The expedients introduced to improve any system of book-keeping have for their object either the saving of time directly by abbreviating the entries, or to save time indirectly by new modes of preventing or detecting errors. And it may be observed, that a minute alteration, hardly worthy of being adopted in a small bank, where it would save but a few minutes a day, may be very properly adopted in a large establishment, where the time saved would be in proportion to the greater extent of business. Sometimes an entry may be shortened by omitting some of the particulars. Thus, where we have been accustomed to enter with every bill-the name of the last indorser-the drawer and his residence-the accepter and his residence -the date, term when due, and the amount-we may properly, perhaps, omit some of these items. Or where we have repeated the same entry in several hooks, we may enter it in fewer books-or, perhaps, make the individual entries in only one hook, and enter the total amount in the others-or, at other times, the whole form of a hook may he changed, and we may by a new arrangement obtain the same results more clearly and in less time. Almost every hank will occasionally make some alteration of this kind as its business may require. And even each accountant has usually some little expedients of his own for facilitating his daily operations. We will notice a few of those amendments that have been adopted with the view of saving time and labour in some of our hanking establishments.

1 " History of the Bank of England: its Times and Traditions." By John Francis. Vol. ii. p. 141.

2 " Double Entry Elucidated." By B. F. Foster. P. 18.

Some large hanks have adopted the " horizontal system of hook-keeping," which is in some respects an improvement on the system described in the former editions of this work. The chief difference is in the mode of ruling the Received and the Paid-Waste-Books.

The Received-Waste-Book, instead of being ruled as described on page 50, has four cash columns, three at the left hand as you face the book, and the fourth at the right hand, with a space between the third and the fourth. The different items of a credit entry, instead of being placed under one another, as in the former system, will be placed separately in the first three columns, and the total in the fourth column. Thus, if a sum of 543 10s. 7d. be received from Mr. Smith, and this sum consists of 3 10s. 7d. in coin or money, 100 in a Bank of England note, and .440 in a cheque on Jones, Loyd & Co., the entry will stand thus:-

Money.

Bank

Notes.

Sundries.

Name.

Total.

s.

d.

$.

d.

Smith.

s.

d.

3

10

7

100

440

0

0

Jones, Loyd & Co.

543

10

7

Thus it is seen that the first column is for money, the second column for bank notes, and the third column for "sundries;" that is, for all other articles; and these three columns are added together "horizontally," and the total brought out into the fourth cash column at the right hand. It will be observed, that the cashier has to add the items together, not longways, but crossways-not longitudinally, but "horizontally." After a little practice one way is just as easy as the other.

Some cashiers prefer having two columns only at the left hand, and two at the right hand, with the space between the second and third column, as the numbers of the bank notes, and the names of the bankers on whom the cheques are drawn, can then be placed on the same line, but this is not a matter of much consequence.

Now, if you "cast up" the first left-hand column, you will have at the close of the day the total amount of money, i.e., coin, received during the day. If you cast up the second column, you will have the total amount of bank notes. The third column will give the total amount of "sundries." And the amount of these three columns together will be equal to the fourth column, containing the total amount of the credits. If this should not be the case, there must be some error, which must be discovered forthwith. Thus the Horizontal-Received-Waste-Book is a check upon itself. As soon as the cashier gets to the bottom of a page he casts up his book, and sees that the three columns are exactly equal to the fourth. Thus he keeps his book right as he goes on. "Whereas, in the former system, any error in the Received-TVaste-Book would not be discovered till the General Balance was tried at the close of business, and not then, perhaps, until after a long course of " marking off."

To simplify my explanation, I have described the Received-"Waste-Book as having only four cash columns, and these are perhaps enough for a small bank. But large establishments have sometimes seven or eight, perchance in the following order :-1. Money, i.e., coin. 2. Bank notes. 3. Parcels of bank notes, called sundries. 4. Country notes. 5. Cheques on clearing bankers. 6. Cheques on bankers who do not clear. 7. Cheques on our own bank. a space. 8. The total amount of the credit.

The Horizontal-Paid-Waste book is ruled with three cash columns. One to the left for the amount of the cheque paid: then an open space for the name; then a column for the banknotes, and another for the money, i.e., coin. The London bankers do not pay away any bills or country notes in exchange for cheques, but only Bank of England notes and coin. The entry stands thus :-

Amount of Cheque.

Name and No. of Bank Note.

Bank Notes.

Money.

s.

d

s.

d.

101

4

3

White.

1473.

100

1

4

3

The amount of the columns containing the bank notes and the money will of course be equal to the column containing the amount of the cheques. And thus this Paid-Waste-Book contains a check upon itself.

The Horizontal-Paid-Waste-Book may have at the left hand two cash columns, one for the town and the other for the country departments, and also a separate column for the country notes; thus:-

Town.

Country.

Country

Notes.

Name.

Bank Notes Paid.

Money.

This prevents the necessity for having both a Town and a Country Paid-Waste-Book, while the two departments are still kept distinct. The country notes are also separated, and can be checked by themselves. When all are added together, the total of the three columns at the left must be equal in amount to the total of the two columns at the right hand. The articles paid must be equal to the bank notes and money which were issued in payment.