The advantages of using consecutive numbers in real estate accounting are so great and so many that their adoption is in many cases essential. Let us first consider the instances where such numbers must be employed:
1. All receipts must be numbered consecutively, not only for convenience of record, but also as a safeguard against fraud. If several collectors (e.g., for rents) are employed, it is often wise to have the receipt books numbered in different series, each series being distinguished by a different letter and each letter being assigned to one particular collector.
2. All checks, whether voucher checks or otherwise, must be numbered, and if several banks are used, the checks on each bank should be numbered consecutively.
3. All mortgages receivable should be consecutively numbered, and this order usually affords the most convenient basis of arrangement for the mortgages receivable ledger. This instance affords one of the exceptions to the general rule that loose-leaf records should be arranged alphabetically.
4. Mortgages payable are treated in the same manner.
5. General contracts are usually arranged in order of the serial numbers and also chronologically.
6. Properties when bought should receive "property numbers" (Section 25), for this affords by far the most convenient means of reference in all book and record entries relating thereto.
In some offices where serial numbers are employed, a letter of the alphabet is selected to indicate each series of numbers. For example:
The numbering of contracts on subdivision properties is of especial advantage; but in those cases where the number of purchasers in any one subdivision is large, it is usually found convenient to arrange all sub-ledgers on a strictly alphabetical basis, and to use indexes finely subdivided, say 120 divisions to the alphabet.
All deeds of conveyance should be numbered serially. Where subdivision property is dealt with, a special deed for each division should be used, the name of the property and the grantor being printed, and in such instances each subdivision should have its own series of numbers.
Abstracts of title should bear the numbers of the real estate to which they refer, and should be filed in this order
For renting purposes, where the list of houses remains substantially the same, it is frequently convenient to give each house, apartment, or flat a serial number. In the case of small tenement property, this method is particularly valuable; and in cases where street numbers are lacking or confused, if the serial number can be stencilled or painted on some portion of the house, it gives the collector a double check on the description, which is frequently useful.