Accounting records are usually kept in one of two forms: handwritten records or computer records.
Written Accounting Records
This is the traditional form of keeping 'the books', particularly for the smaller businesses. The main record is the ledger which, at one time, would be a large leather-bound volume, neatly ruled, in which the book-keeper would enter each business transaction in immaculate copperplate handwriting into individual accounts. In modern times, the handwritten ledger is still used, and stationery shops sells ledgers and other accounting books, designed especially for the smaller business.
Computer Accounting Records
Nowadays, computers are relitively cheap so that they can be afforded by most businesses. With computer accounting, business transactions are input into the computerand stored on disk. The major advantage of computer accounting is that it is a very accurate method of recording business transactions; the disadvantage is that is may be expensive and time-consuming to set up, particularly for the smaller business. The word 'ledger' has survived into the computer age but, instead of being a bound volume, it is represented by data files held on a computer disk.
When maintaining financial accounts you should bear inmind that they should be kept:
- Confidentially, ie not revealed to unauthorised people outside the business