General Ledger




General Ledger (GL) in accounting is a collection of accounts used to summarize transactions that have been recorded in the journals. Ledgers can also be interpreted in the last stages of the accounting book of the final entry that holds a summary of data that has been grouped or classified derived from the journals.

It records the changes that occur in each account and it will show the balance of the accounts at the end of accounting period. Any transactions that have been recorded in the journals will be posted or moved to the General Ledger at regular intervals. Sometimes, accounts in General Ledger do not reflect financial data in detail, such as debt accounts, accounts receivables and inventories. To find those data, other accounts are required to group those extra accounts. It is called subsidiary ledger.

General Ledger is often referred to as the parent ledger that show estimation status of main accounting accounts. These estimates are mutually exclusive and serve to summarize the effect of transactions on changes in company assets, liabilities and capital. Subsidiary ledger is often referred to as a supplementary book, a group of accounts specializing in the details of accounts receivable and accounts payable that provide more detailed information.

General Ledger has several purposes, namely to:

  • record all accounting transactions accurately and correctly.
  • post transactions to the right account.
  • keep balance and credit balance on account.
  • accommodates the required entry journal entry.
  • making reliable and timely financial reports for each accounting period.

People can use several general ledger form models to entry their financial data. Popular ones are T-Account and Debit/Credit models. You can download and use those two models below. General Ledger are always inputted after journals. It means, accounting people have to entry any transaction data twice. You can find that several accounting already eliminate this double entry by making general ledger to filter and pull data automatically based on particular chart of accounts in accounting journals.

General Ledger with T-Account Format

This ledger is the simplest and only shaped like a big T letter. The left side shows the debit side and the right side shows the Credit side. The account name is placed at the top left and the account code is placed at the top right. Ledger accounts use the T-account format to display the balances in each account. Each journal entry is transferred from the general journal to the corresponding T-account. The debits are always transferred to the left side and the credits are always transferred to the right side of T-accounts.

General Ledger T-Account Template

Since most accounts will be affected by multiple transactions, there are usually several numbers in both the debit and credit columns. Account balances are always calculated at the bottom of each T-account. There are two worksheets with different debit and credit column position. You can select which T-account format that you want to use and multiply it as many times as you want.

  General Ledger Template - T-Account Model (17.9 KiB, 807 hits)

General Ledger with Debit/Credit Column Format

In this model, financial transactions are sorted by date and their balance are inputted in respective debit and credit columns. This template below is part of integrated accounting system spreadsheet where in that spreadsheet you don’t need to type the data manually. It will filter and pull data automatically from journals based on selected Chart of Accounts.

General Ledger Template

To use this template, since this template is not an automatic ledger, you need to specify Chart of Accounts codes and description. Then you can assign the worksheet to respective CoA account by renaming the worksheet and select the account in CoA field. Then you can start writing transaction data in respective columns. Do not forget to set balance formula for the last column. You can set it by selecting it from Balance Method field. You can duplicate this worksheet as many times as you want.

  General Ledger Template V11 (701.8 KiB, 1,586 hits)

Since both models are just forms, you need to create formulas to summarize them in another worksheet for report preparation.