January 29, 2022


Accounting + Finance Blog

Sales Ledger (SL) Meaning, Explanations, and Double Entry

Sales Ledger (SL) Meaning, Explanations, and Double Entry

A sales ledger (SL) is a type of principal book. It is one of the books within the main books of a business. It shows all individual debtors of the entity. In this article, I will define and explain this book.

Definition of Sales Ledger

Sales Ledger means a type of principal book used to record and post transactions relating to credit sales. It can also be defined as a book of accounts that shows all debtors of an organization. This book contains all trades receivables (accounts receivable).

Key Explanations of SL

A sale ledger is a type or a division of the ledger book. There are also purchases ledger and general ledger. Other writers have also included sub-ledgers. This book can also be called accounts receivable ledger. Therefore, it can be said that “SL” is also part of the book of account. When manual bookkeeping is used. A portion of the principal book is allocated to it. If the business is large, a separate book of accounts is made available for SL.

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With technology, the sales ledger is incorporated into accounting software. So, you can access this account with ease. Most times, in accounting application programs, SL is referred to as an accounts receivables schedule. The reason is that most of this software doesn’t have books to account for the SL. All accounts are classified as general ledgers.

However, this doesn’t rule out the importance of the sales ledger. This book shows all individual (customers/clients) accounts. These customers owe the business, so they are called debtors. So, an SL can also be called a debtors ledger.

The sales ledger records all credit sales to the individual account while the sales account is credited in the general ledger. For example, if goods are sold on credit to Micheal. The sales will be recorded in the general principal book of account under the sales account. And a debit entry is posted to Micheal’s account in the debtor’s ledger.

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Other transactions that go through the SL include cash received from debtors, return inwards, discount allowed, bad debts, vat, refunds, and rebates.

Format of SL

The format of the Sales ledger is similar to that of other types of ledger. However, the format changes if the SL is used as the accounts receivable schedule. Therefore, it will have the same format as the accounts receivable schedule. I have written on this in a separate article here.

Double Entry and Sales Ledger

Double Entry can be applied in the sales ledger. However, another account in the general ledger is affected as explained above.

  • When goods are sold on credit, the double-entry states

Debit: individual account in the SL
Credit: Sales Account in the general  ledger

  • When goods are returned by the customer
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Debit: return inwards account in the general ledger
Credit: individual account in the SL

  • When the debtor makes payment

Debit: cash book/cash or bank account in the general ledger
Credit: individual account in the SL

  • When a discount is allowed

Debit: discount allowed account in the general ledger
Credit: individual account in the SL


Sales Ledger contains all debtor’s accounts in the book. It shows all the sales made on credit recorded to the individual who bought the goods. Other names of SL are debtors ledger or accounts receivable ledger.