Cashbooks and petty cashbooks A cashbook is the cash account and the bank account combined into one single account. We already know how to maintain a separate cash account and bank account. The two accounts below are just straightforward examples of double-entry accounts:
|1 Jan||Capital||2,500||2 Jan||Office furniture||750|
|5 Jan||Sales||150||8 Jan||T McClure||140|
|12 Jan||W Green||320||15 Jan||Purchases||250|
|18 Jan||Rent||85||31 Jan||Balance c/d||1,915|
|1 Feb||Balance b/d||1,915||-||-||-|
|2 Jan||B Griffin||250||2 Jan||Office expenses||50|
|7 Jan||H Spence||430||11 Jan||Insurance||55|
|-||-||-||14 Jan||Motor expenses||120|
|-||-||-||21 Jan||P Yarrow||320|
|-||-||-||31 Jan||Balance c/d||135|
|1 Feb||Balance b/d||135||-||-||-|
However the cashbook combines the two separate accounts into one joint account. The example below is just the two separate examples from above combined into a cashbook format:
|1 Jan||Capital||-||2,500||2 Jan||Office expenses||50||-|
|2 Jan||B Griffin||250||-||2 Jan||Office furniture||-||750|
|5 Jan||Sales||-||150||8 Jan||T McClure||-||140|
|7 Jan||H Spence||430||-||11 Jan||Insurance||55||-|
|12 Jan||W Green||-||320||14 Jan||Motor expenses||120||-|
|18 Jan||Rent||-||85||15 Jan||Purchases||-||250|
|-||-||-||-||21 Jan||P Yarrow||320||-|
|-||-||-||-||31 Jan||Balances c/d||135||1,915|
|1 Feb||Balances c/d||135||1,915||-||-||-||-|
Notice that the accounts have not altered at all. They are still balanced off separately at the end of the month and the balances will obviously be the same as before. The above example is known as a two-column cashbook - the two columns being bank and cash columns.
It is possible to have a closing balance which is a debit balance for the cash account but a credit balance for the bank account. The account should simply have balances drawn in for both sides. It is impossible for the cash account to be a credit balance, this would mean that the firm had a negative amount of cash. This cannot be the case - one can have either some cash or no cash but not a negative amount. The bank account can be a credit balance and this means that the firm is overdrawn on the account - the firm has drawn more from the bank account than is actually there and the firm now owes the bank money.
Cash paid into the bank
Frequently, firms will pay cash into the firm's bank account and also, draw money out of the bank for use elsewhere. The double entry required to record this sort of transaction is unusual because both 'halves' of the transaction are now going to be found in the same account - the cashbook.
Although firms will offer terms of credit to their customers, the firm would prefer it if customers settled their account as quickly as possible (i.e. paid what they owed) fairly quickly because the cash flow will be important to most firms. Many firms will offer discounts in return for prompt payments. These are known as cash discounts (also known as settlement discounts) and are usually given as a percentage of the overall invoice total (e.g. 5% off the sales value).
The term cash discount does not mean that the amount has to be paid in cash - cash or cheques would both qualify if they were paid within the given time limit. The term cash discount is used to distinguish it from trade discounts. The cash discount offered and the terms and conditions will normally be found on the invoice. There are two types of cash discounts that are recorded in the ledger accounts:
Cash discounts allowed by a firm to its customers when they pay their accounts quickly.
Received by a firm from its suppliers when it pays their accounts quickly.
Discounts columns in cashbook
Both discount accounts are kept in the general ledger. There is the danger that, with frequent purchases and sales, these accounts will quickly become cluttered with many small entries. An alternative approach, which avoids this clutter, is to make use of a three-column cashbook.
The three-column cashbook incorporates the cash discounts for each relevant entry into a third column. At the end of each month (or other relevant period) when the cashbook is balanced off, the totals form these discount column would then be transferred to the discount accounts in the general ledger. Discounts received are entered in the discounts column on the credit side of the cashbook, and discounts allowed in the discounts column on the debit side of the cashbook.
The cashbook, if completed for the two examples so far dealt with, would appear as follows:
|Three column cashbook|
|5 Nov||D Jackson||7||-||273||3 Nov||J O'Neill||23||-||437|
There is no alteration to the method of showing discounts in the personal accounts. When balancing the accounts off at the end of the period, you must take care to note that the discounts columns are not balanced off against each other. The discounts columns are simply totalled up and then transferred to the relevant discount account. Therefore the totals are likely to be different for the discount columns.
