subledger vs general ledger

A debit ticket is an accounting entry that indicates a sum of money that the business owes. The quantum of entries posted to the general ledger are limited as essentially the balances of subsidiary ledger are posted here. This article looks at meaning of and differences between two types of ledgers – general ledger and subsidiary ledger. As a whole, you must know that accounting is about documenting all the transactions done by a business entity or organisation.

In accounting, payroll refers to the amount paid to employees for services they provided during a certain period of time. The Payroll subsidiary ledger is used to process all types of payroll transactions for the purpose of computing and paying your salaried employees or time and labor-based contractors. You can record calculations & payments made to each of the employees in this sub-ledger. The Payroll Sub-ledger captures the salary cost under different account heads as prescribed by the law based on the timecards submitted by the employees. General Ledger is the backbone for all the transactions in the organization. To give an analogy, General Ledger is like your Bank Account statement.

The general ledger is part of your chart of accounts

If the transactions are recorded in subledger in a different account, then the total sum of the transactions will be recorded in the general ledger. The total amount should match the sum of the concerned line items in the general ledger. A subledger can include all business transaction details such as purchases, receivables, production costs, payables, and payroll. Ensure that the third-party control account balances are available for printing for the selected date and account range.

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Each subsidiary ledger is focused on a specific category of financial transactions, such as customer accounts, sales accounts, fixed asset transactions, or bank transactions. The listed transactions in each subsidiary ledger account connect to the general ledger accounts. Each subledger’s total is reflected in the total of the general ledger. The receivables ledger contains information on customers who owe the company money. Production cost ledgers contain management accounting information relating to the production of goods or services. The payroll ledger includes information relating to the salary and wages of employees. The accounts payable subledger is the extension of the general ledger where supplier transactions are processed on a supplier level.

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For large scale businesses where many transactions are conducted, it may not be convenient to enter all transactions in the general ledger due to the high volume. In such cases, individual transactions are recorded in ‘subsidiary ledgers’, and the totals are transferred to an account in the general ledger. This account is referred to as the ‘Control account’, and account types that generally have a high activity level is recorded here.

subledger vs general ledger

General ledgers use T accounts to show debits and credits to each account that makes up the ledger. If a transaction has been refunded or voided, it is not removed from the ledger but has a reversal entry made. What general ledger accounts consist of are often based on the nature of the company. Common master accounts include Cash On Hand, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Income, Expenses, Assets, and Liabilities. Fixed assets are items that are long-term , such as buildings, vehicles, computers, and heavy equipment. Recording financial information is a lengthy and time-consuming process, and its end result is the preparation of year-end financial statements. A business conducts many transactions within an accounting year, and these should be recorded in different accounts according to corresponding accounting standards.

Why do businesses use subledgers?

An automated accounting system eliminates the need to manually enter data into the accounting books. Also, the automated system can calculate and add the interest, amortization, and depreciation values directly to the system. All businesses can benefit from this readiness, but it’s particularly crucial for companies with high transaction volumes and or operate across multiple jurisdictions. A set of well-organized subledgers allows bookkeepers to handle scale. Transaction-level data can be quite comprehensive, so using multiple databases to organize and store them is necessary so as not to let your general ledger fall into chaos. Many companies also mentioned journal-specific information in a general ledger like serial numbers, dates, and transaction descriptions. The purpose of preparing the general ledger is to compile all account balances and prepare the trial balance.

subledger vs general ledger

While manually completed earlier, many companies use automated accounting packages that require minimum human intervention to prepare financial accounts at present. This is the principal set of accounts subledger vs general ledger where all transactions conducted within the financial year are recorded. The information for general ledger is derived from the general journal which is an initial book for entering transactions.

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While the general ledger doesn’t have to be balanced, each sub ledger account must be balanced once a month to make sure every dollar has been accounted for and no transactions have been missed. Businesses that need more can institute subledger accounting, which is designed to capture more granular details about transactions than those that appear in the general ledger. A business can keep multiple subsidiary ledgers, each with its own purpose and all matching up with the general ledger. But simple ledger accounts may have a hard time keeping up with a business as it grows in complexity and scale. Chart Of AccountsA chart of accounts lists all the general ledger accounts that an organization uses to organize its financial transactions systematically.

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