What is a General Ledger?
A General Ledger is an accounting document used to track a company’s entire financial transactions.
How to fill out a General Ledger?
Enter the account name.
Enter the account number.
Enter the date.
Enter the code of a transaction in the account.
Enter the description of a transaction in the account.
Enter the reference number or code of a transaction in the account.
Enter the debit amount of the transaction.
Enter the credit amount of the transaction.
Enter the balance after the debit and credit.
In calculating the balance of the debit and credit, below are the rules to follow.
- Enter all the debit accounts on the left side of the General Ledger.
- Enter all the credit accounts on the right side of the General Ledger.
- Calculate the balance for each account by subtracting all adjacent debits and credits. Enter the difference in the appropriate column.
Trial Balance is another way to compute the debits and credits in a General Ledger. Below are the rules to follow.
- Enter all the debits and credits of all the accounts.
- Add all the credits and enter the total.
- Add all the debits and enter the total.
- Once the total of all the credits and debits are calculated, compare the results. If the numbers on both sides of the ledger are the same, it is balanced.
What is a Trial Balance?
A Trial Balance is a worksheet that records a company’s debits and credits. Basically, it is the chart in a General Ledger giving auditors a clear overview of the elements obtained from the company’s Journal Entries.
What is a Journal Entry?
A Journal Entry in Accounting is a document where a company’s economic and non-economic transactions are recorded. Several types of Journal Entry include Cash Receipts, Cash Payment, Purchase and Sales, Purchase and Sales Return, and General.
- Cash Receipts Journal. The Cash Receipt Journal contains the data of all cash receipts such as sales and accounts receivable.
- Cash Payment Journal. The Cash Payment Journal contains the company’s record of its cash outflows.
- Purchase Journal. The Purchase Journal contains the company’s record of its credit purchases.
- Sales Journal. The Sales Journal contains the credit sale of merchandise.
- Purchase Return Journal. The Purchase Return Journal contains the company’s record of its purchase returns of credit purchase.
- Sales Return Journal. The Sales Return Journal contains the company’s record of its sales returns.
- General Journal. Other transactions that cannot be recorded in any of the above journals will be documented in the General Journal. It is also known as Journal Proper.
What is Double-Entry Accounting?
The double-entry in Accounting, also known as Bookkeeping, is a method used by businesses to record finances in a minimum of two accounts. These accounts include the company’s debits and credits that must always balance.
What is the Accounting Equation?
To know whether the debits and credits are balanced, companies use the formula or the Accounting Equation (Assets = Liabilities + Owner's Equity). It implies that the assets must be equal to the total of the liabilities and the owner’s equity.
What is the purpose of a General Ledger?
Accountants, auditors, and businesses use a General Ledger to provide a statistical summary of financial data. Thus, a General Ledger is beneficial in numerous ways such as:
- If financial disputes occur, it is feasible for the auditor to look into the General Ledger to get a clearer insight of the company’s current condition, and identify which account contributes to the imbalance or error;
- Given the situation above, it is an advantage to the company for further sales or overall performance development;
- A General Ledger gives a snapshot of the company’s assets, liabilities, and other financial statements that are beneficial for potential investments.
- For small businesses, General Ledger is basically a convenient way of tracking their financial health; and
- A General Ledger is the foundation of creating financial statements such as Balance Sheets, Income Statements, Cash Flow Statements, and Statements of Shareholders' Equity. Furthermore, a General Ledger contains columns for the assets and liabilities of the company that are validated by a Trial Balance.
How to solve a General Ledger?
Solving a General Ledger requires an in-depth understanding of the fundamental principles of double-entry accounting, accounting equation, and journal entry.
The rules in calculating the balance in a General Ledger can be quite daunting. Take note that the debit must always be equivalent to the credit.
Reading the company’s Journal Entry may be complicated. The following are important rules to remember when putting data on the General Ledger.
- Debits increase the assets, dividends, and expense accounts as credits decrease them.
- Credits increase the liability, revenue, and equity accounts while debits decrease them.
Knowing where to put the data on the General Ledger may prevent an accounting error.
If you are a solopreneur and do not have an in-house accountant, consider consulting your finances to a certified public accountant or any credible agents. It will save you some time and obtain reliable results.
How does General Ledger work?
The equation in solving the General Ledger shows that the assets must be equal to the sum of the liabilities and the owner’s equity. Therefore, equal results show a balance in the financial statement. It also implies that the data input is correct.
If the results are unequal, there might be a mistake or an accounting error. It may also mean that there is fraud going on in the company.