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General Ledger? Journals? Day Books? Debtors Ledger? Creditors Ledger? Trial Balance?


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Not sure about these? In my previous post on “ Accounting Documents & Accounting Cycles “, I have discussed the commonly used accounting documents (function is record occurrence of transactions) and also examples of accounting cycles (Sales, Purchases, Cash Receipts Payments).

In order to record the occurrence of transactions in a systematic manner, some form of record keeping must be adopted. The accounting documents such as official receipts, sales invoices, bills etc. are the “Source Documents” in which these documents serve as the evidence of the occurrence of transactions and are based upon to record the transactions as the first entry point of an accounting recording system – “Books of Original Entry”. Examples of books of original entry are the following: -

  • Sales Journal or Sales Day Book – The function is to record sales transactions.
  • Purchases Journal or Purchases Day Book – The function is to record purchases transactions.
  • Cash Book or Bank Book – The function is to record bank transactions.
  • Petty Cash Book – The function is to record petty cash transactions.
  • General Journal – This is used to record those transactions that are not recorded in other books of original entry, i.e. it plays the role of “catching the rest” of the transactions.

Classifying/Grouping Transactions in terms of their frequency of occurrence

Some transactions occur frequently whereas some just occasionally or may be they are of such a pattern that they occur on a fixed intervals – every month, semi annual or annually (Rentals, utility charges, subscription fees & etc).

  • Frequent Transactions

    Sales, purchases, receipts from customers and payment to suppliers.

  • Occasional Transactions (No fixed pattern of occurrence)

    Disposal of assets (e.g. car, computer), penalty imposed by local council for rules violation, donations to charitable organisations, loss resulting from pilferage of stocks etc.

  • Transactions That Occur On Fixed Intervals

    Rental expense, annual trade association member fee, annual audit fee, monthly building management fee.

The books of original entry (Sales Journal or Sales Day Book, Purchase Journal of Purchases Day Book, Cash Book or Bank Book, Petty Cash Book) serve their function best when dealing with the situation of large volume of transactions. It is not necessary that every business always have large volume of transactions. Some businesses have lesser than 20 sales invoices during the whole financial year. In this situation, these business entities have the “option” of not using the Sales Journal or Sales Day Book or the other books of original entry due to low volume of transactions and opt for just recording all the transactions in the General Journal.

Assume ABC Co. Ltd has 4 sales transactions in the month of January 2007 in which the details of the sales are as follows: -

Date

Customers

Invoice No.

$

2007
01-Jan Big Co. Ltd

1001

3,000.00
02-Jan Small Co. Ltd

1002

5,000.00
15-Jan Not So Big Co. Ltd

1003

10,000.00
30-Jan Not So Small Co. Ltd

1004

7,000.00

The Sales Journal or Sales Day Book of ABC Co. Ltd would show the details of the sales as follows: -

Example of Sales Journal or Sales Day Book

ABC Co. Ltd
Sales Day Book
Page 1
Date Descriptions Invoice No. Folio

$

2007
01-Jan Big Co. Ltd 1001 SL3 3,000.00
02-Jan Small Co. Ltd 1002 SL20 5,000.00
15-Jan Not So Big Co. Ltd 1003 SL5 10,000.00
30-Jan Not So Small Co. Ltd 1004 SL6 7,000.00
25,000.00

GJ1

Based on the four sales transactions of ABC Co. Ltd for the month of January 2007, the extracts of the Sales Ledger or Debtors Ledger are as follows: -

Extracts of Sales Ledger or Debtors Ledger

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 3

Sales Ledger

Big Co. Ltd

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
01-Jan Sales SDB1 3,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 5

Sales Ledger

Not So Big Co. Ltd

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
15-Jan Sales SDB1 10,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 6

Sales Ledger

Not So Small Co. Ltd

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
30-Jan Sales SDB1 7,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 20

Sales Ledger

Small Co. Ltd

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
02-Jan Sales SDB1 5,000.00

Take note of the Folio column of both the Sales Day Book and the Sales Ledger. Could you see the connections? The Folio column is used to locate the relevant page of each transaction. On each of the relevant page of the Sales Ledger, you see an “Account” is created for each trade debtor. One distinct feature of an Account in accounting is that it must have a DEBIT side and also a CREDIT side in order to show the rules of DOUBLE ENTRY system that have been discussed in my previous posts. On the other hand, the Sales Day Book DOES NOT have accounts in it! It is just a listing showing the sales transactions of ABC Co. Ltd in chronological order – i.e. a journal. At the end of January 2007 (31January 2007), each transaction in the “$” column of the Sales Day Book is then added up together to arrive at the month end total of $25,000. Based on the total sales transactions of $25,000 a journal entry is created in the General Journals as follows: -

Extract of General Journals

ABC Co. Ltd Page 1
General Journals
Date Descriptions Folio Debit Credit
2007
31-Jan Trade Debtors GL20 25,000.00
Sales GL30 25,000.00
(Being sales for the month of January 2007)


