A waste book was one of the books traditionally used in bookkeeping. It comprised a daily diary of all transactions in chronological order. It differs from a daybook in that only a single waste book is kept, rather than a separate daybook for each of several categories. The waste book was intended for temporary use only; the information needed to be transcribed into a journal in order to begin to balance one's accounts. The name of the book derives from the fact that, once its information was transferred to the journal, the waste book was unneeded.
The use of the waste book has declined with the advent of double-entry accounting.
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- Pearce-Moses, Richard. "Waste book". A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology.
- Geijsbeek, John Bart (1914). Ancient double-entry bookkeeping: Lucas Pacioli's treatise. p. 137.