Except in the cases of the few general accounts specified below as requiring bound books, the larger part of the real estate records may be most conveniently kept in loose-leaf ledgers or on cards. In some few cases, as for instance, insurance records (see Section 330), the loose-leaf ledger is much to be preferred to cards, for two main reasons:

1. There is less likelihood of loss and confusion when accounts are to be consulted.

2. It requires far less space.

Take for example a sub-ledger for a subdivision tract with 750 customers, to which frequent reference is made by the bookkeepers, by the credit man, and by a number of salesmen. The examination of one of these accounts, if they are kept on cards, usually necessitates the removal of that card from the file, and, unfortunately, these cards are not always returned promptly. It is perhaps kept out for reference, for correction, or for copying; other matters intervene, its return is postponed indefinitely, and the card too often is lost.

In the case of a loose-leaf ledger, on the other hand, an account to be consulted is found in the ledger; a slip may be inserted to mark the sheet, but the account itself never leaves its proper place.

Again, who has handled card records in any quantity without seeing at least once a file full of cards dropped or upset, requiring hours, perhaps, to sort out and rearrange ?

As to compactness, the space required for 750 cards is several times greater than that required for the same number of ledger sheets, especially if the latter are of thin paper. A number of such ledgers containing thousands of accounts can be kept in an ordinary safe, while an equal number of cards require a special series of filing cabinets and more vault space than can as a rule be conveniently given.