Q: Please explain... what do Balance c/f & Balance b/f stand for?
A: This is such a great question. So many accounting students see these words over and over again, they think they know what they mean but a lot of the time they actually don't even know what they stand for.
So here's the explanation:
Balance c/f = Balance carried forward
Balance b/f = Balance brought forward
Balance b/f and Balance c/f specifically appear in T-accounts.
Here's some typical T-accounts showing where these items appear:
As you can see, "Balance b/f" is the term showing the opening balance of the account on a certain date. Sometimes this is written as “b/d" instead, which stands for “brought down."
"Balance c/f" is the term that describes the closing balance of the account - which will be carried forward to the next period. It is actually just a balancing line item within the format of the T-account.
That's really all that these terms mean.
Here's some additional useful info about them:
"Balance b/f" is more important than "Balance c/f" in T-accounts.
The "Balance c/f" is always on the opposite side of the account. So for example, if it's an asset account, the "Balance c/f" will be on the credit side.
The "Balance b/f" is always on the true or real side of the account. So for example, if it's an asset account, the "Balance b/f" will be on the debit side.
I hope this sheds a bit more light on this and helps you progress further with T-accounts and the rest of your accounting studies.
Best, Michael Celender Founder of Accounting-Basics-for-Students.com