What is Accounting Ledger and “4 Types” of Accounting Ledger

An accounting ledger is a book or digital record that stores bookkeeping entries for balance sheet and income statement transactions. So it is used to store financial transactions in chronological order. It includes the account’s opening balance and all debits and credits to the account. 

A general ledger represents the record-keeping system for a company’s financial data. So with debit and credit account records validated by a trial balance.

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William Pickles says that “Ledger is the destination of all entries made in the subsidiary book or journals.”


Arthur Field House says that “Ledger is the permanent storehouse of all the transactions.”


It contains different accounts where records of transactions pertaining to a specific account are stored. So the purpose of an accounting ledger is to provide users with a record of financial transactions, as well as a means to generate key business reports.

Key Points

Businesses use a ledger to keep track of their financial transactions.

A journal is used to record important information about each transaction before it is put into the ledger.

The ledger helps businesses determine their financial position at the end of a period.

Using a journal is important to ensure accuracy and completeness of the financial information.

3 Main Types of Accounting Ledgers

What is Accounting Ledger? three main types of accounting ledgers definepedia

There are three main types of accounting ledgers: sales, purchase, and general.

Ledgers can be maintained for all types of balance sheet and income statement accounts. Both the accounting journal and ledger play essential roles in the accounting process.

There are 4 different types of accounting ledgers, including general ledger, sales ledger, purchase ledger, and nominal ledger.

  1. All accounts used by a company are in the general ledger.
  2. The subsidiary ledger is a more detailed version of the general ledger that contains information on specific accounts.
  3. The sales ledger records all sales transactions made by a company,
  4. The purchase ledger records all purchases made by a company.
  5. A nominal ledger records all income, and expenses incurred by a company.

General ledger

The general ledger is the main deposit of all financial transactions in a company. It records all transactions, whether it should be revenue, expenses, assets, liabilities, or equity each of them are record in writing. 

It is the foundation for creating financial statements. Such as to help to make these types of statements: the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement.

Sales ledger

It is use to record all sales transactions made by a company. This ledger is particularly important for businesses that extend credit to their customers. As it tracks outstanding debts and payments received. It also helps businesses keep track of their customer’s buying habits. It can be useful for marketing purposes.

Purchase ledger

It is use to record all purchases made by a company, including supplies, inventory, and other expenses. So this ledger is essential for tracking outstanding debts to suppliers and ensuring timely payment of bills.

Nominal ledger

It is use to record all transactions related to revenues, expenses, gains, and losses. This ledger is particularly important for businesses that need to track different revenue and expense accounts separately, such as service-based businesses.

Benefits of Accounting Ledger

There are several benefits of using an accounting ledger. One of the most significant advantages is that it helps maintain accurate financial records. The ledger allows for easy tracking of all financial transactions and makes it easier to identify errors.

As I earlier told you that, the ledger provides a clear picture of a company’s financial position, which can be use to make informed/right business decisions. The ledger also makes it easier to prepare financial statements such as balance sheets and income statements.

  1. An accounting ledger is a tool for recording financial transactions and keeping track of them
  2. Advantages include easy trial balance creation, preparation of final accounts, and application of the double-entry system
  3. It also helps in determining the results of each account, maintaining classified accounts, and presenting statistical information
  4. Accounting ledger also helps in collecting information, presenting financial position, and avoiding/detecting frauds or errors
  5. It reveals and interprets the true financial position of organizations and prepares financial statements
  6. It also helps in comparing the performance of business organizations and serves as legal evidence of all data

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