What is an 'Accounts Receivable Subsidiary Ledger'

An accounts receivable subsidiary ledger is an accounting ledger that shows the transaction and payment history of each customer to whom the business extends credit. The balance in each customer account is periodically reconciled with the accounts receivable balance in the general ledger, to ensure accuracy. The subsidiary ledger is also commonly referred to as the subledger or subaccount.

BREAKING DOWN 'Accounts Receivable Subsidiary Ledger'

The usefulness of the accounts receivable subsidiary ledger lies in the fact that it can show, at a glance, the account status and amounts owed by a specific customer. For example, the general balance may show a total accounts receivable balance of $100,000, but it will not show which customer owes how much. This information can be gleaned from the accounts receivable subsidiary ledger. This ledger will show, for example, that Customer A owes $15,000, Customer B owes $25,000, Customer C owes $5,000, and so on.

Without this subsidiary ledger, a company with many customers would have difficulty tracking customer payments and transactions. Like other subsidiary ledgers, the accounts receivable subsidiary ledger merely provide details of the control account in the general ledger. Other subsidiary ledgers include accounts payable subsidiary ledger, inventory subsidiary ledger, and property, plant, and equipment subsidiary ledger.

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