Accounts in the National Economy

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Accounts in the National Economy


a system of economic relations in socialist countries between the state, enterprises, organizations, institutions, and the population in the course of selling goods and services, paying wages, distributing and redistributing national income through the budget, and bank crediting. Accounts in the national economy help to accelerate commodity circulation and the movement of the global social product, to create the necessary conditions for reciprocal stimulation and control by those participating in payment relations, and to provide a comparison of the participants’ income and expenditures.

Accounts in the Soviet national economy are planned and stable. The organization of the accounts is based on the following principles: (1) enterprises, organizations, and institutions must keep their money in a bank; (2) payments between enterprises, institutions, and organizations should generally be settled not by cash but by book entry or by the offsetting of claims; (3) all payment documents used as the basis for noncash transactions are used only for payments through banks, communications offices, and savings banks; and (4) only general state circulating credit instruments can circulate in turnover outside the bank.

The mechanism of payments includes two basic components: the method of payment and the form of the circulation of documents. The method of payment is the organizational form for replacing cash by banking operations. A distinction is made between payments from settlement and current accounts, from loan and special loan accounts, from deposit accounts, and payments made by the offsetting of claims. The basic types of payment documents on the basis of which a bank carries out authorizations for payment are demands for payment, payment authorizations, checks, and letters of credit. Certain forms of clearance transactions correspond to these documents. The payment documents move between economic organizations and banking institutions, and this is called circulation of documents.

Although accounts in the national economy of other socialist countries are based on the same principles as in the USSR, there are certain distinguishing features. This is explained by differences in determining the moment of completing the sale of a product produced by enterprises—for example, in terms of goods shipment—and in respect to the role of credit in the payments. The Socialist Republic of Rumania and a number of other socialist countries practice acceptance of commodities and not payment documents, which makes it possible to strengthen the power of the consumer to exercise control over the quality of the received product. In all the socialist countries there is a trend to standardize and limit forms of clearance transactions and documents and to increase the minimum amount of payments carried out through banks.


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The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.