Bills are divided into two classes-bills deposited, and bills discounted. Bills deposited are bills lodged in the bank for collection, to be placed, when due, to the credit of the depositors. Bills discounted are those for which the money has been advanced, and which are, therefore, the property of the bank. These two classes of bills are entered in separate sets of books; but, as the books are kept in nearly the same manner, I shall describe them together,
These books are kept, as the word register seems to imply, chronologically-the bills being: entered immediately after each other, in the order in which they come into the bank. The entry includes date when deposited or discounted, name of ingiver, drawer, accepter, date, term, when due, amount, daily amount. The bills are numbered, and the register-number placed upon each bill. The daily amount of the Discount-Begister is entered in the debit side of the Day-Book, under the head, "Bills Discounted this day." I advise that the headings of the columns of this and of all the other books, be printed. This saves time and prevents mistakes.
In these books a separate account is opened for each party; and the same bills which have previously been entered in the Registers are entered in these Ledgers; but the entry is much shorter. A full description of a bill is given in the Register only, and the register-number is placed as a reference in every book in which the bill may subsequently be entered. The entry in the Bill, or Discount-Ledger, includes date when deposited or discounted, name of accepter, when due, and amount. In some banks the Discount-Ledger is kept upon the progressive plan, which is very useful, as it shows at once to what amount any party may be under discount. In addition to this, some banks place in the Discount-Ledger an account of all bills they may have discounted, to which the party is an accepter. These bills are distinguished from those which have been discounted for the party himself, by being placed on the left-hand side of the page. This account is also kept on the progressive plan. A Discount-Ledger, kept in this way, will have three cash columns ruled on each side of the page: the three on the left hand will be headed,
"Where Accepter;" and the three on the right hand will be headed, "Where last Indorser." Between the two sets of columns will be entered-date when discounted-register-number-name of accepter or drawer-when due. The advantage of this plan is, that on turning to any party's account, you see at once the whole of his engagements to the bank, whether arising from bills that have been discounted for himself, or bills to which he is only the accepter.
In these Journals the bills are entered under the respective days on which they fall due. For this purpose the day of the week, and of the month, is placed at the top of each page. This book may be made to last exactly a year, by having headings for every day, from the 1st of January to the 31st of December, omitting Sundays. The entry includes the register-number, name of depositor, or for whom it was discounted, accepter, and amount. The Discount-Journal has three cash columns; one for the amount of each bill, another for the bills paid, and another for those unpaid. The entry is made in the first column, on the day the bill is discounted, and in the other two on the day the bills fall due. The total amount of bills paid each day is copied from the Journal into the received side of the Day-Book. Those unpaid are entered into the transfer column of the Day-Book, and in the Past-Due-Bill-Book. The Bill-Journal need only have one cash column, as most banks find it more convenient to credit their customers' accounts with all the bills on the day they fall due, and debit them on the following day for those that remain unpaid. Those banks, however, that prefer it, may have separate columns in the Bill-Journal for the paid and the unpaid bills; and, in that case, the unpaid bills are returned on the following day to the depositor, without being passed through his cash account. This is sometimes called being "entered short." Some banks make one book serve the purpose of both a Bill-Journal and a Discount-Journal; one page of the book being used as a Discount-Journal, and the opposite page being used as a Bill-Journal.
Each banking-house divides London into a certain number of districts, according to the extent of its business. Each district is called a "Walk, and usually takes its name from the direction in which it lies; as the East "Walk, the West "Walk, and so on. To each walk is assigned a book, in which is entered every day a list of the bills due in the walk, and hence the book is called a List. Each List takes its name from the walk to which it belongs, as the East List, the "West List, etc The page is divided into four columns, the first and third of which are cash columns. In the first column is entered the amount of the bill, in the second, the name of the accepter and the register-number. This is done the day before the bills are due. After the teller has returned from presenting these bills for payment in his walk, he "answers" each bill; that is, he places against it an account of the cash he has received for it, whether cheques, bank notes, or money. The amount is entered in the third column, and in the fourth the description of each kind of cash. If the bill be not paid, he writes L. D. for " left direction," and then enters the bill in the "Unpaid-List."
In the Unpaid-List are entered all the bills not paid when presented for payment. In the course of that day or the following these bills are " answered," either by being paid, or by being passed to the debit of a customer's account, or by being transferred to the Past-Due-Bill-Book. In some banks the Unpaid-List is called the