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Whats the difference between a general ledger, a balance?

The general ledger is the accounting book of record. It contains all of the transaction activity and balances of all accounts for the business. The balance statement, more commonly called the balance sheet, and the profit and loss, or income, statement are the primary financial statements that present a company's financial condition at a point in time and its results of operations for a given period, respectively. The latter two statements are prepared using the general ledger as the source. The bottom line of the income statement, net income, is closed out to equity in the balance sheet. Assets minus liabilities equals equity. Essentially, the financial statements are prepared from the financial records, the general ledger.