Subledger vs General Ledger: What’s The Difference? : PLANERGY Software

subledger vs general ledger

Accounts are the different reports your company keeps to sort and store your business transactions. In this lesson, we will explain how to reconcile the inventory general ledger and sub-ledger and how to investigate the differences identified between the ledgers and process adjusting entries. Using subledgers to organize controlling accounts centralizes a vast amount of information that can be used for financial analysis.

Differences must be classified as either items for which an adjustment must be processed in the sub-ledger or general ledger, or as valid reconciling items. A subledger allows financial supervisors to isolate certain records so only parts of the company’s financial information can be viewed by certain employees. This Jacksonville, FL bakery started out as a two-person micro business and gradually expanded. As they grew, the owners found that they needed to create sub ledgers to better understand their finances without wading through dozens of transactions in the general ledger. We offer accounting software with automation to free up your time for other important projects. These same systems also protect you against errors and fraudulent entries. Give us a call today so that we can discuss how our service can help you.


It is crucial to maintain these accounts separately to differentiate them within the trial balance. As stated above, companies post the total of each book in it after regular intervals. At each year-end, companies close every account within the general ledger. The general ledger is an accounting record that companies keep as a part of their accounting function. It represents a system where companies maintain their records relating to financial information. On top of that, the general ledger segregates those records into debit and credit accounts. Companies large enough to make use of subledgers will manage their accounting in their enterprise resource management systems or integrated accounting systems.

In many of these software applications, the data entry person need only click a drop-down menu to enter a transaction in a ledger or journal. A general ledger is a complete record or journal of all of the financial transactions that occur in a business. The general ledger provides a trial balance and is used to prepare financial statements such as the monthly income statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement, and profit and loss statement. However, it does not contribute to the preparation of financial statements.

Accounting Subledger

An investor or lender is going to look at that and instantly be concerned about your cash flow. Furthermore, if your income is overstated, you could get a loan or investor and then be in hot water when it is learned to be untrue. Your business relationships rely on your financial security and honesty is the best policy when it comes to finances.

subledger vs general ledger

The sum of a subledger is reflected in the general ledger of a company. These are more narrowly focused ledgers that contain more detailed information about the various master accounts in the general ledger. Once all journal entries are posted to the subsidiary ledger accounts, the related accounts are consolidated and their cumulative balances transferred to the relevant general ledger account. A trading company, M/s XYZ sells its products to several different customers, such as Customer A, Customer B, Customer C and so on.

Sub Ledger vs. General Ledger: Tools to Help You Track Transactions Easily

However, it may not provide a detailed analysis of how these transactions occurred. On top of that, other crucial information may also be required related to those transactions. Subsequently, financial transactions get summarized and become a part of the trial balance. The general ledger is crucial in accumulating various transactions under similar accounts. Yes, the accounts receivable is a subledger since all the credit sale accounts of a business are recorded in the same. It is used to keep track of all the information on the amounts invoiced and memos issued to the customers. Subsidiary ledger comes first since the balances of a general ledger are posted after entries are made in the subledger accounts.

Not every business elects to use the same number or types of subledgers. How each company sets up their bookkeeping will depend on the business’ needs. Here are some common types of subsidiary ledgers that businesses may decide to create. GL is a set of master accounts where transactions are recorded, whereas Sub-ledger is an intermediary set of accounts linked to the SL.

What is a Sub Ledger?

Using sub ledgers in your accounting process might merely seem to complicate things, but it usually ends up making your accounting process simpler. Because the detailed information about each transaction is contained in the applicable subsidiary ledger, your general ledger will be far less cluttered and much easier to read. If you’re doing your own bookkeeping, you may use a general ledger by itself or a general ledger with several sub ledgers . The choice partly depends on the size of your business and partly on the complexity of your operations. A general ledger is your master chart of accounts that shows a list of transactions, you cannot run a business without it.

subledger vs general ledger

All of this data is not necessary to include in the general ledger, which is intended to track your business’ total sales transactions. The general ledger can provide an overview of sales at a high-volume business while a subsidiary ledger provides the full drill-down. You have probably looked at your general ledger a million times without thinking much about it. It is a journal of all your financial transactions that take place every day.

Usually, a sub-ledger contains detail of transactions for an account, which are summarized by day and the total is then posted to the general ledger. Therefore, sub-ledgers serve as support for amounts posted to the general ledger. Sub-ledgers are presented in an electronic form as well (e.g. Excel file, detail of an account in QuickBooks, SAP or Oracle). For example, accounts receivable sub-ledger may contain detail for all issued invoices and cash receipts. Compare the opening balances of the general ledger account and the sub-ledger listing with the prior period reconciliation statement. Journals recorded in the general ledger accounts that were not recorded in the sub-ledger.

There is a separate account for discounts to account for loss of income. They may include the cash book, sales book, purchases book, general journal, etc. Companies may consist of more books of prime entry based on their needs. Initially, it is the first area where these transactions enter the accounting system. Ledgers are used to record financial information and transactions as per the accounting principle. The principal set of accounts is managed by the general ledger, whereas, a subledger is the subset of a general ledger. Since we cannot record every transaction in the general ledger, we use a subledger to record information of different accounts.

Every debit transaction is a purchase from your bank account and every credit transaction is salary or amount credited to the Bank Account. To put in pure finance terms, a debit is expenses or deductions from your Bank balance, and credit transactions are the incoming money to your bank balance. The general ledger holds all the information for businesses to assess financial health. Once a transaction is recorded in the general journal, the amounts are then posted to the appropriate accounts in the general ledger.

  • A summary-level entry is periodically recorded in the general ledger.
  • Projects Sub-Ledger is used to track project milestones, costs, and resources and to make billing to the customers.
  • You can sort data by period end document sequence name and number, accounting sequence, accounting date, and journal name.
  • A general ledger helps to achieve this goal by compiling journal entries and allowing accounting calculations.
  • When calculating the general ledger, the sum total of credits from client A’s subledger is combined with client B’s subledger.
  • But once vendor or customer activity increases, you’ll need a way to track the individual transactions that make up the balance of those general ledger accounts.
  • One of the main uses of a subledger is to record the accounts receivable transactions of specific clients.

Accounting software will render the subledger vs. general ledger issue irrelevant. E.g. ABC is a company which does around 75% of their sales on credit; subledger vs general ledger as a result, it has many accounts receivables. Investors and banks want to know that you have a viable business before providing you with capital.

Although the sub-ledger is secondary to the general ledger, the balance on both should agree. In this case, the general ledger acts as a controlling account for the former. Even auditors check that the account balances for both records match as a part of their audit procedures. The accounting function processes that transaction and records it in the books. We understand that it must be tiring to manually maintain a voluminous general ledger.

General Ledger Reconciliation: A Step-by-Step Guide – The Motley Fool

General Ledger Reconciliation: A Step-by-Step Guide.

Posted: Wed, 18 May 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

You can produce a list of outstanding balances per supplier from the subledger, and in theory, the total of this list should agree with the balance of the accounts payable general ledger account. This proves that the accounts payable liability in the general ledger is valid, accurate, and complete. Both general ledgers and subsidiary ledgers are an important part of an entity’s accounting system. The subsidiary ledger accounts act as an intermediary between the journal and the general ledger accounts whereas the general ledger is the pathway to the trial balance. Each debit and credit of every journal entry is posted either to a general ledger or a subsidiary ledger or a combination of both. A company might keep a subsidiary ledger for its vendor accounts, each of which connects to the general ledger’s accounts payable.