Manual accounting systems, although less common today are still the primary choice of record keeping for some small businesses.
In other cases a manual bookkeeping regime may be maintained in addition to a computerised system, and thus provide an additional layer of internal control mechanism for the business.
Manual Accounting and Bookkeeping Systems
Manual accounting and bookkeeping systems are the traditional form of maintaining a businesses accounts and records.
They involve keeping various ledgers and files which typically include a cash book, sales and purchase day books and petty cash sheets.
Although the use of basic manual bookkeeping systems requires little knowledge or skill in accounting, they are still the preferred method of accounting for those who have used them in the past.
Advantages of Manual Accounting and Bookkeeping Systems
Advantages of using manual records and books include:
- Correcting Errors
Correcting entries might be easier with manual systems as opposed to computerised ones which can leave messy and complicated audit trials for deleted or changed entries.
With the traditional books, it is simply a case of erasing the erroneous entry and replacing it with the corrected one.
- Data Corruption
The risks of corrupted data are much less with manual systems. There have been cases where months and years worth of data have been lost as a result of computerised file corruption. Keeping manual books can avoid this problem, particularly if the records are stored securely in a fire proof environment.
- Duplicate Copies of Data
Problems with having duplicate copies of the same accounting records are generally avoided with traditional bookkeeping. The ease of transportation and backing up of computerised accounting systems may sometimes confuse the user. This can result in an out of date data set being erroneously judged as being the most recent version and result in incomplete accounting records.