This is a fully worked example of a three-column cashbook:
|October 1||Balances brought forward: Cash £215, Bank £190 (Cr.)|
|October 3||Paid creditors by cheque; G Dawes £440 L Lewes £120 (before discount) and received a 5% discount on invoice totals.|
|October 9||Paid £100 cash into bank account|
|October 13||Received cheques from suppliers for accounts totals as follows: R Kirk £360 and C Watson £120, in each case allowing a 2.5% discount.|
|October 19||Cash purchases £78|
|October 20||Paid rent by cheque £56|
|October 22||Received cheque of £90 from H Knight in settlement of sales worth £95.|
|October 25||Cash withdrawn from bank for personal use £50|
|October 30||Received commission by cash £46|
Petty cash book
Some firms actually keep a separate cashbook and a petty cash book. The petty cash book is for dealing with small items of money. Some firms will have lots of transactions which involve relatively small amounts of money (e.g. petrol costs, postage costs and so on). If these were entered in the cashbook then it would quickly become cluttered up with entries for small amounts of money.
To stop this happening some firms will keep a petty cashbook, which deals with these items. At the end of each month the monthly totals can then be transferred to the main cashbook. This has the other advantage of allowing another member of staff (usually a junior) the responsibility of dealing with petty cashbook alone and this frees up time for the main cashier of the firm to deal with the main cashbook.
Some very large firms may actually use the petty cashbook for dealing with all cash items of expenditure. The main cashbook would then only be used for bank transactions.
The most common system used to maintain the petty cash book is known as the imprest system. This involves co-ordination between the cashier responsible for the cashbook and the cashier responsible for the petty cash book.
The cashier will give the petty book cashier just enough money to cover the petty cash transactions of a period of time - usually one month. At the end of the month, the amount actually spent will be totalled up and the amount will be refunded from the main cashbook as follows:
|Entries needed to refund amount spent on petty cash|
In this way, the balance on the petty cashbook will always be the same at the start of each period. This opening balance is known as the float or imprest. The float can be changed if it is observed that the petty cash is either being spent too quickly, or is not being spent at all. The idea is that the float should cover the periods' expenses.
Most firms who maintain petty cashbooks will do so in a format which categorises different types of petty cash expenditure. This is known as an analytical petty cashbook because it analyses the different types of expenditure.
The petty cashbook still follows the rules of any double entry account. However, the credit side of this account will be split into the various categories of expenditure.
The following are details of petty cash transactions for the month of February 2004. The business transactions that occur are as follows:
|Feb 1||The chief cashier debits the petty cashbook with £70 to restore the float|
|Feb 4||Petrol costs||10|
|Feb 9||Coffee for office||3|
|Feb 8||Bus fares||6|
|Feb 15||Milk and tea||2|
|Feb 16||Rail fares||17|
|Feb 21||New paper for printer||9|
|Feb 24||Folders for office||4|
|Feb 28||The chief cashier debits the petty cashbook with £55 to restore the float|
The £55 received on February 28 is exactly the amount that was spent during February on petty cash transactions.
The analysis columns that are to be used in this example are:
- Travel expenses
There are no strict rules on what columns should be used or how many of them there should be. It makes sense not to have too many because it may become confusing when filling in the petty cashbook.
Advantages of maintaining a petty cashbook
- It stops the main cashbook being cluttered up with small items of expenditure.
- It allows the firm to delegate these small times to a junior member of staff, which frees up the time of the main cashier to concentrate on other areas.
- Double entry bookkeeping
- Daybooks and ledgers
- Cashbooks and petty cashbooks
- The sales daybook
- Purchases daybook
- Returns daybooks
- The Journal
- Trading and profit and loss accounts
- Balance sheets
- Features of the VAT system
- VAT and the double entry system
- The trial balance
- Bank reconciliation statements
- Control accounts
- Suspense accounts and the correction of errors
- Computers in accounting
These notes are aimed at people studying for AQA A Level Accounting Unit 1, but will also be suitable for other courses and exam boards.
Originally submitted by duke_stix on TSR Forums.