This section is from the "Practical Banking" book, by Albert S. Bolles.
The bookkeeping department of the Savings bank has charge, solely, of the accounts with depositors. The general accounts of investments, income and expenditure, are a separate system under the direct charge of the secretary. The province of the bookkeeping department is to keep a classified record of the tellers' transactions, which shall, at any moment, indicate the standing of any given depositor with the bank and the balance to his credit, at the same time corroborating the accuracy of the tellers' figures. The transactions with the depositor are: first, deposits; second, interest; third, drafts; fourth, transfers. The tickets already described as deposit tickets and draft tickets form the basis of all the bookkeeping operations. The transfer, which consists in withdrawing from one account and crediting the same sum to another, is effected by a double ticket. Half of this is of the size and form of a draft ticket, and the other half of that of a deposit ticket, and any clerk is authorized to make a transfer, being responsible for all the parts of it. He makes the entry in both pass books, writes up a description of the transaction in a third book, called the transfer book, giving the number of the account from which, the number of the account to which the transfer is made, and its amount, and also the date from which it bears interest. The double ticket is placed upon a special spindle kept near the transfer book. The book-keeping work of one day is always done on the following day. The result of the day's business is an accumulation of tickets of the three kinds, as already described, and these are stamped with the official date, the transfers being divided into their component parts. We then have two series, one of debits against depositors, and the other of credits in their favor. The first duty of the head bookkeeper is to take each series and to divide it according to the numbers belonging to the different ledgers. The ledgers of the bank contain 5,000 numbers each, in consecutive order, but when the majority of the accounts have been closed, several of these are consolidated and kept in one volume. Each bookkeeper has certain ledgers assigned to him, for the accuracy of which he is responsible. One bookkeeper, whose share of the work is the twenty-fifth and twenty-seventh ledgers, receives the tickets, debit and credit, belonging to accounts contained within those limits. He next makes a further arrangement, so as to bring them into exact numerical order, which greatly facilitates posting.* It may be briefly described as follows: The ledger consists of three columns besides the date: debits, credits and balance. After each transaction, and in the same line with it appears the resulting balance or amount to the credit of the depositor. The posting is done entirely from the tickets in the first instance, but only consists in rewriting the balance, plus the deposit, or minus the draft, as the case may be. Thus, if the bookkeeper has a deposit ticket on John Smith's account for $29.32, he turns to the proper page of the ledger, as indicated by the number on the ticket, and there he finds that the present balance
Adding mentally, figure by figure, he writes on the next line 299 76 which is the new balance produced by the transaction. He also writes the date, but does not make any entry in the column devoted to deposits. Each ledger has a book corresponding to it, called the "Journal," which might more properly be termed a "Proof Book " of that ledger. It is a transcript of all the postings each day to accounts in that ledger. In writing up the tickets in this book, which is done as soon as the posting is finished, the amounts are omitted, only numbers and names being copied. Now comes the process of verification. Turning to Mr. Smith's account, the verifying bookkeeper (not the one who posted it) infers from the two balances that the transaction must have been a deposit of $29.32. He therefore writes that amount in the credit column of Smith's account, and copies the same into the credit column of the Journal. Now it is evident that if there were a mistake either in the amount of the entry, or in subtracting instead of adding, or in computing the balance as changed, the aggregate of the entries on this ledger, and the aggregate of the entries of the entire day will be incorrect. This aggregate is carried to two forms, called respectively, the " Daily Proof of Deposits," and the " Daily Proof of Drafts." Opposite " Ledger twenty-five" and "Ledger twenty-seven," the bookkeeper enters the amount posted to each side, as shown by the journal. When the daily proofs have been completed by filling up every line, their total is compared with the total aggregates derived from the teller's reports, and if there is any discrepancy, it indicates some error, either in the teller's accounts, or in the balancing of some depositor's account, or in the transaction on some depositor's account, or in addition. It is the duty of the clerk who last made an error which threw the daily proof out of balance to search for the error now existing. When he has found the present error, and fixed the responsibility for it upon one of his colleagues, the latter holds the unenviable appointment of searcher, until he again relieves himself of it by detecting some other offender.
*The process employed in posting is fully explained in an article, entitled "Balance Posting," in The Bookkeeper, No 51.