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GENERAL LEDGER AND REPORTING SYSTEM INTRODUCTION Questions to be addressed in this chapter include: What information processing operations are required to update the general ledger and produce reports for internal and external users? How do IT developments impact the general ledger and reporting system? What are the major threats in the general ledger and reporting system and the controls that can mitigate those threats? What is a balanced scorecard and how is it used? What are data warehouses, and how do they support business intelligence? How can the design of financial graphs affect business decisions? The general ledger and reporting system includes the processes in place to update general ledger accounts and prepare reports that summarize results of the organization’s activities. One of the primary functions of this system is to collect and organize data from: each of the accounting cycle subsystems, which provide summary entries related to the routine activities in those cycles; the treasurer, who provides entries with respect to non-routine activities such as transactions with creditors and investors; the budget department, which provides budget numbers; and the controller, who provides adjusting entries. The basic activities in the general ledger and reporting system are: (1) update the general ledger; (2) post adjusting entries; (3) prepare financial statements; and (4) produce managerial reports. The first three represent the basic steps in the accounting cycle UPDATE THE GENERAL LEDGER Updating the general ledger consists of posting journal entries from two sources: summary journal entries of routine transactions from the accounting subsystems; and individual journal entries for non-routine transactions from the treasurer. Journal entries are often documented on a form called a journal voucher . After updating the general ledger (GL), journal entries are stored in a journal voucher file. POST ADJUSTING ENTRIES Adjusting entries originate in the controller’s office at the end of each accounting period (month, quarter, year, etc.) and after the initial trial balance has been prepared. The trial balance lists the balances for all of the GL accounts. If properly recorded, the total of all debit balances equals the total of all credit balances. There are five types of adjusting entries: accruals; deferrals; estimates; re-evaluations; and error corrections. Journal vouchers for adjusting entries should be stored in the journal voucher file. Once adjusting entries have been recorded, an adjusted trial balance is prepared from the new balances in the general ledger. The adjusted trial balance serves as the input for the next step— preparation of the financial statements.
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This note was uploaded on 01/22/2011 for the course COB acct taught by Professor Smith during the Fall '09 term at California Coast University.

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