounts. This is the rule of debiting and crediting that every credit entry must have a corresponding debit entry.

The accounting world is familiar with the double-entry system. These are some of the this system's key features:

  • We can verify the financial records' accuracy by preparing the trial balance.
  • This system allows you to keep all three types of accounts - nominal, personal and real in one place.
  • This will enable you to prepare the balance sheet, reflecting your organisation's financial position.
  • There are not many modifications to the system.
  • This double-entry system makes it easy to spot frauds & errors.

Types of Single-Entry Systems

  1. One Simple Entry

The simple single entry account is a reinterpretation of a double-entry system. It includes personal and cash accounts, and we use just these two accounts for entries.

  1. Pure Single Entry

Single-entry bookkeeping does not include information about sales, bank balances, purchases, or cash. This only includes personal accounts. It does not provide information about cash transactions and daily transactions. So, it is not practical.

  1. Quasi Single Entry

This type of accounting includes personal and cash accounts. We can also maintain other subsidiary accounts, including sales, purchases and billing books. The personal account also records discounts. You can also access vital information such as wages, rent and salaries. This is a replacement for double-entry accounting systems. We can see that the single-entry system combines single-entry, double entries and no entry.

Also Read: What is Double Entry System of Accounting

What are the Advantages of a Single-Entry System for Bookkeeping?

These are the key advantages of a single-entry system for bookkeeping:


Single-entry bookkeeping allows for more straightforward accounting procedures as individuals and businesses only record one entry per month. The single-entry bookkeeping procedure is simple enough for people to use with little or no accounting experience.

Small businesses may find the simplicity of single-entry bookkeeping appealing, especially if they don't have the resources to hire a full-time accountant. The single-entry system is beneficial for business owners or employees to maintain the books.

Ideal for Small Businesses and Startups

Small businesses and startups may find single-entry systems advantageous because they can only focus on profit and loss tracking. Single-entry bookkeeping allows smaller businesses to keep their finances organised and straightforwardly.

Startups and small businesses are less likely to have a strong financial record. Single-entry bookkeeping is more attractive because it requires fewer transactions that need tracking. One-entry bookkeeping is perfect for a startup or small business, but it can change to double-entry as the company grows.

No Tools are Required

A single-entry system requires only a pencil and paper. Single-entry bookkeeping is a cost-effective way to save money for small businesses, and it tracks only revenue and expenses. Single-entry bookkeeping is perfect for manual accounting systems.

Financial Maintenance is Easier

Small businesses and startups also have the advantage of single-entry bookkeeping. This allows them to see all funds coming in and going out. This will enable companies to spot any problems in their financial records and make necessary changes.

A single-entry bookkeeping system can help a company determine if it is spending too much on one aspect of its business. Single-entry bookkeeping is a great way for companies to find ways to reduce costs and improve their financial health. Also, our master tip would be learning how to write a business plan to narrow the path to attaining success.

What are the Drawbacks of the Single Entry System of Bookkeeping?

Single-entry bookkeeping does not include financial accounts such as accounts receivable (money due to you), inventory or accounts payable. You cannot use single-entry bookkeeping to create your cash flow statement and balance sheet.

To get a complete picture of your business finances, it is important to have your balance sheets, income statement and cash flow statements. The single-entry system has a disadvantage because it is more difficult to track assets and liabilities. Even money you don't have yet (accounts receivables) counts as an asset; however, due debts count as liabilities.

Single-entry bookkeeping records income if you take out business loans. If you use a double-entry bookkeeping system, the loan would be recorded as a liability (money that you owe), giving you a better picture of your total debt.

Double-entry bookkeeping also makes it easier to match the expenses of producing your product/service with the necessary payment. A single-entry system won't be able to match up expenses and payments if they occur in different accounting periods, such as if you sent the invoice at the end of each month.

Single-entry bookkeeping also makes it more difficult to identify fraud or spot errors in your accounting. Double-entry accounting requires that debits and credit match, so you will notice when they are out of balance. This protection is not available in single-entry bookkeeping. Therefore, errors carry forward, and you don't know about them.


In case an entity has a vision of the future and wants to pitch a strong deck for profitable investments or expand its business, it is best to choose double-entry bookkeeping in this case.

The firm may be able to start with single-entry bookkeeping, but it should look into shifting to other account practices in the future. After reading this post, it is now your turn to share your single entry system definitions. Another awesome tip from our side is to opt for a platform like Khatabook to automate all your business transactions, and it will eliminate all that daunting calculation.
Follow Khatabook for the latest updates, news blogs, and articles related to micro, small and medium businesses (MSMEs), business tips, income tax, GST, salary, and accounting.


Q: What are some of the single entry system features?


The following are the advantages of a single entry system:

  • Original vouchers.  
  • Cashbook.  
  • Personal account.  
  • No fixed rules.  
  • Estimation of profit or loss.     
  • Final accounts.  
  • Simple and easy. 
  • Economical.

Q: What is a good single entry system example?


If a business takes out a ₹8,000 loan, liability is debited ₹8,000 and assets are credited ₹8,000.

Q: What's the difference between double and single-entry systems of accounting?


In a single entry system, only one part of a transaction comes into records, such as debit or credit, while in a double-entry system, both sides of the transactions go into the record.

Q: What is the single entry system of accounting?


The single entry system definition is very simple. With the single entry system, only the cash book and the personal accounts of debtors and creditors are kept, but there is no other ledger to be maintained. Each business transaction is written down in the cash book without using the rules of the double-entry system of bookkeeping.

Disclaimer :
The information, product and services provided on this website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis without any warranty or representation, express or implied. Khatabook Blogs are meant purely for educational discussion of financial products and services. Khatabook does not make a guarantee that the service will meet your requirements, or that it will be uninterrupted, timely and secure, and that errors, if any, will be corrected. The material and information contained herein is for general information purposes only. Consult a professional before relying on the information to make any legal, financial or business decisions. Use this information strictly at your own risk. Khatabook will not be liable for any false, inaccurate or incomplete information present on the website. Although every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this website is updated, relevant and accurate, Khatabook makes no guarantees about the completeness, reliability, accuracy, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, product, services or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Khatabook will not be liable for the website being temporarily unavailable, due to any technical issues or otherwise, beyond its control and for any loss or damage suffered as a result of the use of or access to, or inability to use or access to this website whatsoever.