Accounts: Their Construction and Interpretation for Business Men and Students of Affairs

By William Morse Cole | Go to book overview

APPENDIX E
THE TREATMENT OF PETTY ACCOUNTS AND PETTY ITEMS

IN the text of Part I no mention was made of what are commonly called "petty accounts." These are of a minor sort not requiring a separate space for each in the ledger, and yet needing at least temporary record. For them it is customary to keep one or more accounts in the ledger called "Petty Accounts," to represent the whole number, or a whole set, of such individual accounts. The distinction between the amounts belonging to different individuals is made by writing the name as a part of each posting. Balancing is accomplished by providing that each debit or credit shall be posted opposite its corresponding credit or debit, leaving blank lines, when necessary, to allow for this. A sample general-ledger page might look as follows:

PETTY ACCOUNTS
1907 1907
Nov. 7 H. Smith 29 17.50 Oct. 10 H. Smith 17 17.50
21 J. Jones 19 219.00
Dec. 2 A. Browne 32 22.00
21 D. Jones 39 164.00 Dec. 12 D. Jones 35 164.00

A common device is a so-called "petty cash book," maintained not for items belonging to Petty Accounts, but for general items too insignificant to burden the general cash book. Sometimes money is placed in lump sum in the hands of clerks or agents for disbursal as occasion may require, with the condition that they shall keep detailed cash books. Petty Cash account is debited on the cash book when the money is delivered; and that account is credited on the journal, with a debit for the total of the items belonging to each disbursement account, when the agent's report is made. Sometimes, on the other hand, a petty cash book is maintained in the counting room and from it items are entered on the general cash book only in totals, at convenient intervals, for each disbursement account.

A modern development of the device of Petty Accounts is what is

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