Two of the most common Control Accounts are Sales Ledger Control Accounts and Purchases Ledger Control Accounts. After posting all transactions the balance of the Control Account and the sum of the detailed records in the Subsidiary Ledger should always be the same. In other words, a control account deals with summarized information while a subsidiary ledger deals with detailed information. Because the control accounts contain summarized information they are also called total accounts. Therefore a control account for a Sales Ledger can be called a Sales ledger Control accounts or Total Debtors Account. A control account for a Purchases Ledger can be called a Purchases Ledger Control account or a Total Creditors Account.
Sources of information for entries in Control Accounts
Significance of the balances on the control accounts
The closing balances on the sales ledger control accounts should be equal to the sum total of the closing balances on the individual debtor accounts in the sales ledger. It follow as well that the closing balances on the purchases ledger control accounts should be equal to the sum total of the closing balances on the individual creditor accounts in the purchases ledger. If the respective balances are not in agreement then it would suggest some form of irregularity in the records which would need investigation.