The History Of Retail In 100 Objects – The Ledger

History of Retail  - The Ledger

It’s Tuesday so it’s The History Of Retail In 100 Objects post – This weeks object is The Ledger

Originally a ledger was the name for a service boo k kept in on e place in a church – “The curates should provide a boo k of the Bible in English, of the largest volume, to be a ledger in the same church for the parishioners to read on .” The actual system of reconciling balances was invented by the famous and successful 15th century Italian banking family: the Medici. They developed the double entry system of tracking credits and debits in a ledger. Their Medici currency was once the most used in Europe, and the principles of their ledger system are still in use today – even if many are now computerised. If you want to total up your financial transactions for the day, week or month, no doubt you will have some kind of ledger to record those ‘takings’ in. On the page in front of you the debits and credits are shown in different columns and there’s a balance when you begin and one when you end. The golden rule is that every debit recorded must have a credit, so that in the grand total when you finish, the debits equal the credits.

Contribution to Retail History

Bookkeeping – or keeping the ledgers – was, and remains, fundamental to a retailer’s ability to track and balance goods in against goods out. The resulting financial metrics produce a clear gauge of how well the business is doing and can be used to evaluate the success of business strategies.

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