Ledger account is a summary statement of all the transactions relating to a person, asset, liability, expense or income which has taken place during a given period of time and it shows their net effect. From the transactions recorded in the journal, the ledger account is prepared. Ledger is known as principal book of accounts. It is a book which contains all sets of accounts, namely, personal, real and nominal accounts. Accountwise balance can be determined from the ledger. The ledger accounts are prepared based on journal entries passed.
The balances in the ledger accounts show the net effect of transactions during a particular period in various accounts. The personal accounts give the net amount due to creditors and the net amount due from debtors, real accounts show the values of assets and nominal accounts show incomes and expenses. The financial statements can be prepared from the ledger balances.
Ledger may be maintained in the business enterprises in the form of a bound register or in the form of loose sheets with spiral binding. Normally one page or one sheet may be provided for one account. An index is provided in the beginning of the ledger giving details of the accounts contained in it such as specific code for each account, page number, etc. Where computerised accounting is followed, once the transactions are recorded in the journal, ledger accounts are automatically prepared.