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Ledger:

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The journal provides a complete listing of the daily transactions of a business. But it does not provide information about a specific account in one place. For example, to know how much cash balance we have, the accounting clerk would have to check all the journal entries in which cash is involved, and this is very laborious job; because there are hundreds or even thousands of cash transactions recorded on different pages of journal. To avoid this difficulty, the debit and credit of journalized transactions are transferred to ledger accounts. Thus all the changes for a single account are located in one place - in a ledger account. This makes it easy to determine the current balance of any account.

Contents:

Definition and Explanation of Ledger:

The book in which accounts are maintained is called ledger. Generally, one account is opened on each page of this book, but if transactions relating to a particular account are numerous, it may extend to more than one page. All transactions relating to that account are recorded chronologically. From journal each transaction is posted to at least two concerned accounts - debit side of one account and credit side of another account. Remember that, if there are two accounts involved in a journal entry, it will be posted to two accounts in the ledger and if the journal entry consists of three accounts (compound entry) it will be posted to three different accounts in the ledger. The process of transferring information from journal to ledger accounts is known as posting. The goal of all transactions is ledger. Ledger is known as the destination of entries in journal but it must be remembered that transactions cannot be recorded directly in the ledger - they must be routed through journal. This concept is illustrated below:

Transaction
Journal
Ledger

So, the books in which all the transactions of a business concern are finally recorded in the concerned accounts in a summarized form is called ledger.

Characteristics of Ledger Account:

The ledger has the following main characteristics:

  1. It has two identical sides - left hand side (debit side) and right hand side (credit side).
  2. Debit aspect of all the transactions are recorded on the debit side and credit aspects of all the transactions are recorded on credit side according to date.
  3. The difference of the totals of the two sides represents balance. The excess of debit side over credit side indicates debit balance, while excess of credit side over debit side indicates the credit balance. If the two sides are equal, there will be no balance.
  4. Generally the balance is drawn at the year end and recorded on the lesser side to make the two sides equal. This balance is know as closing balance.
  5. The closing balance of the current year becomes the opening balance of the next year.

Types or Forms of Ledger Accounts:

There are two forms of ledger accounts. These are:

  1. Standard form
  2. Self-balancing form

Standard Form of Ledger Account:

To understand clearly as to how to write the accounts in ledger, the standard form of an account is given below with two separate transactions:

Date Particulars J.R Amount Date Particulars J.R Amount

2005
Dec. 17


Cash A/C

 
1,200
2005
Dec. 17


Purchases A/C

 
2,000

It appears that each account in the ledger has two similar sides - left hand side is called debit side (briefly Dr.) and right hand side (briefly Cr.) side. Now a days these two words are not used, because it is obvious that the left hand side is debit side and right hand side is credit side.

Posting Procedure:

Transferring information i.e. entries from journal to ledger accounts is called posting. The procedure of posting from journal to ledger is as follows:

  1. Locate the ledger account from the first debit in the journal entry.
  2. Record the date in the date column on the debit side of the account. The date is the date of transaction rather than the date of the posting.
  3. Record the name of the opposite account (account credited in entry) in the particular (also know as reference column, description column etc) column.
  4. Record the page number of the journal in the journal reference (J.R) column from where the entry is being posted.
  5. Record the amount of the debit in the "amount column"
  6. Locate the ledger account for the first credit in the journal and follow the same procedure.

Balancing An Account:

The difference between the two sides of an account is its balance. The balance is written on the lesser side to make the two sides equal. The process of equalizing the two sides of an account is known as balancing.

The rules for balancing an account are stated as below:

  1. Add up the amount columns of both the sides of an account and write the totals in a separate slip of paper.
  2. Find out the difference of the two totals.
  3. Write down the difference on the lesser side of the account.
  4. Now total up both the sides and write the totals and draw double lines under them.
  5. Again write the difference on the opposite side below the double line.

If the debit side of an account is heavier, its balance is known as debit balance. and if the credit side of an account is heavier its balance is know as credit balance. If the two sides are equal, that account will show zero balance. The rules for determining the balance is as follows:

Total debit = More than total credit = Debit balance
Total credit = More than total debit = Credit balance
Total debit = Total credit = Nil balance

It may be noted that at the time of balancing an account debit balance is placed on the credit side and credit balance on debit site. This balance is known as closing balance. What is closing balance in this year, is the opening balance of the next year.

Example:

Enter the following transactions in journal and post them into ledger:

2005  
Jan. 1 Mr. Javed started business with cash $100,000
2 He purchased furniture for $20,000
3 He purchased goods for $60,000
5 He sold goods for cash $80,000
6 He paid salaries $10,000

Solution:

Journal

Date

Particular

L.F Amount Amount
2005        
Jan. 1 Cash A/C .....................................................Dr.
     Capital
(Being capital brought in)
9
11
100,000
100,000
2 Furniture A/C.................................................Dr.
     Cash A/C
(Being furniture purchased for cash)
13
9
20,000
20,000
3 Purchases A/C...............................................Dr.
     Cash A/C
(Goods purchased for cash)
15
9
60,000
60,000
5 Cash A/C......................................................Dr.
     Sales A/C
(Sold goods for cash)
9
17
80,000
80,000
6 Salaries A/C..................................................Dr.
      Cash A/C Return
(Salaries paid)
19
9
10,000
10,000

Ledger

Cash Account (No.9)

Date Particular J.R Amount Date Particulars J.R Amount
2005       2005      
Jan.1 Capital A/C 1 100,000 Jan.2 Furniture A/C 1 20,000
Jan.5 Sales A/C 1 80,000 Jan.3 Purchases A/C 1 60,000
        Jan.6 Salaries A/C 1 10,000
          Balance c/d   90,000
  Total   180,000   Total   180,000

