In the single-entry bookkeeping, it will be remembered, there is only one record, whereas in double-entry each item appears twice, once as debit and again as credit; also in the former, cash, stocks, goods, etc., did not appear as individual accounts, whereas in double-entry each of these is made an individual account. As it takes two parties to make a transaction, so in the Ledger it requires two entries, one for each party, to be made ; for example, the Journal shows that Merchandise is debtor to four items, $1631.00. Turning to the Ledger, folio 12, we will find $1631.00 entered on the debtor side of the Merchandise account, and 92 in folios 13-14-15 and 16, we shall find the four items entered under their respective accounts, which together exactly balance the $1631.00; or, if the transaction be a cash transaction, and cash is paid out, as in the Cash Book on the credit side the item "E.J. White, $160.00," this item appears on the debtor side of one account, folio 13, and on the credit side of Cash account, folio 10, under the sum total of" Disbursements." These two examples suffice to show how in double-entry bookkeeping every item must appear twice in the Ledger, once on the debtor side and once on the credit side ; consequently, if every entry is made properly and accurately, the sum total of the entries on the debtor side of the Ledger must equal the sum total of the entries on the credit side of the Ledger. The student should first carefully trace every item of the Journal and Cash Book to its proper place in the Ledger, afterwards write up a set of books for himself, copying, on properly ruled paper, the set as printed in this book, using the rulings indicated by the model script pages for each book, where the ruling has been accurately made. Afterwards, turning back, endeavor to write up the trial list of transactions into a set of double-entry accounts.


We have reproduced a model page of the Journal which differs from the single-entry only in slight particulars. It is more properly a Journal than a Day Book, as it is used to indicate by the entries which side of the Ledger each item is to be posted, whereas the Day Book is a mere history of the daily transactions, without arranging the items with reference to their being posted to the Ledger. In journalizing the book-keeper should have clearly in his mind which is the debit and which is the credit item, beginning his entry always and uniformly with the debit item; for instance, "Merchandise, Debtor to E. J. White." The word "debtor" is not expressed in the Journal, the debit item being to the left and the credit item to the right. Debit amount in the first column and credit amount in the second column.

Cash Book

The Cash Book in double-entry is in all particulars the same in form as that of single-entry. (Compare the script pages.) It is to be remembered that the item entered in Cash on the debtor side appears on the credit side of the Ledger account to that particular item, and the second entry will be accounted for in the Cash Account of the Ledger. It is important in receiving cash to enter it at the time received in the Cash Book, on the debtor side, and under the name of the account to which it is to be posted in the Ledger; for instance, A. Daniel pays his account, $40.00. The cash entry is "A. Daniel, Payment on Account $40.00." It is customary in business to classify the receipts under one or two general accounts, and open in the Ledger only such accounts as are desired to keep a record of; hence such entries as "Cash for Sundry Sales "indicate that these will be accounted for in the Ledger in the Cash

Account. Where there are two or three sources from which moneys are received, which are necessary to be posted, the Cash contains a separate dollar and cents ruling at the right for each; hence some Cash Books have as many as four or five rulings for dollars and cents, and at the top of each ruling is indicated the name of the account, as Rents, Hardware, Groceries, etc. And on the credit side the money paid out may be for such accounts as Postage, Taxes, Freights. At the end of each month these columns should be added and the totals posted to their respective accounts in the Ledger. This is a very convenient form, and easily understood.

Red ink should be sparingly used in bookkeeping, and when used it should be uniformly done. It is customary in the Cash Book to rule all horizontal lines in red, and on the credit side the word " Balance " and the amount opposite to it are written in red, but brought down on the debit side in black. Note the ruling in the Cash Book, in the model pages. It will be seen that the single horizontal line extends only across one column, the double horizontal line across two columns.


What has been said in the single-entry as to the arrangement of the accounts on the pages of the Ledger applies also to the double entry. The ruling also is, in the main, the same in both. It will be remembered that in the double-entry bookkeeping we have such accounts as Cash, Capital Account, Merchandise, Bills Payable, and Bills Receivable, which did not appear in the single-entry. The Cash account, folio 10, is debtor to the Capital account 584,000.00, and the Capital account is credited " By Cash $4,000.00." The Cash account is credited " By Disbursements "as indicated on the credit side of the Cash Book. It is debited again by the amount of cash on hand at the time of closing the books, giv-ling a balance of $2,559.08, which is entered on the credit side, which closes the account, and appears again on the debit side when the account is again opened. Merchandise, folio 12, is debited "To Sundries," which means that there are several items, the total of which is $1631.00, or whatever the amount is written opposite the word, and it is credited "By" several individual accounts, the folio number being entered in the column prepared for that purpose. Each of these items should be accounted for in some one of the other accounts.

In Bills Payable account on the debit side are posted the amounts of notes paid out and which are our obligations to pay. When paid each is entered on the debit side of Cash as Bills Payable and posted to credit side of Bills Payable account, thus balancing each .note. The face amounts of the notes must always be posted in full on either side of the Bills Payable account, and any discount or interest will be charged or credited as the case may be to Interest and Discount Accounts.

Closing Books

In closing the books at any given period we rule off all personal accounts and bring the balance down in red ink; if our debtor, the account will appear first on the credit side in red ink "By Balance" then transfer to the debit side "To Balance" ; if our creditor, the reverse of the above operation. In closing loss and gain accounts and personal accounts uncollected (which become Loss and Gain accounts) we charge them to Loss and Gain account. But it should be understood that personal accounts are not in fact Loss and Gain accounts, as they could be charged to Merchandise account with the same result, as the profit from the sale of our goods would be lessened to the extent of our bad accounts, as "To Jones & Co. $72.40" is a note received from them, posted from the Journal; on the credit side " April 1, By Cash $72.40 "is posted through Cash when the note was paid. Whenever notes are taken the parties giving them must be credited and the Bills Receivable debited. When notes are given the parties receiving them must be debited and the Bills Payable credited. When cash is paid out Cash must be credited and whatever is paid out must be debited.

In Loss and Gain account the credit side shows when there is a gain in business, and the debit side shows when there is a loss in business. The Loss and Gain account is the account where all bad debts must be charged by transferring them from the individual accounts, through the Journal, into the Loss and Gain account.

In order to see that our entries and postings have been right, the following method must be followed, which is called " balancing the books:"

Balancing Books

Balance each individual account, strike a balance, which is done by entering the difference of the two sides of the account on the side requiring an addition to make it equal to the other side, draw two horizontal lines under the sum totals, which are placed on exactly the same line of the page, and bringing down on the opposite side "Balance" with its amount. This will be seen in looking at any of the accounts in the Ledger. After this has been done, take all those balances which appear on the debit side of your Ledger and add them together. Do the same on the credit side, and if the two sums are equal to each other your books, are correct; however, to give positive pro6f, after the totals of both sides have agreed, see that they agree and are equal with those of the Journal. This will give you a double sure proof that your books are correct. The items standing on the debit side of your trial balance sheet should be Cash in Hand, Accounts Receivable, Notes Receivable, Equipments and Stock Inventory, and on the credit side should appear your Liabilities, Notes Payable, Profit and Loss, if you have made a gain in your business; otherwise Profit and Loss will stand on the debit side.

The balance sheet for the Single-entry will be found on previous page, which shows that there has been a loss of $252.52, which is the difference between the $4000.00 started with and the balance, $3747.45, with which we close business. This is a little over 6 per cent. loss. Had the balance been $4210.00 there would have been a profit of $210.00. On the balance sheet for the Double-entry it will appear that there has been a loss of $252.52, as entered in the Loss and account.