GL Accounts: What Are They and How Do They Work in Double-Entry Accounting

The best way to know if your general ledger is correct is to reconcile all entries then generate a trial balance to verify the completeness and ensure that debit balances equal credit balances. Balancing the books used to be a demanding task, but with the helpful general ledger templates and accounting software, it is easy to automate the process, so you can focus on growing your business. For example, cash and account receivables are part of the company’s assets.

What is General Ledger?

An Allstate agent can help you select the liability insurance that’s right for your operation. It should be noted that the account code is still 620 which represents the wages expense. Each department now has its own account and tax credit vs tax deduction the total of the three accounts will represent the total wages expense. For a small business without the need to identify departmental or divisional information a simple 3 digit chart of accounts numbering system can be used.

Defining GL Account Numbers

GL codes are alphanumeric values used to categorize financial transactions. GL coding can be performed either manually or with the help of automation software, which automatically assigns GL codes to transactions based on previous assignments. The best way to assign GL codes is by starting with a high-level spend categorization. Categorize your most common ang biggest spend items with value of the highest number and then break it down into sub-categories for the same spend.

Accounting 101 for Small Businesses

  1. If the business has more than one checking account, for example, the chart of accounts might include an account for each of them.
  2. For this reason the format shown is referred to as a 3 column general ledger.
  3. It is a group or collection of accounts that give you information regarding the detailed transactions with respect to each of such accounts.
  4. This is because there are a number of transactions that occur during an accounting period.

Consider the following example where a company receives a $1,000 payment from a client for its services. The accountant would then increase the asset column by $1,000 and subtract $1,000 from accounts receivable. The equation remains in balance, as the equivalent increase and decrease affect one side—the asset side—of the accounting equation. When you assign a code to each type of transaction, searching your ledger becomes much easier. For instance, when doing their own books, many business owners assign revenue sub-ledgers numbers starting at 100 and expense sub-ledgers codes starting at 200. If the assets you have recorded don’t equal the value of your equity plus liabilities, your account balances don’t match and need to be corrected.

The different types of general ledger account

As your company grows, you can use the GL to track where your money is going and where it is coming from, using this data to make future business decisions. Such financial statements help you in knowing the profitability and overall financial position of your business. General ledgers, also referred to as accounting ledgers, are the physical or digital record of a company’s finances.

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General Ledger Example

With an expense Ledger, you get a transparent picture of where exactly your money is going. That is because an expense ledger exclusively focuses on keeping a robust record of all the costs incurred by your business. GL codes show essential information, including debit or credit by location.

In other words, these are the assets remaining after you pay off all the debts and the liabilities. Furthermore, the information recorded in General Ledger is divided based on the type of accounts. Further, the purchase ledger helps you to know the amount you pay to the creditors as well as the outstanding amount. Besides this, you can refer back to the purchase details in case you need to so in the future. This equation states that the assets of your business are always equal to the sum of the owner’s capital and the claims of the outsiders. This means you first need to record a business transaction in your Journal.

Furthermore, tracking changes in the balance sheet over time can help to detect trends and issues within the business, providing valuable insights for improving financial management. Overall, a good understanding of a company’s balance sheet is essential for successfully managing its GL accounts and strengthening its overall financial position. You can prepare financial statements once you have verified the accuracy of your ledger accounts. These sources help you to verify that the amounts recorded in the Ledger accounts are accurate. However, reconciling individual account balances becomes extremely easy with online accounting software like QuickBooks.

A balance sheet is an important financial document that summarizes a company’s assets, liabilities, and equity. While it provides a snapshot of the financial position of a business at a single point in time, it also helps to inform and guide the decisions made concerning general ledger (GL) accounts. A general ledger account and a nominal ledger account are two distinct types of financial accounts used in most businesses. The purpose of a general ledger account is to keep track of all the business’s assets, expenses, liabilities, and revenues. These accounts provide information that helps you in preparing your business’ financial statements. These financial statements include the income statement and balance sheet.

Furthermore, unlike journal where transactions are recorded in chronological order as they occur. Thus, you record transactions in the ledger by classifying them under various account heads to which they relate. Further, the shareholder’s equity includes share capital, retained earnings, and treasury stock. Thus, the shareholder’s equity appears on the liability side of your company’s balance sheet after current and non-current liabilities. General Ledger Accounts help you to record details of transactions that your business undertakes over an accounting period. Furthermore, General Ledger Accounting also helps you to spot material misstatements with regard to various accounts.

These accounts track various aspects of a company’s finances and can give you insights into where the money is coming in and going out. These accounts help organizations keep track of their expenses and revenue-generating activities to ensure that they are financially stable over time. General Ledger Codes are nothing but the numeric codes that you assign to different General Ledger Accounts.

In order to record accounting information by division an additional two digits are used to form a division code. The division code is then added to the current five digit code to create a 7 digit chart of accounts numbering system. Sub-ledgers (subsidiary ledgers) within each account provide additional information to support the journal entries in the general ledger. Sub-ledgers are great for accounts that require more details to review the activity, such as purchases or sales.