In the foregoing balance-sheet it is presumed that all the bills are payable in London, as the London bankers do not usually discount bills payable elsewhere. The division into two accounts is merely to show the comparative extent of the town and the country business. The first account includes the bills discounted for parties resident in London, and the second includes the bills discounted for parties resident in the country. Where the bills are payable at different places, they are referred, as I have already intimated, to different accounts, as "London Bills," "Manchester Bills," etc. It is not usual, in these cases, to distinguish between the bills discounted and the bills deposited, but to place them together on the same account; for instance, the account "London Bills" would include all bills payable in London, whether discounted or deposited. If thought proper, however, they may be easily divided into separate accounts, as "London Bills Discounted," and "London Bills Deposited."
When a discounted bill is not paid, it is transferred to the debit of this account. "Bills deposited" never pass into this account, but if unpaid, are returned to the parties by whom they were deposited.
When the bank purchases "Government Stock," "Exchequer Bills," "India Bonds," etc., the purchase money is passed to the debit of an account raised for the purpose. Upon re-sale the account is credited for the money received, and the difference between the money invested and the money received is passed, at the end of the year, to the debit or the credit of profit and loss account.
This account is debited for the amount of any loan granted to a customer, or to any other party, on security. When a customer wants a temporary advance, the usual way, in London banks, is, not to let him overdraw his account, but to place to his credit the sum he may require, and debit the loan account. The interest is charged upon the full amount of the loan. When the loan is repaid, this account is credited.
3. Expenditure.-The accounts under this head require little explanation. "Bank Premises" is debited for the expense of altering, painting, etc.,the buildings and offices connected with the bank. The other accounts are debited for the different classes of expenditure as they occur. At the end of the year these accounts are credited, and the several amounts are placed to the debit of profit and loss account.
4. Cash Account with Branches.-The title of this class of accounts is sufficiently explanatory. I will only observe, that in some banks each branch keeps a distinct cash account with every other branch, and with the several agents of the bank with whom it may have transactions. But, in other banks, each branch passes all its transactions through its cash account with the head-office. It debits the head-office for whatever it may remit to either a branch or an agent, and it credits the head-office for whatever sums it may receive from a branch or an agent.
5. Proprietors' Accounts.-This class of accounts refers to the internal operations of the bank.
If the capital has been paid up at different times, this account may be divided into "First Instalment," "Second Instalment," "Third Instalment," etc.
Several joint-stock banks have passed to an account of this sort the expense of forming the company; and these expenses are discharged out of the profits, by equal portions, in the course of five or ten years. This is considered a more equitable mode than to pay these expenses out of the profits of the first two or three years.
When the whole of the annual profits are not divided among the partners or proprietors, the surplus is transferred to an account called " Surplus Fund," where it remains for the purpose of being applied to meet any losses or contingencies that may occur in after years.
To the credit of this account is placed all interest and commission received; and to the debit is placed all interest paid. These entries are made at the time the transactions occur. At the end of the year this account is credited for all the profits that have been made during the year upon Government Stock, Exchequer Bills, etc, and is debited with the several items of expenditure. The Profit and Loss Account may be subdivided into several accounts, as "Interest Received on Bills Discounted," "Commission Received," "Interest Paid on Deposit Receipts," "Charge for Agency," etc, etc. When it is not thus divided, a complete abstract of the account should be made out at the end of the year.
The introduction of this account makes the General-Ledger a perfect check upon the other books. For by this means the total of all the balances of the debit side of the General-Ledger are equal to the total of all the balances of the credit side. To the debit of this account is passed, every day, the total amount of the credit side of the Day-Book; and the account is credited for the amount of the debit side of the Day-Book; consequently the balance of this account will be always on the debit side, and will be equal to the difference between the sum of all the other debit balances, and the sum of the credit balances; that is, it will show the amount of cash in the bank. The General-Ledger is usually kept on the progressive plan, so that the balance of any account can be seen upon inspection, and its progress from any past period can be distinctly and readily traced.