Learn || Ledgering

What are General Ledger Accounts?

What are General Ledger Accounts?

A general ledger account (GL account) records a company’s financial transactions for specific accounts in areas such as accounts receivable, inventory, and more.

What is a general ledger?

In the world of accounting, a general ledger is a crucial tool for tracking and recording transactions since it organizes this data into a central hub to prepare financial statements.

The general ledger includes specific accounts for assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, and expenses, providing a comprehensive overview of a company’s financial health. By keeping accurate and up-to-date records, the general ledger also aids decision-making by giving valuable insights into the business’s economic performance.

General ledgers are fundamental for effectively managing finances, as they provide more clarity and understanding for businesses regarding their financial positions.

To fully understand how general ledgers work, you can look at examples of these ledgers in action.

General ledger example

General ledgers may contain accounts such as cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, retained earnings, and various expense accounts.

So, you can starting creating a general ledger by listing all the accounts in the chart of accounts, such as cash, accounts receivable, accounts payable, and more. Then, record each transaction by debiting and crediting the appropriate accounts.

For example, a $1,000 product sale can be recorded by debiting the accounts receivable and crediting the sales account.

There are also different account types, including assets, liabilities, equity, revenues, and expenses, so it’s essential to understand how to balance transactions within the ledger properly.

For instance, if a company borrows $5,000, it would be recorded by debiting cash (an asset account) and crediting notes payable (a liability account).

Since general ledgers are essential accounting components, knowing how the general ledger account works within this recording system is important.

How does a general ledger account work?

While general ledgers offer a high-level overview of transactions, general ledger accounts encompass each individual account within this ledger. These accounts represent specific aspects of a company, such as cash, inventory, or accounts receivable.

Since the general ledger account (GL account) provides detailed information about each account, businesses can view more in-depth data about their financial activity, including incoming and outgoing funds and what they owe.

For example, say a company has a GL account for accounts receivable (AR). The amount owed is recorded in this account whenever a customer buys something on credit. When the customer pays, the amount is then deducted from the account.

General ledgers and GL accounts organize and summarize transaction data, enabling businesses to create financial statements, track trends, and make informed decisions about their operations.

Managing cash flow with general ledger accounts

General ledger accounts are vital in accounting and for businesses that want to maintain a detailed record of their cash flow.

GL accounts ensure financial accuracy and better financial decisions by pinpointing specific areas that may require attention and improvement. By harnessing the insights from ledger account data, your business can strategically enhance its cash management operations, operational efficiency, and overall cash flow.

More articles you might like:

White logo

Try EBizCharge

See just how easy payment collection can be.

Struggling to collect customer payments?

We can help.

See what others are saying about EBizCharge.

g2 reviews