ZIMSEC O Level Principles of Accounts Notes: Sales Control Accounts

  • Sales control accounts present a summarized version of what should be in the Sales Ledger in a given period
  • Below is a typical Sales Control Account:
Sales Control Account
1 JanuaryBalance b/dxxx31 DecemberSales Returnsxx
31 DecemberSales xxx31 DecemberDiscount Allowedxxx
31 DecemberInterest on debts31 DecemberBad Debtsxxx
31 DecemberSet Offxxx
31 DecemberCash/Bankxxx
31 DecemberBalance c/dxxx



  • The exact look of the sales control account obviously depends on the nature of transactions involved

Sources of information when preparing

Sales Control ItemSource
Opening debtor's balancesList of debtors’ balances drawn up at the end of the
previous period
Credit sales for the periodTotal from the Sales Day Book
Sales ReturnsTotal of Returns Inwards Day Book
Cheques Paid/Bank ReceiptsCash Book: bank column on received side/ Bank Statement
Cash ReceivedCash Book: cash column on received side.
Discount AllowedTotal of discounts allowed column in the Cash Book
Closing debtor's balanceList of debtors’ balances drawn up at the end of the period
  • It is possible that some of our creditors are also our debtors
  • These creditors may agree with the business to write off outstanding balances
  • For example we bought goods worth $1000 from J Moyo during the year
  • This is shown in J Moyo’s purchases account in the Purchases Ledger
  • We also sold goods worth $300 during the year to the same J Moyo
  • This is shown as a sale in J Moyo’s Account in the Sales Ledger
  • Instead of the business paying J Moyo $1000 and receiving $300 we can just pay the difference $700
  • A Contra entry/Set Off is used to show that part of the debt has been written/knocked off
  • Contrasting entries will be shown in the Purchases Control Account (Debit Side) and Sales Control Account (Credit)
  • These are often described as Contra (short for contrasting) entries/ Set Off entries
  • Also the Sales Control/Sales Ledger Control should not be confused with the Sales Account
  • The Sales Account has a credit balance while the Sales Ledger Control usually has a larger debit balance
  • The Sales Account includes both cash and credit sales
  • The Sales Ledger is merely a summary view of the Accounts Receivable Ledger and only includes credit sales

To access more topics go to the Principles of Accounting Notes.