ACCOUNT' (Lat. ad, to + computare, to sum up, reckon, compute). In its broadest sense, a catalogue of items, whether of debts or credits, arising out of eontracts, as in the case of merchants; or a fiduciary relation, as in the ease of principal and agent; or a duty imposed by law, as in the case of an administrator or public officer. A mutual account is one containing reciprocal demands or eharges against. the parties; as the account between two merchants, or between a merchant and a customer, each of whom has sold goods to the other. Before an account is rendered or adjusted, it is spoken of as "open'' or A stated account is one which has been accepted as correct by the party against whom it states a balance. The debtor's assent to the correctness of the account as stated need not be express: it may be implied from his retention of an account rendered with out an objection to it within a reasonable time. The acceptance of an account stated. or, to use the ordinary legal phrase, the stating of an account, is said to be in the nature of a new promise; and the creditor suing upon such an account need not set forth the subject matter of the original debt. Originally an aceount stated was confined to transactions between merchants; lint in England and in most of our jurisdictions its scope has been extended to accounts between all creditors and debtors. In
some States, however, stating an account between others than merchants does not create a new cause of action, but is available to the creditor only as an admission by the debtor. Even after an account has been stated it may he corrected for fraud or mutual mistake.
The action of account at common law has fallen into disuse, partly because it was difficult, dilatory and expensive, but chiefly because a court of equity possessed more extended author ity and better machinery in cases involving an aecount. Equity will entertain an action for an accounting where a fiduciary relation exists between the parties, such as that of principal and agent (q.v.), trustee, and ccstui que trust, guardian (q.v.) and ward: or where there is a mutual account between plaintiff and defend ant; or where there are circumstances of compli cation, as in partnership (q.v.) accounts. So an accounting may be had as incidental to the exercise of other equity jurisdiction, as in mort gage foreclosures.