General Ledger Accounting
A general ledger accountant is described as a financial professional who makes sure that a company’s or a client’s books are balanced. Included in a general ledger accountant’s job is also recording all expenses and credits properly. Duties of specific general ledger accountants may vary very greatly from one organization to another. There are some settings in which the ledger accountant is considered as an entry-level associate that is tasked with organizing basic paperwork and conducting a fact-checking routine before they forward reports to their senior accountants. However, ledger accountants may also work towards a more senior role that oversees and enforces standard operating procedures.
“General ledger” is basically a term that is used in business that refers to the basic, day-to-day accounting in a company. Before computers became more accessible and easier to use, ledgers were basically kept on paper, often in specialized notebooks known as ledger notebooks. On one side of the notebook, credits are listed while debits were listed on the other side. All departments of a company were then required to record all of their transactions in their ledger books on a daily basis. The general ledger accountant will then review and consolidate the ledgers.
Because of the advent of computers, ledger books are now rarely used and regularly tracking expenses is not usually done anymore. Today, most companies use the internet or other specialized accounting software programs in order to automatically compile entries of different offices and departments. These kinds of software also have the ability to generate reconciliation reports and summaries with a click of a button. Although these kinds of software are mainly automatic, they still need human oversight. This is where general ledger accountants come in.
Most companies today have the general ledger accountant implement and monitor the financial tracking software that they use. General ledger accounting involves teaching employees the procedures of how to use the system and how to always enforce honesty in creating entries. Most ledger accountants conduct random auditing and notes discrepancies from day to day or year to year.
Ledgers are important in major corporate finance and practicing this must also blend with other larger corporate dealings such as mergers, profits, acquisitions, and high-level sales. Planning as well as tax accounting is also involved in ledgers.
In general ledger accounting, extensive interaction with other accountants is included in the job description. He or she must be able to represent the daily financial transactions in the company, together with all the petty cash expenses. These must all be worked into the budget and in the overall financial landscape of the company. In most small companies, the general ledger accountant alone is in charge of all these expenses. In larger settings, the general ledger accountants oversee multiple divisions.
Ledger accountants, although the scope of their responsibilities or seniority may vary within organizations, are held to the same standard as other accountants. They generally require a basic accounting degree and mostly include relevant local licenses and certifications.