What is a purchase ledger?

Definition of a purchase ledger

A business's purchase ledger is a list of all the purchase invoices it's ever received from its suppliers, and when they were paid.

Before computerised accounts came into being, a business's clerks would write up its purchase invoices, and the payments made for them, in a thick leather-bound book. That's why this list is called the "purchase ledger"!

The total amount of invoices in the purchase ledger that haven't been paid yet is the business's figure for 'trade creditors'.

Got questions? Ask Emily!

FreeAgent's Chief Accountant Emily Coltman is available to answer your questions in the comments.

Bookkeeping and tax tips

We'll keep your email safe · Read our privacy policy