The general ledger is the master set of accounts that aggregates all transactions recorded for a business. When a person is reconciling the general ledger, this usually means that individual accounts within the general ledger are being reviewed to ensure that the source documents match the balances shown in each account. The reconciliation process is a common activity just prior to the arrival of the auditors for the annual audit, to ensure that the accounting records are in pristine condition.
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The concept of reconciling the general ledger can also refer to examining the general ledger as a whole to ensure that all accounts are being aggregated into the financial statements. This reconciliation process involves the following steps:
☛ Summarize the ending balances in all revenue accounts and verify that the aggregate amount matches the revenue total in the income statement.
☛ Summarize the ending balances in all expense accounts and verify that the aggregate amount matches the expense total in the income statement. This can be conducted at the individual expense line item level in the income statement.
☛ Summarize all asset, liability and equity accounts and verify that the aggregate amounts match the respective line items in the balance sheet.
The reconciliation process at the account level typically comprises the following steps:
☛Beginning balance investigation. Match the beginning balance in the account to the ending reconciliation detail from the prior period. If the amounts do not match, investigate the reason for the variance in the prior period. If the account has not been reconciled for some time, it is possible that the error lies several periods in the past.
☛Current period investigation. Match the transactions reported in the account within the period to the underlying transactions, and adjust as necessary.
☛Adjustments review. Review all adjusting journal entries recorded in the account within the period for appropriateness, and adjust as necessary.
☛Reversals review. Ensure that all journal entries that should have reversed within the period have been reversed.
☛Ending balance review. Verify that the ending detail for the account matches the ending account balance.
This involves following steps:
☛ First total of both the sides are taken.
☛ Secondly difference between the totals of both the sides is calculated.
☛ If the debit side is in excess to the credit side then place the difference on the credit side by writing By Balance c/fd.
☛ If the total of credit side is in excess to the debit side, place the difference on the debit side by writing To Balance c/fd.
☛ After placing the difference on the appropriate side, make sure the totals of both the sides are equal.
To know the net effect of all the business transactions recorded in the ledger account, the accounts need to be balanced. Thus, Balancing of Ledger Account means the balances of Debit and Credit side should be equal.
Purposes of maintaining control ledgers are:
☛ Sundry Debtors
☛ Sundry Creditors
☛ Advances to Staff
In a business, sometimes it is not feasible to carry accounts of all the suppliers and customers in the main ledger. In such cases apart from general or main ledger, the control ledgers are maintained. Control ledgers records the individual accounts. In the end of the period, balance shown in the main ledger has to tally with the balance in the individual ledger accounts maintained in the control ledger.
All the business transactions are first recorded in Journal or Subsidiary books in a chronological order when they actually take place and from there the transactions of similar nature are transferred to Ledger and this process of transferring is called as ledger posting.
Business is an economic activity involving the production or procurement and sale of certain goods and services for the satisfaction of human need in the society.