Using the above journal, the sales for the month of January 2007 are “posted” to the General Ledger – meaning is recorded in the General Ledger. The relevant pages of the General Ledger after the “posting” of the January 2007’s sales is as follows: -

Extracts of General Ledger

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 20

General Ledger

Trade Debtors

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Sales GJ1 25,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 30

General Ledger

Sales

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Trade Debtors GJ1 25,000.00


Assume ABC Co. Ltd commenced its business on 1 January 2007 by way of injecting $10,000 cash into its bank account. In addition, the total purchases transaction in the month of January 2007 was $20,000 (The recording of the transactions in the Purchases Day Book or Purchases Journal and also the Creditors Ledger or Purchases Ledger is similar to the sales transactions & therefore is not shown), the journal entries in the General Journals and the relevant pages of the General Ledger are as follows: -

Extract of General Journals

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 1

General Journals
Date Descriptions Folio Debit Credit
2007
01-Jan Cash at Bank GL1 10,000.00
Share Capital GL2 10,000.00
(Being injection of cash as initial capital)
2007
31-Jan Purchases GL35 25,000.00
Trade Creditors GL25 25,000.00
(Being purchases for the month of January 2007)

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 1

General Ledger

Cash at Bank

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Share Capital GJ1 10,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 2

General Ledger

Share Capital

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Cash at Bank GJ1 10,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 25

General Ledger

Trade Creditors

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Purchases GJ1 20,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 35

General Ledger

Purchases

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Trade Creditors GJ1 20,000.00

Assume ABC Co. Ltd “closes” its accounts for the month of January 2007, ABC Co. Ltd would then compute the total of each of the account in the General Ledger and arrive at the respective closing balance (Balance C/F) shown as follows: -

Extracts of General Ledger

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 1

General Ledger

Cash at Bank

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Share Capital GJ1 10,000.00 31-Jan Balance C/F 10,000.00
10,000.00 10,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 2

General Ledger

Share Capital

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Balance C/F 10,000.00 31-Jan Cash at Bank GJ1 10,000.00
10,000.00 10,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 20

General Ledger

Trade Debtors

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Sales GJ1 25,000.00 31-Jan Balance C/F 25,000.00
25,000.00 25,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 25

General Ledger

Trade Creditors

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Balance C/F 20,000.00 31-Jan Purchases GJ1 20,000.00
20,000.00 20,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 30

General Ledger

Sales

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Balance C/F 25,000.00 31-Jan Trade Debtors GJ1 25,000.00
25,000.00 25,000.00

ABC Co. Ltd

Page 35

General Ledger

Purchases

DEBIT

CREDIT

Date Descriptions Folio

$

Date Descriptions Folio

$

2007 2007
31-Jan Trade Creditors GJ1 20,000.00 31-Jan Balance C/F 20,000.00
20,000.00 20,000.00

C/F is “Carried Forward”. Each of these month end balances will be the beginning balance for the month of February 2007. The Balance C/F of each account in the General Ledger is calculated by computing the difference of the total debit column and the total credit column of that account. Based on the Balance C/F of EACH account in the General Ledger, a Trial Balance is prepared and look like this: -

ABC Co. Ltd

Trial Balance as at 31 January 2007

Debit Credit
$ $
GL1 Cash at Bank 10,000.00
GL2 Share Capital 10,000.00
GL20 Trade Debtors 25,000.00
GL25 Trade Creditors 20,000.00
GL30 Sales 25,000.00
GL35 Purchases 20,000.00
55,000.00 55,000.00

Trial Balance is a tool to detect errors in transactions recording. This is because, using the double entry system, each transaction MUST be recorded two times – One debit entry and one credit entry. Using the logic of double entry system, the total debit balances of all the accounts in the General Ledger MUST tally with the total of all the accounts with credit balances. After the Trial Balance is prepared, the Balance Sheet of ABC Co. Ltd. as at 31 January 2007and the Income Statement of ABC Co. Ltd for the month of January 2007 would then be prepared: -

ABC Co. Ltd

Income Statement for the month of January 2007

$

Sales

25,000.00

A

Cost of Sales:
Opening Inventories

-

B

Purchases

-20,000.00

C

Closing Inventories

-

D

-20,000.00

E = B+C-D

Gross Profit

5,000.00

F = A+E

Other Income

-

G

Other Expenses

-

H

Net Profit

5,000.00

I = F+G+H

ABC Co. Ltd
Balance Sheet as at 31 January 2007

$

Assets
Trade Debtors

25,000.00

J

Cash at Bank

10,000.00

K

35,000.00

L = J+K

Liabilities
Trade Creditors

-20,000.00

M

15,000.00

N = L+M

Owners’ Equity
Share Capital

10,000.00

O

Accumulated Profits

5,000.00

P

15,000.00

Q = O+P

The process chart on how transactions are recorded, summarised posted to the General Ledger up to the stage of the preparation of the Balance Sheet and the Income Statement is as follows: -


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