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Pedagogical principles require that correct mental impressions of business transactions, and the documents that vouch for such, be produced in the mind of the student before he attempts to make a record of them. The methods employed to produce such impressions may vary; in this work it was thought best to reproduce the routine work of the bookkeeper as nearly as possible. To that end, and for that purpose, hundreds of elegantly engraved business documents accompany this book, which represent the proprietor's incoming mail, and from which the student - his bookkeeper — is to make entries. In addition, the necessary blank forms are furnished, and the student is required to write up all the documents that represent the proprietor's outgoing mail, and to make the records therefrom.

When the student has had sufficient practice in making records from business documents they are dispensed with, as it is believed that the advanced student will derive valuable mental discipline in making records from historical data; besides, the use of vouchers with which he has become familiar, will tend to make the work monotonous if continued too long.

The independent price lists, the uniform script in the text book and on all the vouchers, and the persistent emphasis that is placed on the importance of superior mechanical work can not fail to have a beneficial influence on the student's work.

The Introductory Course of this work came from the press one year ago, and was most enthusiastically received by teachers. Since then there have been added 130 pages devoted to Commission, Department Store, Manufacturing, Corporation and Banking businesses. Many modern, labor-saving features, which have never before been given, are introduced, and it is believed that they will meet the approval of teachers. Special attention is called to the practical treatment of corporation bookkeeping.

The author and publishers hereby express their thanks to the many teachers who have used the Introductory Course in the past year, and trust that this, the Complete Course, will prove equally satisfactory to all who use it.

August 15, 1838.



Accuracy. The first essential of a bookkeeper is to be absolutely accurate. To acquire the habit of being accurate will require constant, persistent effort on your part. Learn to concentrate your thoughts upon your business — that of learning office routine and bookkeeping — and never permit your mind to wander therefrom during your business (study) hours. It is in bookkeeping as in medicine: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure;" careful thinking before doing will prove a good preventive of errors, while much worry and waste of valuable time will be the cure for errors once made. It is better to spend a minute in thinking before doing than to spend an hour or more in detecting an error that has been made. Improvement is the direct result of thought and intelligent application; so, if you desire to improve you must think, think, THINK before acting. A practical knowledge of commercial calculations, and the ability to add correctly with ease and certainty are absolutely essential to insure accuracy in bookkeeping.

Neatness. A plain, business style of writing is the first and most important essential to neatness in bookkeeping. To acquire a good business style of writing will require much thought and practice. The script plates throughout the book will furnish you food for thought and material for practice. The arrangement of the work and attention to details are also very important and should receive considerable of your attention. Remember that “perfection is made up of trifles, and perfection itself is no trifle,” hence, the importance of observing all the details and instructions that are given. Last, but not least, neatness will assist you in acquiring accuracy, besides errors are more readily detected in neatly kept books than in those that are not neatly kept.

Dispatch. First of all be accurate; second, be neat, and let speed and facility come with practice, experience, and a thorough familiarity with your business. Remember that dispatch without accuracy and neatness is absolutely worthless. An inaccurate clerk or bookkeeper is worse than worthless, while a careless, slovenly bookkeeper is very soon displaced by one who is accurate and neat. Never hurry in your studies. It is better to have your mind filled with properly assimilated knowledge than to have your books filled with work that you do not understand.

Your Teacher. The duty of your teacher is to guide and direct you in your studies, but not to do your work for you, as thereby he would be doing you a positive injury.

Yourself. Rely upon yourself. Be industrious. Do not injure and disgrace yourself or waste your time by trying to copy from others, as it can not be done in this system without being detected.


Bookkeeping is the art, method or practice of recording business transactions. By the term business transactions is meant dealings between two or more persons. The object of keeping books is to enable the proprietor to ascertain at any time with certainty and ease any particulars regarding the business.

Methods. There are two methods of keeping books, termed Double Entry and Single Entry. In Double Entry Bookkeeping accounts are kept with persons and things. In Single Entry Bookkeeping accounts are kept with persons only. Single Entry will be introduced later. The following pertains to Double Entry.

Books required. Originally three books were used in recording business transactions; viz, Day Book or Blotter, Journal and Ledger. The Day Book and Journal are now usually combined. This form of book is known as the Day Book-Journal.

The Day Book-Journal contains a statement of the business transactions and the Debits and Credits arising therefrom, arranged in convenient form for transferring to the Ledger. Deciding upon and arranging the Debits and Credits in the Day Book-Journal is called Journalizing. Debit is abbreviated Dr. Credit is abbreviated Cr.

The Ledger is the book of accounts.

An Account consists of Debits and Credits of a like nature, systematically arranged, and is a statement of debt, either owed to the business or owed by the business. The left side of an account is the Debit, and the right side the Credit. Transferring the debits and credits to the proper accounts in the Ledger from any other book is called Posting.


1. DEBIT* the account that has received 2. CREDIT the account that has supplied value, because it has become indebted to

value, because the business has become the business.

indebted to it. *To debit an account means to charge it with the value received. Many bookkeepers use the term charge instead of debit.


Model Set. On the following four pages a set of books, consisting of a Day BookJournal and Ledger, is illustrated. The object of this set is to give you a general idea of the arrangement and appearance of a simple set of books; also to serve as a model, which you are to copy a sufficient number of times to enable you to acquire a neat, business-like stvle of writing, to arrange your work properly, and to enable you to make good figures rapidly.

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