day book

How to Double Entry: Designing your own day book

How is public transport in Kenya supposed to be likeable? You faithfully pay the fare, but in return you’ve got to remind them to give you balance due. Sometimes. Something similar happens far too often in business. How do you feel when you supply the goods but have to go round circles to receive payment? It may be a norm in your industry to not get paid immediately; still.

To be fair, this goes both ways. And it’s obvious any serious female entrepreneur keeps a record of ‘who owes whom what?” A good practice that may go undone is failing to keep these kinds of records systemically. Many may feel, maybe you, that since the records are primarily for internal use; it’s acceptable to slack in the department.

It’s not acceptable. Even if nobody else ever requires to go through them – like a bank, investor or new partner. You should be aware that the whole point of record keeping is to enable easy reference in future. And you won’t just be going through them to reconcile with that invoice. You would want to see trends, to unravel problems and make decisions. Of course, when the day comes and we have cheap reliable record-keeping software for small businesses in Kenya things will be different.

For now, you really need to learn about the day book. This is where you put down your credit transactions as they happen. You better have a sales day book and a purchase day book – you also get supplies on credit. The benefits are obvious.

No “forgetting” so that your record keeping work accumulates. No need to refer to your master records and risk manipulating a number here or there; you’ll be surprised how valuable zeros are. Another, there is a separate place to put down cash transactions as they happen. You need this (if you don’t already have it, in 2019!).

Day book template

So, you can have it on a literal book or use any free spreadsheet software. The main things you will need to note are:

  • Date of the credit transaction
  • Name or identifier of the customer or supplier (remember, two books!)
  • Brief details about the transaction
  • The cost

If you want to be specific, some women entrepreneurs are like this, you can include the selling rate and the quantity they or you purchased. It’s not a good idea, in my opinion, but you can go overboard and indicate how much was paid upfront and what’s due. What do you think? It’s way less stressful for you to put cash transactions in the cash book.

The transactions are listed in chronological order. You can decide the spacing of when you’ll add up to get totals. Your decision should hinge on how hot your business is. If things happen fast, you match that.

Let’s get to the template:

Date Name Details Cost
1st January customer 3 bought 15 quantities 25,000
2nd January
3rd January
7th January total 25,000

Hey, don’t go yet. Check out our top 10 articles of 2018! We promise, some of them are good.