A ledger book, also known as a ledger, is a physical or electronic book that serves as the central repository for recording and organizing financial transactions of a business or organization. It is an integral part of the double-entry bookkeeping system, where every transaction affects at least two accounts.
The ledger book contains individual accounts, each representing a specific category of assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, or expenses. Transactions are recorded in these accounts using a standardized format that includes the date, description, and monetary amount. Each transaction is entered twice: once as a debit and once as a credit, ensuring that the accounting equation (assets = liabilities + equity) remains balanced.
Ledger books may have separate sections or pages dedicated to different types of accounts, such as cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, and various expense and revenue accounts. This structure allows for easy classification, tracking, and analysis of financial data.
In manual accounting systems, ledger books are physical books with ruled lines or printed templates. In computerized accounting systems, ledgers are typically maintained electronically using specialized accounting software, which automates many of the bookkeeping processes.
The ledger book serves as the basis for preparing financial statements, such as the balance sheet and income statement, and provides a comprehensive record of a company’s financial activities over a specific period of time. It enables businesses to monitor their financial position, track transactions, and generate reports for internal management, regulatory compliance, and taxation purposes.