Time is sometimes lost by a clerk taking up the wrong book-opening it, putting it down, and then taking up the right one. A cashier, for instance, will sometimes take up the Paid-Waste-Book instead of the Received-Waste-Book. To prevent this, the two books may have covers of different colours-one white, the other green. Time may be lost by two clerks wanting the same book at the same time. The ledger-keeper may want to post from the Received-Waste-Book when the cashier is using it. To prevent this, there may be two sets of Waste-Books-one for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and the other for Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; and, to prevent mistakes, the names of the days should be written in large letters on the covers of the books.
IV. We will now make a comparison between the system of Book-keeping practised by Merchants and that practised by Bankers.
The merchants have their Waste-Book, Journal, Ledger. The bankers have their Waste-Book, Day-Book, Ledger.
In both cases the Waste-Book is the book in which transactions are first entered. But this book is capable of subdivision : it contains a record of various transactions, some of which may be entered in separate books. Bankers have their Received, Paid, and Supplementary Waste-Books; also their Deposit-Receipt-Book, Discount-Begis-ters, and other books subsidiary to the Waste-Book. So merchants have their Waste-Books subdivided into various books, according to the nature of the transactions. There is the Invoice-Book, containing an account of all goods purchased; the Sales-Book, containing an account of all goods sold; a book for "Bills Receivable," containing a list of all bills in the merchant's hands, which when due he will receive; another for bills payable, containing a list of all bills he has accepted, and which when due he will have to pay; a Cash-Book, containing an account of all cash he receives or pays away; and several others, varying according to the character and extent of the business. Now all these subdivisions of the merchant's Waste-Book resemble those of the banker's in two things :-first, they are all kept chronologically-they contain a record of the transactions in the order of time in which they occurred; and, secondly, all the transactions thus recorded must afterwards, upon the system of double entry, pass, either individually or in totals, through the book which merchants call a Journal, and bankers call a Day-Book.
The words "Journal " and "Day-Book " have the same meaning, and in this instance the use of the two books is similar. But in the merchant's Journal individual transactions may be entered, while in the banker's Day-Book they are always entered in totals. Thus the total amount of "Bills Discounted," and the total amount of credits and payments on current accounts, are entered in the Day-Book, but not the individual items. Another difference is, that over each entry in the merchant's Journal you state to what account it is to be posted; for every entry is posted to two accounts-to the debit of one account, and to the credit of the other. And this is denoted by Dr. being placed before the name of the account to be debited. Thus, if a merchant buys some goods for ready money, the journal entry is preceded by-
Goods Dr. to Cash; implying that the account "Goods" is to be debited, and the account "Cash" to be credited. On the other hand, if he sells goods for ready money, the transaction will be journalized thus :-
Cash Dr. to Goods.
If he sells goods upon credit to John Brown, it will be-
John Brown Dr. to Goods.
If he sells goods for a bill of exchange, it will be-
Bills receivable Dr. to Goods.
If he sends goods abroad, as a speculation, in the ship
Adventure, he may raise an account for the ship, and say-
Ship Adventure Dr. to Goods.
The entries in the banker's Day-Book are made daily, but the entries in the merchant's Journal are generally made once a month.