Record: f6-1225-7

Financial accounting - Wylie & Lochhead Ltd

Dates: 1829-1966
Description: Financial accounting is the activity of processing, recording, classifying and analysing information on financial transactions between the company and third parties, and between the company and its employees.

Biographical history
Wylie & Lochhead operated a double entry bookkeeping system. Of the accounts that made up this system, by far the largest and most complete set of accounts that survives is from the company's funeral offfice. When customers requested a funeral, their requirements were entered in a series of funeral order books, 1837-1965 (ref: FRAS 42). The details recorded in these books included the price of each element of the funeral. The order books were open to scrutiny by the general public so these prices were recorded in code. Indexes to the order books survive for 1879 to 1931 (ref: FRAS 254). Between 1846 and 1941, there were two parallel chronological sequences of the order books, one marked A and the other marked B. The two sequences were initially used for alternate weeks, with the funerals for one week being recorded in volume A and the funerals for the next week being recorded in volume B, and so on. In 1847, the volumes were swapped over each fortnight instead of each week. It appears that the two sequences were maintained in order to allow the order book not in use to be removed from the public area of the funeral office so that the accounts staff could post the amounts from it to the relevant series of funeral journals. The amounts for funerals which had already been paid for were posted to FRAS 857 (only one volume of this series, for 1906-1928, survives) and the amounts for funerals which had not yet been paid for were posted to FRAS 252. Amounts are recorded normally in the journals, not in code. A reference to the corresponding entry in the journals was recorded beside each entry in the order book, and vice versa. At the same time, it appears that the accounts staff worked out the total price of each funeral, translated it into code and added it to the information already recorded in the order book. They also posted the financial details of the services and goods commissioned for the funerals from tradesmen from the order books to a separate series of funeral trades journals, none of which survive. From these trades journals, entries were posted to a series of trades ledgers, only one of which survives, for the period 1921 to 1950 (ref: FRAS 251). Recorded in the margin next to some of the entries in the trades ledger is a reference to the funeral order book in which the details of the particular funeral for which the service was provided were recorded. Entries were subsequently posted from the trades ledger to the funeral ledgers (ref: FRAS 252). (A single set of volumes was used for the funeral ledgers and the funeral journals. The journals appear in the front of the volumes and the ledgers appear in the back.) A reference to the corresponding entry in the funeral ledger is recorded beneath each entry or group of entries in the trades ledger. Similarly, a reference to the corresponding entry in the trades ledger is recorded beside each entry in the funeral ledger. Invoices for funerals were sent out to the families or representatives of the deceased. Some examples of these invoices, for the period 1839 to 1914 (ref: FRAS 859), survive. Letters were sometimes also sent out regarding the payment of accounts. Two funeral office letter books, which include such letters, survive for the period 1937 to 1943 (ref: FRAS 255). There are indexes to correspondents in the front of each volume. Payments received in settlement of the invoices were recorded in a series of funeral cash books, four of which, for the period 1883 to 1888 (ref: FRAS 856), survive. It appears that entries were posted from the cash books to the funeral journals, although no journals for the period 1883 to 1888 survive. Certainly, in the journals which do survive (for the period 1898 to 1942 (ref: FRAS 252)), all payments received are recorded next to the entry for the appropriate funeral. At the end of each month, all the payments received were added up and the total recorded in the journals. To this figure were then added the monthly totals of the funerals which had already been paid for at the time of posting from the order books. This information was posted from the other series of journals (ref: FRAS 857). Also added to this figure were monthly totals derived from the trades journals. Various deductions were then made, and the resulting figure appears to have been posted to the company's general ledgers. At the end of each calendar year, the details of all individual funerals that remained unpaid were posted from the journals (ref: FRAS 252) to a series of funeral insolvent ledgers (ref: FRAS 250). Next to each such unpaid account in the journals is a reference (beginning BD for bad debt) to the corresponding entry in the insolvent ledgers. Similarly, next to each entry in the insolvent ledgers is a reference to the corresponding entry in the journals. Very few accounting records from outside the funeral office survive. There are, however, two series of private ledgers which relate to the business as a whole and contain various accounts including joint capital, interest, profit and personal accounts for Robert Wylie and William Lochhead. They also contain signed agreements relating to the division of the business' profits. The earliest series of private ledgers (ref: FRAS 248) covers the period from 1834 to 1849, but appears to have been superseded or replaced by another private ledger, 1835-1882 (ref: FRAS 249). There is considerable overlap between the two series but it appears that some of the amounts in FRAS 248 were altered and these new amounts copied into FRAS 249. Of the other accounts that made up the business' accounting system, the only others that survive are a general ledger, 1960-1961 (ref: FRAS 245), a cash book, 1966-1968 (ref: FRAS 246) and some customer invoices for goods sold in the Buchanan Street store, 1856-1883 (ref: FRAS 860). There is also a debt recovery letter book, 1864-1870 (ref: FRAS 866), Decisions taken by the board of directors on accounting matters were recorded in the minutes of the meetings of the board of directors, 1883-1962 (ref: FRAS 232).

Joint Stock Companies Act 1856; Joint Stock Companies (Consolidation) Act 1862; Companies Act 1867; Limited Partnership Act 1869; Companies (Winding Up) Act 1890; Partnership Act 1890; Companies Amendment Act 1900; Companies Act 1907; Limited Partnership Act 1907; Companies (Consolidation) Act 1908; Companies (Particulars as to Directors) Act 1917; Companies Act 1928; 1929 Act to Consolidate the Companies Acts 1908 to 1928; Companies Act 1947; Companies Act 1948, Companies Act 1967, Companies Act 1976, Companies Act 1980, Companies Act 1981.
Companies and People:
Wylie & Lochhead
Dates: 1829-1883
Wylie & Lochhead Ltd
Dates: 1883-1966
FRAS 232
Title: Minutes of meetings of board of directors and of general meetings of shareholders
Date: 1883-1962
Decisions taken by the board of directors on accounting arrangements were recorded in the minutes.
FRAS 248
Title: Private ledgers
Date: 1834-1849
FRAS 249
Title: Private ledger
Date: 1835-1882
FRAS 245
Title: General ledger
Date: 1960-1961
FRAS 866
Title: Debt recovery letter book
Date: 1864-1870
FRAS 250
Title: Funeral insolvent ledgers
Date: 1888-1913
FRAS 858
Title: Lists of funeral bad debts
Date: February 1955
FRAS 251
Title: Funeral trades ledger
Date: 1921-1950
FRAS 252
Title: Funeral journals and ledgers
Date: 1898-1942
FRAS 857
Title: Funeral journal (no 15)
Date: 1906-1928
FRAS 856
Title: Funeral cash books
Date: 1883-1888
FRAS 246
Title: Cash book
Date: 1966-1968
FRAS 859
Title: Customer invoices for funerals
Date: 1839-1914
FRAS 255
Title: Funeral office letter books
Date: 1937-1943
The letter books contain some letters regarding the payment of funeral accounts.
FRAS 860
Title: Customer invoices
Date: 1856-1933
Title: Funeral order books
Date: 1837-1965
FRAS 254
Title: Funeral order book indexes
Date: 1879-1931
Financial management (1829-1966)

Financial accounting was an activity carried out to fulfil the function of financial management.

Financial accounting, House of Fraser Ltd (1957-1966)

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