General Ledger Maintenance

What Is Ledger Maintenance?

Every small business needs to take in more money than it spends to achieve profitability and be successful in the long term. As businesses operate, they constantly spend money on items such as equipment, parts, payroll and rent and take money from customers and clients by selling products and services. Businesses use a variety of financial records to keep track of how much money they spend and how much they make.

Record Maintenance Basics

In business and financial accounting, "maintenance" refers to keeping records up to date with current financial transactions. A business must update its financial records as it incurs expenses and takes in revenue to ensure that its officers know how much money the company has, how much it spends and how much it earns in profits. Ledger maintenance refers to updating financial records called ledgers, which are simply records of the money a company spends and earns.

Types of Financial Ledgers

Companies may maintain several different financial ledgers. The most important is the general ledger, which divides the firm's credits and debits into different account categories such as assets, liabilities, expenses and revenues. Companies may also keep a sales ledger that records the sales a business makes, plus the money received and owed for goods and services. A purchase ledger tracks all of the purchases a company makes and how much money the business owes to creditors.


Start-up business owners may not possess the necessary accounting expertise to maintain their own ledgers and other financial records. As a result, small companies may hire financial professionals to work part-time to maintain records, or hire contractors to take care of their financial record-keeping needs. As companies expand and financial records become more numerous and complex, they may hire full-time employees to maintain financial records.