A ledger is a book or collection of accounts in which accounting transactions are recorded. Each account has:
The ledger is a permanent summary of all amounts entered in supporting journals (day books) which list individual transactions by date. Usually every transaction, or a total of a series of transactions, flows from a journal to one or more ledgers. Depending on the company's bookkeeping procedures, all journals may be totaled and the totals posted to the relevant ledger each month. At the end of the accounting period, the company's financial statements are generated from summary totals in the ledgers.
For every debit recorded in a ledger, there must be a corresponding credit, so that overall the total debits equal the total credits.
The term ledger stems from the English dialect forms liggen or leggen, meaning "to lie or lay" (Dutch: liggen or leggen, German: liegen or legen); in sense, it is adapted from the Dutch substantive legger, properly "a book lying or remaining regularly in one place". Originally, a ledger was a large volume of scripture or service book kept in one place in church and openly accessible. According to Charles Wriothesley's Chronicle (1538), "The curates should provide a booke of the bible in Englishe, of the largest volume, to be a ledger in the same church for the parishioners to read on."
In application of this original meaning the commercial usage of the term is for the "principal book of account" in a business house.