Series VPRS 7911
Accounting Records : General
About this Series Related Series Accessing the records in this Series
Date Range: Series 1916 - 1920
  Series in Custody 1916 - 1920
  Contents 1916 - 1920
Public Access: Open
Location: North Melbourne
Format of Records: Physical
 
Agency which created this SeriesAgency which created this Series
Display entries per page
Date Range Agency Title Agency Number
1916 - 1920 Hawthorn Tramways Trust VA 2978
Agency currently responsible for this SeriesAgency currently responsible for this Series
Display entries per page
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.


    The Hawthorn Tramways Trust was established by legislation in 1914 (Act No.2488) however, the first line was not opened for traffic until 6 April 1916. This series comprises the general accounting records relating to the operation of the Trust from April 1916 until 30 June 1920, by which time the assets and management of the Trust were vested in the Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board (VA 2694). Accounting records relating to the construction of the Tramway were maintained separately - see VPRS 7909.

    The P1 consignment of this series comprises the following records:

    Cash Book [Units 1 and 2]

    Maintained between 7 April 1916 and 30 June 1920. Amounts were posted to the General Ledger, and from July 1918 to the Debtors Ledger. Most accounts were not numbered therefore ledger folio numbers were used to refer to the relevant accounts.

    Journal [Unit 3]

    Maintained between 26 April 1916 and 30 June 1920 entries were generally made at the end of each 28 day cycles as well as at the end of the financial year (September 30 - based on the municipal year cycle). Amounts were posted to the General Ledger, and from 1918 to the Debtors Ledger. As for the Cash Books, accounts are nominated by reference to the ledger folio number. Transfers and adjustments between accounts were made via this journal, and some of these entries were used in the preparation of the statement of operations. Most accounts were not numbered therefore ledger folio numbers were used to refer to the relevant accounts. Also used to transfer amounts to and from the construction account in the separate system (VPRS 7909).

    General Ledger [Units 4 and 5]

    Maintained between 26 April 1916 and 30 June 1920 for general accounts. Amounts were posted from the Cash Book (C) and Journal (J), as well as from several other sources which are not extant. These were evidently a Petty Cash Book (PC), a Salaries Journal (Sal), a Stores Journal (S) and a Wages Journal (W). Transfers and adjustment between accounts were posted via the journal.

    Debtors Ledger [Unit 6]

    Maintained between July 1918 and 1 July 1920 for accounts of sundry debtors, most of which were advertising accounts. Prior to July 1918 such accounts were incorporated in the general ledger. Amounts were posted from the sources noted above for the general ledger.


    Statements of Operation [Unit 7]

    Maintained between 26 April 1916 and 30 September 1918 this volume comprises statements of operation for each 28 day cycle as well as the end of financial year (ie. September 30 - based on the municipal year cycle). The statements provided a framework for recording the expenditure and revenue for various select accounts. It is evident that the amounts recorded were taken from the ledger via the journal. The statement of operation framework ultimately formed the basis of one of the finance statements printed as part of the Trust's annual report.

  • Function / Content


  • Recordkeeping System


More research resourcesMore research resources
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
Controlled SeriesControlled Series
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
Previous SeriesPrevious Series
Display entries per page
Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
Subsequent SeriesSubsequent Series
Display entries per page
Transfer Date Series Title Series Number
List/s of records in this seriesList/s of records in this series
Display entries per page
Consignment Number Contents Date Range Public Access No. of Units
P0001 1916 - 1920 Open 7
Indexes and RegistersIndexes and Registers
Display entries per page
Date Range Series Title Series Number
More research resourcesMore research resources