Using the General Ledger in Computerized Accounting Software

If you keep your books by using a computerized accounting system, posting to the General Ledger is actually done behind the scenes by your accounting software. You can view your transactions right on the screen.

If you're using QuickBooks, you can view your transactions in the program without ever having to make a General Ledger entry. Other computerized accounting programs also allow you to view transactions right on the screen.

The screens that appear with these steps show QuickBooks, which is the most popular of the computerized accounting systems:

  1. In QuickBooks, click the symbol for Accnt.

    You see the Chart of Accounts, as it appears here in QuickBooks:

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  2. Click on the account for which you want more detail.

    Look at Accounts Payable (as it appears here in QuickBooks) and see the transactions for March that were entered when the bills were paid.

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If you need to make an adjustment to a payment that appears in your computerized system, highlight the transaction, click Edit Transaction in the line below the account name, and make the necessary changes.

As you navigate the General Ledger created by your computerized bookkeeping system, you can see how easy it would be for someone to make changes that alter your financial transactions and possibly cause serious harm to your business. For example, someone could reduce or alter your bills to customers or change the amount due to a vendor.

Be sure that you can trust whoever has access to your computerized system and that you have set up secure password access. Also, establish a series of checks and balances for managing your business’s cash and accounts.

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