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Very rarely would anyone start recording their accounting with zero assets or liabilities. Question is - under which account would you record them? Specifically, if you own property, you would debit Assets - Property, but what would you credit? (I'm assuming not cash, since the actual transaction would have happened some time ago).

Similarly, if you have an outstanding liability (say, a loan), you would credit your Liabilities account, but what would you debit?

Would an account like "Beginning Balances" make sense?

Thanks!

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You would credit the Equity account, for both (negative for a loan, obviously). Beginning balance account should be one of your Equity accounts.

You do that with the basis value (current), not the current market value. This is exactly for the reason of this question - to account for gains when realized.

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