Series VPRS 7901
Accounting Records
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1914 - 1920
  Series in Custody 1914 - 1920
  Contents 1914 - 1920
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1914 - 1920 Melbourne, Brunswick and Coburg Tramways Trust VA 2971
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
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Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1989 - cont Public Transport Corporation VA 2984
Description of this SeriesDescription of this Series
  • How to use the Records
    Accounting Records

    Public sector accounting systems comprise a structured collection of records which together document the financial transactions of the public agency. At the most basic level the flow of information between the integral components, or records, within the system is indicated by the following diagram:

    +-----------+ +------------+ +-----------+ +---------+ +------------+
    +---- Cash Books +---Subsidiary +-- +---
    Source and Ledgers General Financial
    Documents Journals +-----------+ Ledger Statements
    +---- +------------------ +---
    +-----------+ +------------+ +---------+ +------------+

    The flow of information, however, is not always this straightforward.

    Source Documents

    Examples include : receipt books, cheque butts, vouchers etc. Information is extracted from these documents and entered chronologically, in full or summary form, into cash books or journals. This process is called journalizing.

    Cash Books

    A cash book is a combination of a book of original entry (like a journal) and the ledger account for cash (and often the bank account). As a book of original entry it serves to chronologically record in a two sided format cash (and cheque) receipts on the lefthand side, and cash (and cheque) payments on the righthand side. These amounts are then 'posted' to the relevant ledger accounts which are identified either by ledger folio numbers or account numbers. As the cash book is also a replacement of the ledger account for cash (and often for bank) it is therefore balanced at regular intervals.

    Journals (Specific and General)

    The prime function of a journal is to facilitate the 'posting' of credit and debit transactions into the necessary ledger accounts. Like the cash book it is also a book of original entry and is maintained chronologically. Specific journals are often maintained to summarize information for similar transactions, including cash transactions, eg. cash receipts journal, wages and stores journal. Rather than summarize similar transactions, general journals, on the other hand, provide a convenient record of unusual transactions, including:

    - adjustments to ledger accounts eg. to correct errors
    - transfers from one account to another
    - sales or purchases of assets

    Although the primary flow of information is from the journal to the ledger accounts, where amounts are on to be posted from one account to another (particularly common at the end of a financial year), the transactions will be posted through the journal. Relevant accounts are identified either by the ledger folio number or an account number.

    Ledger (Subsidiary and General)

    Ledgers comprise one or more accounts, each account being a statement of all transactions relating to a particular item about which the recording of changes -debit and credit transactions - is required. Transactions are posted to the ledger accounts from the cash books and journals. The source of the information is subsequently indicated by reference to folio numbers often accompanied by an abbreviation of the source record eg. 'C' or 'CB'=Cash Book, 'J'=Journal, 'PC'=Petty Cash Book etc. The classification of accounts is diverse and usually depends on the operations of the agency and the nature of the information required as part of the financial statements of the agency.

    Subsidiary ledgers are often maintained either to facilitate a division of responsibilities within a large account, or to provide a separate record of a particular account.

    The general ledger, however, comprises all accounts necessary for the compilation of the finance statements required by the agency. It is common for a general ledger to comprise a single account to represent the total of the individual accounts in each of the subsidiary ledgers. This device is called a 'control account'.

    Finance Statements

    Examples include : Statement of Operations, Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Statement.

    Finance statements, which are usually published with an annual report, although they may be compiled at more regular intervals, provide the final summary of the agency's financial situation at a particular point in time. The types of statements and their format are generally determined by legislative requirements, and these in turn determine the nature of the accounts required to be maintained.

    This series consists of the accounting records of the Melbourne, Brunswick and Coburg Tramway Trust (MBCTT) and includes cash books, journals and ledgers.

    The Brunswick and Coburg Tramway Act 1914 (4GEO.V. No.2484) established the Brunswick and Coburg Tramway Trust to construct and operate electric tramways in the municipalities of Brunswick and Coburg. That date also provided that the Trust should take over operation of the Coburg Horse Tram from the Town of Coburg, and to pay the Coburg Council the nett actual cost of the Horse Tram. A subsequent act, the Melbourne, Brunswick and Coburg Tramway Act 1914 (No.2) (5 GEO.V. No.2541) amended and renamed the previous act to include the City of Melbourne as a participant in the Trust. Three electric tram lines were opened in 1916.

    The P1 consignment consists of cash books, journals and ledgers which document financial transactions necessary for the operation and/or construction of both the horse tram and Electric Tramways and the disposal of the horse tram stock and equipment.

    Cash Books [Units 1 and 2]

    Unit 1 is labelled, "Cash Book No.1 and No.1A" and contains two sequences of entries which presumably correspond to these cash book numbers. Thus "Cash Book No.1", pages 1 to 50, has a date range of 29 March 1914 to 14 July 1916; "Cash Book No.1A", pages 99 to 122, has a date range of 4 February 1915 to 31January 1916. All entries in this unit are in the double page, debit/credit, cash and bank cash book format. Payment and receipt voucher numbers are recorded in columns but no column is provided for ledger folio references which, where they appear, are written in red ink beside the amount they reference. All references appear to be to ledger No.1 (Unit 5). "Cash Book No.1A" refers to electric tram operations and construction. From 1 October, 1915 the entries in "Cash Book No.1A" are duplicated in Cash Book No.2.

    Unit 2 is labelled "Cash Book No.2" and has a similar format to Unit 1 except that columns are provided for ledger references and early pages are headed "Cash" and "Contra". Ledger references are to the General Ledger (Unit 6) by account number. This cash book appears to record all cash transactions of the MBCTT in relation to the electric tramways from 1 October 1915 to 30 June 1920.

    Journals [Units 3 and 4]

    These journals were the mechanism by which revenue and expenditures were properly apportioned to relevant accounts in the ledgers. Both ledgers are referred to by page numbers (for Unit 5) or account numbers (for Unit 6) which are recorded in a column provided for that purpose.

    Ledgers [Units 5 and 6]

    Ledger 1 (Unit 5) contains entries for the period April 1914 to July 1916. The ledger has index which indexes account names by page number. Each account is further identified as relating either to the Horse Tram or Electric Tramways by the letters "H" or "H.T." and "E" or "E.T." being written in red ink above the account name on each page. It would appear that this ledger, together with cash books 1/1A, relate to the operation of the Horse Tram and to the construction and early operation of the electric tramways.

    The General Ledger (Unit 6) contains entries from October 1915 to June 1920. There is an incomplete list of the contents of the ledger in account number order posted inside the front cover; there are, however, many more accounts in the ledger than are listed. This ledger contains transactions from cash book No.2 and from both journals (Units 2, 3 and 4).

  • Function / Content

  • Recordkeeping System

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Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1914 - 1920 Open 6
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