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What Are the Different Types of Ledger Cards?

By Osmand Vitez
Updated May 16, 2024
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Ledger cards are bookkeeping tools used by companies to record transactions and manage financial paperwork. They are similar yet different to standard ledger paper in specific ways. The similarities come from the use of columns, rows, and grids on ledger cards into which a bookkeeper can write financial data. Differences include the ability to place these cards onto rings and the use of card stock on which the cards are printed. These cards have different formats, colors, and storage possibilities for use in an accounting system.

In general, the same information must be written onto each general ledger card prior to it being used in a company’s accounting system. For example, a bookkeeper must write a description or purpose of use at the top along with a date that correlates to the transaction event. Each row represents a line onto which the bookkeeper must write account numbers, account descriptions, and dollar amounts for the transaction. With several lines on ledger cards, there is ample space to accurately describe the transaction event and make crib notes. The card then has the information recorded into the company’s accounting system.

Though most ledger cards carry the same format, there may be different colors for these cards available at office supply stores. Common colors include green, yellow, and manila, though others may exist from certain office supply stores. In most cases, there is no real significant difference among the colors of ledger cards, though a company may be able to use them differently. For example, a large company can use a different color for different departments or different transactions, depending upon the need. This allows the accounting system to have natural separation for use of information among the many types of transactions or departments.

The use of ledger cards as part of an accounting system may be necessary as they tend to be more durable than standard ledger paper. In some cases, the cards may be present in a company’s rougher operational departments, such as production, construction, or other nonoffice environments. Here, nonaccountants fill out some basic information — such as quantities, costs, and use of goods — with bookkeepers filling out the remaining data. The use and storage of these cards allow companies to have more durable paperwork around for these rougher environments. Storing these cards is necessary for tax and business purposes, and these cards are typically very durable.

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