Cash Book: Definition

A cash book is a subsidiary book in which both cash and bank transactions are maintained. A cash book is both a journal and a ledger.

Cash Book: Explanation

Both cash receipts and cash payments are recorded in a cash book. The cash book is also regularly reconciled with the bank statements as an internal auditing measure.

Cash books are important because their proper maintenance and reconciliation with bank statements are fundamental for a business.

Some businesses maintain cash books instead of cash receipts journals and cash payments journals. This is because all cash receipts and payments are recorded in a cash book. It resembles the cash account maintained in the ledger.

In fact, when a cash book is maintained separately, there is no need to keep a cash account in the ledger. For all purposes, a cash book is treated as a cash account (i.e., a part of the ledger).

The cash book is maintained in the form of a ledger account, where receipts are put on the debit side and payments on the credit side.

This book serves a double purpose. It acts as a journal or book of prime entry because all cash transactions are recorded in it as and when they take place. It also acts as a part of the ledger because it contains cash and bank accounts.

When the ledger clerk receives the cash book, they complete the double-entry process by posting the transactions to other ledger accounts involved in the cash book.

The balance of the cash book is included in the trial balance like a regular ledger account.

As this explanation indicates, the cash book is among the most important books of accounts in modern business. It is, therefore, placed under the charge of a responsible person who keeps it up to date.

Types of Cash Books

There are four main types of cash books:

  1. Single column cash book
  2. Double column cash book
  3. Three column cash book
  4. Petty cash book

Advantages of Cash Books

There are three main advantages to maintaining a cash book.

First, in almost all businesses, most transactions are related to cash receipts and payments.

If a cash book is not maintained and cash transactions aren’t recorded in the journal, unnecessary time and labor would be required to debit and credit the cash account for every cash transaction.

The second advantage arises after considering that within most businesses, the scale of cash dealings is usually large; since cash can be easily stolen by dishonest employees, the cash record must be up to date and properly supervised by a reasonable person.

For this purpose, it is essential to maintain a cash book to record all cash transactions accurately and systematically.

The final advantage is that the cash book is a book of the original record and part of the ledger.

If all cash transactions pass through the cash book, we can avoid the substantial labor needed to post every item (receipts and payments of cash) individually to each account in the ledger.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

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