The accounts receivable ledger is a sub-ledger in which is recorded all credit sales made by a business. It is useful for segregating into one location a record of all amounts invoiced to customers, as well as all credit memos and (more rarely) debit memos issued to them, and all payments made against invoices by them. The ending balance of the accounts receivable ledger equals the aggregate amount of unpaid accounts receivable.
A typical transaction entered into the accounts receivable ledger will record an account receivable, followed at a later date by a payment transaction from a customer that eliminates the account receivable. If a customer does not pay the full amount of an invoice, a credit memo may be recorded to eliminate the residual balance.
If you were to maintain a manual record of the accounts receivable ledger, it could contain substantially more information. The data fields in a manually-prepared ledger might include the following information for each transaction:
- Invoice date
- Invoice number
- Customer name
- Identifying code for item sold
- Sales tax
- Total amount billed
- Payment flag (states whether paid or not)