Contra account:

A contra account is any account that has a normal balance opposite its associated account category. For example, contra-asset accounts normally have credit balances. Examples of an account and its associated contra account are fixed assets and accumulated depreciation. A fixed assets account normally has a debit balance, and accumulated depreciation normally has a credit balance.

Control account:

A control account is a General Ledger account that allows you the option to summarize details from a subsidiary ledger when reporting. It does not affect the transactions or balances.  An example control account is the Accounts Payable Summary account.


Also refer to How to mark an account as a control or a contra account.

If you have questions regarding account category, including whether an account should be marked as a Contra account or Control account, contact your accountant.