The accounting procedure, for recording information, involves two steps, namely journalizing and posting. It follows that every business must maintain a journal (books of original or prime entry) and a ledger (principal book). Thus the system of book-keeping originally envisages that all the transactions must be recorded first in the book of original record, i.e., journal and then each transaction so recorded in the journal should be posted in the principal book, i.e., ledger. Subsequently it was experienced that the labor of recording each transaction with narration in the journal and then posting each entry in two different accounts in the ledger was enormous. The procedure was more time-consuming and resulted in higher establishment cost.
It is but natural that in every business most of the transactions relate to receipts and payments of cash; purchases of goods ;. sales of goods etc. It was found to be convenient and economical to keep separate books to record each particular class of transactions. Each separate book meant to record transactions of a particular class is the book of original or prime entry. It is also known as sub-journal or subsidiary book. The system under which transactions of similar nature are entered in the relevant’ subsidiary book and on the basis of which ledger is written is known as the ‘practical system of book- keeping’. This system reduces labor and time of recording the transactions as impersonal accounts, viz., sales account, purchases account etc., receive the posting of totals and not of individual transactions. However, this system also conforms to the basic rules of the double entry system.
Generally the following subsidiary books are used in the business:
(1) Cash book : records receipts and payments of cash including transactions relating to bank;
(2) Purchases book: records credit purchases of goods meant for sale or for conversion into finished goods;
(3) Returns outwards book: records return of the goods to the suppliers due to several reasons;
(4) Sales book: records credit sales of the goods dealt in by the business;
(5) Returns inwards book : records the return of goods by the customers to the business ; (vi) Bills receivable book: records the receipts of bills of exchange, promissory notes and hundies of various parties;
(6) Bills payable book: records the issue of bills exchange, promissory notes and hundies to the various parties:
Advantages of sub-journals
(1) It results in saving of time by (a) enabling the recording procedure to be carried on simultaneously in different subsidiary books and (b) by posting the periodical totals in the impersonal accounts.
(2) It makes information available regarding each particular class of transactions.
(3) At the time of preparing trial balance the checking is easier because books being many, different persons can carry out the job.
In any business, perhaps, the largest number of transactions of one nature must relate to cash and bank. It is so because every transaction must, ultimately, result in a cash transaction. Now if every cash transaction is to be recorded in journal, it will involve an enormous amount of labor in debiting or crediting cash or bank account in the ledger for each transaction. Therefore, it is convenient to have a separate book, the cash book, to record such transactions. Maintaining of cash book removes the necessity of having cash and bank accounts in the ledger. This book enables us to know the balance of cash in hand and at bank at any point of time.
Cash book consists of cash and bank accounts taken out of ledger and maintained separately; thus it is a substitute of ledger for cash and bank accounts. It is also a book of original entry because cash and bank transactions are not recorded in any other subsidiary book.
Types of cash books
The type of cash book to be used by any business will depend upon its nature and requirements. It may be anyone of the following:
(1) Single column cash book (cash column).
(2) Double column cash book (cash and discount columns).
(3) Triple column cash book (cash, discount and bank columns).
(4) Bank cash book (bank and discount columns).
Generally, each business will use anyone of the above types of cash book along with “petty cashbook” which is maintained on memorandum basis.
Distinction between cash A/c and Cash book
Actually cash book is a perfect substitute of cash account. In both, cash transactions are recorded date wise in order of occurrence. Cash balance as on any date can be ascertained by balancing both on any day desired. Yet there are some differences between the two as given below:
1. Is an account in the ledger.
2. Cash account is part of the ledger. Cash account is opened in the ledger in which posting is done from some book of original entry i.e. journal
3. In cash account posting is not followed by narration.
4. It only records one aspect of transaction involving cash and bank.
1. Is a separate book of accounts forming part of accounting system.
2. Cash book records entries directly from transactions and these is no need for a book of prime entry.
3. In cash book entries are followed by narration also.
4. It records both the aspects of this transaction in cash and bank columns to complete double entry posting.