Within a windows (WPF) application (or in general), is there a preferred layout for columns for accounting type processes.

e.g. Do debits or credits come first? Do totals sit above or below the entries? Do you show row totals at all, and if so to the right or left?

I've tried to find any suggestions but come up with zip so far!

My thinking is:

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2 Answers 2


Accounting Book keeping is a subject that has been around for many decades (way before the invention of the home computer) so has a very mature best practice - book keeping training courses are still popular today.

There are plenty of software solutions that specialise in this so you could do some "competitor" research (just Google "Book keeping software").

This link even compares many of them: http://accounting-software-review.toptenreviews.com/

IIRC You generally have Incoming before Outgoings, and Net Result (typically Profit) last.


I've got very limited bookkeeping experience, but I think most packages are more vertically oriented? Some quick googled examples (anyone; feel free to replace with better ones): 1, 2, 3, 4.

Also I think you don't generally list entiry companies (except in very simplified circumstances), but departments or product lines, or even more specifically. This is also (partially) the reason that you don't use a neat grid: departments like marketing and management tend not to generate revenue directly, and sales of digital downloads tend not to have costs (instead the servers are listed among other expenses). Using a grid might be nice if there's a lot of clean overlap, but that's often not the case.

At any rate, it makes more sense to first figure out what you have (revenue) and then what you spent (expenses) to arrive at the profit. That also follows PEMDAS order of operations: Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction.

Finally, one thing I am certain of; negative (profit) numbers should be red.

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