These sub-ledgers (Forms 14, 15, 16) contain accounts with individual purchasers of lots included in subdivisions handled by the concern (SectionSection 173, 174). If the concern buys a house, and then sells that house on contract, the account with the purchaser would be entered in the general contracts ledger (Form II ); but if the concern bought 1,000 acres of land and divided it into 500 tracts, the accounts with the various customers for each of these tracts would be kept in one of these subdivision customers ledgers, one such ledger being devoted to each subdivision.
Inasmuch as these accounts are of a somewhat temporary nature, frequently lasting not more than two or three years, it is not necessary to use so substantial a book as has been indicated for the preceding ledgers. Form 15, discussed in Section 174, shows an improved method for keeping these accounts.
Form 14. Subdivision Customers Ledger.
In some cases it is possible to use a tabular form of ledger not unlike the "Boston" ledger so largely used in banks. This form is well adapted to a comparatively small subdivision in which all the lots are disposed of by contract in a short time. In such a case each lot is entered in order of date on one line, or the names of the purchasers are entered in alphabetical order, an index being provided in the former case to show the name of each customer and the number of his contract. Form 16 shows the proper ruling.
By the use of "short leaves," a record of this kind extending over three or four years can be kept in a book of convenient size. The chief advantage of this form lies in the fact that it dispenses with the necessity of drawing off a trial balance of the sub-ledger, as a total of the "Balance" column gives this at once. If any error has been made it can be quickly detected, for the total of the receipt column for any month must agree with the total of the corresponding column in the cash book plus any journal entries which may have been made.
Form 15. Subdivision Customers Ledger.
Whatever the form of record used for these subdivision accounts, a fixed rule should always govern where contracts are transferred - a proceeding of frequent occurrence. In some offices it is the practice to write the name of the transferee on the existing ledger sheet, and then transfer this sheet to its location in alphabetical order; e.g., if a lot is bought by John Doe and an account opened with him, and this lot is sold to Richard Roe, the latter's name is written over Doe's, and the sheet transferred and placed under the
Form 16. Tabular Ledger for Subdivision Accounts.
R's. This method leads to confusion, for the sale is referred to sometimes under one name and sometimes under the other; or the tickler and other records may fail to show the transfer. The best method is to close John Doe's account by the entry (preferably in red ink) "Balance transferred from John Doe to Richard Roe." In this way it is always easy to trace the history of any lot, even if the tickler is deficient.
The accountant should allow no month to pass without taking off a trial balance from each and every sub-ledger, even if it is only an adding machine list; and in all cases these lists should be filed with the month's papers for future reference.