What Is a Sales Ledger?

Sales is arguably the linchpin of almost any business. No matter how great your product or service is, you have to sell it to make money. But accounting for sales can be a little tricky in some businesses, especially businesses with divergent product lines and sales teams. Companies use a wide variety of accounting and inventory control methods to track sales, but some variation on the reliable old-fashioned sales ledger is still used by many smaller businesses.

Sales Ledger

A sales ledger typically records the sales of a business, the amount of money received for the sales, and the money owed (accounts receivable). A sales ledger is also sometimes called a sales log and is typically considered a subsidiary ledger that is created from daily or weekly sales journals or the like.

Using a Sales Ledger

A useful accounting tool, sales ledgers also allow for the structuring of sales data so it can be closely tracked by company management. Management of your customer base and understanding customer buying patterns is essential in today's business world. Sales ledgers are organized for easy data entry, and a properly kept sales ledger is essential for a bookkeeper or accountant to perform their job.

Accounts Receivable

Sales ledgers are often the first step in a company's entire accounting system, and that initial entry can set the whole business model into motion -- from production to delivery to accounts receivable. Sales ledgers can be involved in the process from start to finish as the sales ledger is considered the original data source to check if there is a problem with a customer order somewhere further down the line.

Sales Ledger and Similar Software

Companies like Business Link and Maxton International offer a variety of sales ledger software products. This software enables users to create virtual sales ledgers and enter data directly into the application for further use in accounting procedures. These accounting applications are based on a number of platforms, including Microsoft Excel and Access.

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About the Author

Clayton Browne has been writing professionally since 1994. He has written and edited everything from science fiction to semiconductor patents to dissertations in linguistics, having worked for Holt, Rinehart & Winston, Steck-Vaughn and The Psychological Corp. Browne has a Master of Science in linguistic anthropology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.