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What is a general ledger?

The general ledger is one of the most important resources in accounting. It contains nearly all of the data necessary for assessing your business’s financial health and planning for the future – assets, liabilities, equity, revenue, and expenses.

  • Potential investors – or auditors – will expect you to be able to provide information on your financial position on demand.
  • Gaps in your general ledger can reveal potential weaknesses in your business infrastructure.
  • Major business decisions can be influenced by many different aspects of financial health – more than can just be found in a single report or statement.
  • You can feel more comfortable knowing exactly what resources you have access to for the support of your business.

The purpose of a general ledger is to consolidate all of the financial information that can give you an idea of your company’s past operations, current stability, and future possibilities. That information, and that all-important view of your business’s capabilities, should be managed by someone with the knowledge and skill to do it right – like the experts at GraphX.

Why should I trust my general ledger to GraphX?

A general ledger shouldn’t be an actual ledger. Having all of your transactions and assets recorded in an actual, physical book is fine, but when it comes time for decision-making and planning, you’ll need that data in a format that’s far more accessible and shareable. By including imaging and automated analysis as part of our comprehensive financial management system, we store that data securely and make it available at the click of a button.

This isn’t your area of expertise. Your business is your area of expertise. Your business’s finances are ours. The experts at Back Office Center focus exclusively on an extensive suite of financial services so that they can take those tasks off of your hands. You don’t have to know how to do a general ledger – you just have to know how to serve your customers and clients and generate revenue. We’ll do the other part.

Really, your general ledger shouldn’t be an actual ledger. Your general ledger is a detailed collection of your business’s operations. Back Office Center stores all crucial financial information in a secure location in the U.S., according to industry best practices for physical and digital security, which can’t necessarily be said for your personal bookkeeping software or for the big book on your shelf.

Your general ledger is a long-term project. It’s for the life of your business. Devoting time and money to inefficient general ledger accounting practices over that long period of time is a waste of the revenue you work so hard to generate. Relying on experienced professionals who work quickly without sacrificing accuracy, with access to cutting-edge technology and resources, saves you time and the money associated with wasted time.

Document Management

The information that goes into the assembly of a general ledger frequently comes in the form of lots of paperwork. Back Office Center spares you the difficulties associated with that volume of mail – reading it, storing it, entering the data, and checking for errors when all of it is done.

  • Imaging
  • Journal entry
  • Reconciliation

Imaging. Scanning all of the pertinent financial documents eliminates the need for storage and makes the information readily available without having to dig through stacks of paper. The information can be shared without the trouble of faxing, the delay of mailing, or the risk of lost or damaged papers whenever you move them around.

Journal entry. Data from those documents is entered into the appropriate journals and ledgers through our automated system and by our experts themselves – a double layer of certainty to make sure that all of your critical data gets where it needs to go.

Reconciliation. General ledger reconciliation compares your general ledger with all of its component subledgers, account statements from your banks and investments, and your own related internal records. This ensures that the financial information you use to make decisions about your business is accurate – and gaps and discrepancies between your accounts can be a sign of irregularities elsewhere in your business operations.

Asset and Liabilities Management

Assets and liabilities come in a number of forms – and frequently it’s hard to tell which is which – so relying on an expert to maintain those records can help avoid questions and audits in the future.

  • Cash management
  • Accounts receivable and payable
  • Inventory, physical assets, and investments

Cash management. This is the management of liquid assets – actual cash, the contents of your bank accounts, things that can be used to fulfill payment obligations and fund business operations. The basic transactions of sales, receipts, deposits, and withdrawals have a major influence on your company’s ability not just to stay solvent but to grow.

Accounts receivable and accounts payable. These are, in essence, financial transactions that haven’t actually made it to your bank account yet. Accounts receivable – payments that others owe to you, but have not yet paid – are recorded in your balance sheet as assets, and accounts payable – payments that you owe to others, but have not yet paid – are recorded as liabilities. Timely payment and collection can keep both from becoming a source of instability for your business.

Inventory, physical assets, and investments. These could be a source of income, if you use them in the course of business, or if they appreciate. They could be a source of loss, if they depreciate. Your general ledger reflects this as assets and liabilities, so you’ll always know what you have to work with.

Reports

The general ledger is full of information. GraphX will synthesize and analyze it for you, presenting it in a form that’s readable, understandable, and usable.

  • Balance sheet
  • Income statement
  • Subledgers
  • Custom reports

Balance sheet. Your balance sheet provides a view of how your finances look now, at this very moment – it changes with each transaction to reflect your current assets, liabilities, and ownership equity. It’s a more thorough precise accounting of your to-the-minute financial position than a look at your bank account because it includes real property, investments, money owed to you, money you owe others, and even the value of your interest in your company. An accurate balance sheet depends on accurate and meticulous bookkeeping to keep each deposit or withdrawal, payment or bill, accounted for.

Income statement. Your income statement reflects revenues and expenses over a particular period of time. It shows not just your bottom line but also how you got there, lining up income against operating expenses, investment losses, taxes, and anything else that causes money to come out of your account. This is the statement that prospective investors will want to see to decide if you’re worthy of their funding, so an accurate assessment of your company’s financial position can be crucial to future growth.

Subledgers. Subledgers provide the details that go into the overall accounting provided by the general ledger, breaking each line item into pertinent dates, figures, and other transaction information. A subledger for payroll, property and equipment, or investments – just to name a few – can provide specifics about how your business has run in the past financial period, so that you can make decisions about how to run it in the next one.

Custom reports. Some aspects of your business are hard to determine from a top-level glance at the complex and comprehensive mass of information that is your general ledger.

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