General Ledger is the prime accounting document through which all the accounting activity takes place, where the double entry bookkeeping is followed in common. It is used to keep the track of accounts on a permanent basis.
Contents of General Ledger:
Usually the general ledgers should include the date, description and balance or total amount for each account. Some of the basic accounts contained would be Assets, Liability, Owner's equity, Revenue, Expense, Gains, and Losses. It will have subsidiary ledgers to provide details about the accounts.
General ledger in its usual form will have the T-accounts type with the debit on the left and credit on the right side. Here the amounts are posted as credits and debits on these pages. Even some companies have extra columns to record the account balance after every transaction. The transactions recorded in the sales daybook, purchases daybook, cash book and general journals daybook are put together in the general ledger.
Advantages of General Ledger:
The balance sheet and the income statement are both got from the general ledger. It is easy to know the account balance, as account balances are noted after every transaction. Chart of Accounts, Trial balance is also derived from the General Ledger.
So nothing in account is without the general ledger. It serves as a reference to the accountants in preparing all other accounting statements.