Capital Account (No.11)

Date Particular J.R Amount Date Particulars J.R Amount
2005       2005      
Jan.6 Balance c/d   100,000 Jan.1 Cash A/C 1 100,000
  Total   100,000   Total   100,000

Furniture Account (No.13)

Date Particular J.R Amount Date Particulars J.R Amount
2005       2005      
Jan.2 Cash A/C 1 20,000 Jan.6 Balance c/d   20,000
  Total   20,000   Total   20,000

Purchases Account (No.15)

Date Particular J.R Amount Date Particulars J.R Amount
2005       2005      
Jan.3 Cash A/C 1 60,000 Jan.6 Balance c/d   60,000
  Total   60,000   Total   60,000

Sales Account (17)

Date Particular J.R Amount Date Particulars J.R Amount
2005       2005      
Jan.6 Balance c/d   80,000 Jan.5 Cash A/C 1 80,000
  Total   80,000   Total   80,000

Salaries Account (19)

Date Particular J.R Amount Date Particulars J.R Amount
2005       2005      
Jan.6 Cash A/C 1 10,000 Jan.6 Balance c/d   10,000
  Total   10,000   Total   10,000

Self Balancing Form of Ledger Accounts:

In practice the standard form of the ledger account is not used. But it is usually used for examination purposes.

In practice, the self balancing form of ledger accounts is used. The advantage of this type of ledger account is that the balance of the account after each transaction is available at a glance from the last column. So, much time and labor is saved. In the following example self balancing ledger accounts have been used.

Example:

Enter the following transactions in journal and post them into the ledger and also prepare a trial balance.

2005  
Jan. 1 Mr. X started business with cash $80,000 and furniture $20,000.
Jan. 2 Purchased goods on credit worth $30,000 from Y.
Jan. 3 Sold goods for cash $16,000.
Jan. 4 Sold goods on credit to S for $10,000
Jan. 8 Cash received from S $9,800 in full settlement of his account.

Solution:

Journal

Date
2005

Particulars

L.F DR.
Amount ($)
Cr.
Amount ($)
Jan. 1 Cash A/C 5 80,000  
  Furniture A/C 7 20,000  
       Capital A/C 9   1,00,000
  (Owner invested cash and furniture)      
 
     
Jan. 2 Purchases Account 11 30,000  
       Y 13   30,000
  (Bought goods on credit)      
 
     
Jan. 3 Cash A/C 5 16,000  
       Sales A/C 15   16,000
  (Sold goods for cash)      
 
     
Jan. 4 S A/C 17 10,000  
       Sales A/C 15   10,000
  (Sold goods on credit)      
 
     
Jan. 8 Cash A/C 5 9,800  
  Discount A/C 19 200  
       S A/C 17   10,000
  (Cash received and discount allowed)      

Ledger

Cash Account (No.5)

Date references J.R Debit Credit Balance
2005 Dr. Cr.
Jan. 1 Capital A/C 5 80,000   80,000  
Jan. 3 Sales A/C 5 16,000   96,000  
Jan. 8 S A/C 5 9,800   105,800  

Furniture Account (No.7)

Date references J.R Debit Credit Balance
2005 Dr. Cr.
Jan. 1 Capital A/C 5 20,000   20,000  

Capital Account (No.9)

Date references J.R Debit Credit Balance
2005 Dr. Cr.
Jan. 1 Cash A/C 5   80,000   80,000
Jan. 1 Furniture A/C 5   20,000   1,00,000

Purchases Account (No.11)

Date references J.R Debit Credit Balance
2005 Dr. Cr.
Jan. 2 Y A/C 5 30,000   30,000  

Y Account (No.13)

Date references J.R Debit Credit Balance
2005 Dr. Cr.
Jan. 2 Purchases A/C 5   30,000   30,000

Sales Account (No.15)

Date references J.R Debit Credit Balance
2005 Dr. Cr.
Jan. 3 Cash A/C 5   16,000   16,000
Jan. 4 S A/C 5   10,000   26,000

S Account (No.17)

Date references J.R Debit Credit Balance
2005 Dr. Cr.
Jan. 4 Sales A/C 5 10,000   10,000  
Jan. 8 Cash A/C 5   9,800    
Jan. 8 Discount A/C 5   200 Nil  

Discount Account (No.19)

Date references J.R Debit Credit Balance
2005 Dr. Cr.
Jan. 8 S A/C 5 200   200  
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More study material from this topic:

Classification of accounts
Rules of debits and credits
Journal
Ledger
Trial balance
Questions and answers

 

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

 

Financial Accounting Topics


  Introduction to Accounting
 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Transactions and Accounting Equation
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  Analysis of Business Transactions
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  Journal, Ledger and Trial Balance
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  Accounting for Bills of Exchange
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Special Journals
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  Cash Book
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Bank Reconciliation Statement
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  Final Accounts
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Work Sheet
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Capital and Revenue Items
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Valuation of Inventories
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Accounts of Non-profit Making Organizations
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Statement of Cash Flows
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Accounting Ratios Analysis
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  Depreciation, Provisions and Reserves
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Accounting Dictionary
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Financial Calculators
 
 
 
Managerial Accounting Topics

  Financial Statements
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  Cost Volume Profit Relationship
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  Variable Costing System
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  Materials and Inventory Cost Control
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Activity Based Costing System
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  Standard Costing and Variance Analysis
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  Balanced Scorecard
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Capital Investment Analysis/Capital Budgeting
 

 

 

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