Difference Between Cash Book and Cash Account (With Table)

A cash book in accounting refers to a document in which all the cash payments and cash receipts are noted down, including deposits and withdrawals from a bank. It is the book of original entry of a business.

So, in brief, a cash book is something where all the cash transactions will be recorded. However, when it comes to the cash account, it is basically an account that is within the ledger. You can consider a cash book as something that solves the purpose of both ledgers, as well as a journal, and cash account to be structured like a ledger.

Cash Book vs Cash Account

The main difference between cash book and cash account is that a cash account is also used to record all the cash transactions of a business but it is a ledger account where a posting is made only when the original entry of transaction has been made elsewhere.


Comparison Table Between Cash Book and Cash Account (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of Comparison

Cash Book

Cash Account


It serves dual purpose of journal and ledger. No need for cash transactions to be recorded in journal.

It only serves the single purpose of a ledger.


There are three types of cash books: single, double and triple column cash books.

There is only one type of cash account


Cash books have narration which come after the entries

Cash accounts are not followed by narration


Cash books are not dependent on any other book because it is the book of original entry

Cash accounts are dependent on journal day

Order of recording

The recording of transactions is done directly in a cash book

The cash transactions are first recorded in a journal book and later recorded in the cash account


What is Cash Book?

In every business, a transaction occurs in two ways – either by cash or by credit. When it comes to recording cash transactions, there are two instruments used by businesses.

These are cash book and cash account. A cash book serves as a record for all payments of cash and receipt of cash.

A cash book is the first point of entry for all cash transactions including funds to and from a bank. A cash book has two sections in it – credit and debit.

There are three types of cash book formats – single column, double column, and triple column.

Single column – A single-column cash book comprises of only cash transactions done by a business. Transactions that are done on credit are not recorded while creating a single column cash-book.

Double Column – A double-column cash book records transactions done via cash as well as transactions done via a bank. Transactions done on credit are not included as part of a double-column cash-book.

Triple Column – A triple column cash book format is one where the receipt and payment sides of the book have three columns on each side. This format is most common to large businesses that do transactions in multiple modes such as cash, banking and also allow and receive cash discounts.


What is Cash Account?

A cash account is a ledger account where day to day transactions of a business get recorded. Similar to a ledger account a cash account has two sides – debit side and credit side.

On the debit side, all the cash receipts of a business are recorded while on the credit side all the payments made by the business are noted.

A cash account is quite beneficial in terms of tax purposes. Through cash accounting, you can be sure that you are not paying tax for money that you have not yet received. This way, you get to be sure of steady cash flow along with being sure that you have funds that are available for tax expenditures.

Cash accounting is especially beneficial for small businesses and individuals where cash flow could be constrained at specific times.

For big companies that deal with a lot of money, cash accounting could be a convenient way of tracking various expenses, as well as, profits, without requiring the need for bookkeeping.

Main Differences Between Cash Book and Cash Account

  1. A cash book consists of first entries or original entries whereas a cash account is a ledger account and posts here are originally entered somewhere else.
  2. Cash books contain narration that comes after entry but in a cash account, there is no need for narration.
  3. A cash book is a subsidiary book whereas a cash account is a ledger account.
  4. In terms of folios, cash books have ledger folios while cash accounts have journal folios. Cash books have a ledger folio which stands for the page number of a ledger account from where a transaction was posted.
  5. Cash accounts have a journal folio which stands for the page number from where the transaction was posted.
  6. Cash books come in three types – single column, double column, and triple column while cash accounts are in a single format.
  7. Cash account in simple terms is the part of the main ledger, where you will be making entries that are related to the cash, however, cash book is basically the original entry of the cash when it was received.
  8. Cash account could be said as the principal book and it is a part of the ledger, but cash book is said to the subsidiary book and forms the principal part of the original entries.



Cash is the lifeline of any business big or small. Recording the inflow and outflow of cash is critical to the well-being and healthy functioning of any business. These records can be kept in a cash book or in a cash account but they are definitely required.

Knowing that cash accounting and cashbook tends to confuse accounting students, it is important for everyone to understand these two accounting terms properly before proceeding.

No matter what type of business you are running, cash has to be recorded daily in the form of cash book, along with proper records of each cash transaction that you deal with and it should be maintained as well.



  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1045235497901957
  2. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-6281.1990.tb00232.x
  3. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-349-09460-8_6