Meaning of Active Exchange

Entrepreneurs and the self-employed also have to deal with accounting. Because without this, no invoices can be written and therefore no turnover can be generated. One topic that is becoming important again and again is the so-called active swap . You can find out what there is to know here …

Definition of active exchange

Bookkeeping is an important topic when it comes to building and running a business. The asset swap here is one of the four possible actions (in addition to the equity swap , the asset-liability Mehrung and the asset-liability reduction ) as changed to represent the record in business cases.

What is an Active Exchange?

In order to understand the asset swap exactly, it must be clarified how a balance sheet is structured. This consists of two factors, the active side and the passive side. The assets side is understood to be the fixed assets and the current assets, and the liabilities side is used to book equity and liabilities, in the sense of outside capital.

Build a balance sheet

Active side Passive side
Capital assets equity capital
Current assets Liabilities ( borrowed capital )

The term active swap therefore means that the total on the assets side of a balance sheet always remains identical. As an example one can see a purchase of writing utensils with a cash payment . This is an expense for your own company, which works through the cash register. In contrast to a liability swap , as would be the case with a loan, for example, because here only expenses are swapped and are therefore referred to as an ” swap “. The balance sheet total remains the same.

Double bookkeeping active swap

The bookkeeping documents the change in assets through expenses and income over the calendar year of a company. Merchants refer to this change as a change in expense and income . Here yield means the increase in assets and values, accordingly the expenditure is the consumption of these values.

Active exchange and double entry bookkeeping

How can an active exchange be noted in the double entry bookkeeping? The inventory accounts and the profit accounts play a role in this. Above all, it should be ensured that the asset swap is a process in which the balance sheet total remains the same and is therefore a so-called ” profit-neutral process “.


According to § 242 III HGB, companies are obliged to keep double bookkeeping . With double-entry bookkeeping, a company’s assets and debts can be made visible.

Inventory accounts

Under stock accounts are any type of income and assets of the company. All income and expenses are documented so that it is clear to what extent the movement on the account can be explained. Finally, for example at the end of the tax year, the numbers from the beginning and the end of the year are compared.

Success accounts

Under income statement accounts refers to the method in which the income and expenses are documented and finally netted.

This is how the active exchange is booked

To see how the active exchange is usually booked, the following overview is suitable as illustrative material :

Active side Passive side
Fixed assets:
Land = 30,000 euros
rent = 20,000 euros
current assets:
materials = 15,000 euros
furnishings = 35,000 euros
Equity = 20,000
liabilities (outside capital):
Loan from the bank = 70,000 euros,
liabilities to dealers = 10,000 euros
Total active side: 100,000 euros Total on the passive side: 100,000 euros

The difference between active and passive swaps

As already presented, the balance sheet consists of an active side (fixed assets, current assets) and a passive side (equity and liabilities). The difference here lies in the handling of the purchase process, because the active exchange only affects active accounts , such as a bank transfer to a customer. In the case of a passive swap, on the other hand, this takes place through a passive swap, for example the settlement of a payment request with a loan. It is also important to mention that the balance sheet total remains the same for both versions.

Other forms of balance

In addition to the active and passive exchange, there are also two other forms: the active-passive increase and the active-passive decrease .

Active-passive increase

In the case of an increase in assets and liabilities, both sides, i.e. the assets and liabilities sides of the balance sheet, are involved. The balance sheet total increases equally on the assets and liabilities side of the balance sheet. For example, if a machine is bought for the company, then there is an increase because a new product has been purchased. If this is paid for by a loan, then the liabilities also increase. In contrast to the active swap, here the changes are found on the active and passive side, in this case an increase.

Active-passive reduction

Similar to the increase in assets and liabilities, both sides of the balance sheet are used here, but the balance sheet total is reduced. For example, a transfer to a dealer, this reduces our capital because we transfer from our own account. In addition, the liabilities from delivery and service are reduced because we have paid the costs. Compared to the active exchange and passive exchange, both sides are equally affected and there is a reduction.


The principle behind the asset swap explains how expenses and income affect the company, because expenses are not the same as expenses and equally, income is not the same as income. In addition to the asset swap, there are also three other options in the area of ​​the balance sheet , the passive swap , the active-passive reduction and the active-passive increase . It is worthwhile to familiarize yourself with these aspects and to get an insight into the accounting processes. Not only with a view to avoiding mistakes, but also to understand where there may still be room for improvement and optimization in the company.

Active Exchange