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Construction Glossary >
Single-Entry Accounting
Construction glossary

What is Single-Entry Accounting?

Single-Entry Accounting is a simple and basic form of accounting predominantly used by small businesses in construction and other sectors. Rather than double-entry bookkeeping, which records each transaction twice (as a debit and a credit), single-entry accounting records each transaction only once. It's essentially a record of cash sales and expenses, historically likened to a checkbook register. In the construction industry, this method might be used by small contractors or independent craftsmen who have relatively simple accounting. For instance, a freelance carpenter might use single-entry accounting to record cash received from clients and expenditures for supplies. However, it's crucial to note that while single-entry accounting may be simpler and less time-consuming, it does not provide as comprehensive a financial picture as double-entry accounting. It fails to track assets and liabilities and can make it challenging to produce financial statements. Therefore, it is most suitable for the smallest businesses within the construction industry.