Journals are documents which contain the daily records of business transactions. Information from source documents are first recorded in journals before being transferred to the principal books of account. Journals are called day books because they need to be updated daily. Each record in a journal is called an entry. Journals are also called books of original entry or books of prime entry because the entries are transferred to a second book i.e. principal book of account.
Meaning of Ledgers
Ledgers are principal books of account used to record the weekly and monthly transactions from the journal entries. It is therefore called a book of second or secondary entry because transactions are transferred from the journal entries to it.
Classes of Ledger
The following are the classes of ledger we have:
(i) Sales Ledger: This contains a separate account for each individual to whom goods have been sold, or for whom services have been performed on credit. It is also called Debtor’s Ledger.
(ii) Purchases Ledger: This contains the personal accounts of those who have supplied goods or rendered services to the business on credit.
(iii) General Ledger: It is a ledger in which real and nominal accounts are kept.
(iv) Private Ledger: This is a confidential ledger kept by either the proprietor (owner of business) or the Accountant outside the reach of the other staff.
(v) Loose-leaf ledger: This consists of separate sheets printed in ledger ruling.
(vi) Card Ledger: This consists of a printed card for each customer or supplier as appropriate. The cards are arranged in an orderly manner and filed in special cabinet.
Classification of Accounts
(i) Real Accounts: These accounts contain records of transactions in property or materials i.e things you can see physically. Examples are motor vehicle accounts, furniture account, buildings account, machinery account etc.
(ii) Nominal Accounts: These deal with intangible things which may be revenue, losses, expenses, goodwill, profits and discounts.
(iii) Personal Accounts: These are accounts in which transactions with individuals or other organizations are entered. Examples of personal accounts are debtors and creditors accounts.
(iv) Impersonal Accounts: These accounts relate to intangible and material things. It is the one sub-divided into real accounts and nominal accounts.
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