In purchase journal transactions of merchandise purchased on credit for sale are recorded. An asset purchased on the account is not recorded in the purchase journal. Here it should be mentioned that most of the business organizations of our country are of small or medium size. These organizations maintain cash book for recording daily cash receipts and cash payments instead of maintaining cash receipt journal and cash payment journal separately.

Rather than use the main equity account, we use an account specifically for tracking withdrawals by the owner. For this business, the account we use is called Joe Smith, Drawing. You may also see the account called Owner Name, Withdrawals or Owner Name, Dividends. But, we don’t do that in Joe’s main equity account.

This process ensures that financial statements are… In the journal entry, the $7,300 payment of cash goes on the right (credit) side of the account because Cash is decreasing. In the journal entry, the $3,180 payment of cash goes on the right (credit) side of the account because Cash is decreasing.

What is a Journal Entry in Accounting?

In this case, we are decreasing cash so we credit it. Supplies (the asset) has the account type of Asset. The expense account we will use for the salaries we paid is Salaries Expense. The expense account we will use for the rent we paid is Rent Expense. There are two special types of accounting journal entries, which are the reversing entry and the recurring entry.

This is where the concepts of debit and credit come to play. With inaccurate entries, companies may be perceived to be possessing more debt or less debt or as more profitable or less profitable than they actually are. As a result, this could lead companies and investors to make decisions based on false, misleading information, leading to negative ramifications.

The journal is the primary and basic book for recording daily transactions. Recording accurate entries into the journal show the correct financial status of the business to not only people internally but also to external users. Once you’ve analyzed the transactions, the information is documented in a chronological order in the journal. Each transaction that is listed in the journal is known as a journal entry. With a clear understanding of 7 types of accounting journals; for more learning use our complete guideline on principles of accounting.

How to Do Accounting Journal Entries?

Journal Entries use a standard format to record transactions. There are many different accounting journals and each journal is used for slightly different purposes. The general journal is used to record all general transactions that don’t fit into other journals. You can think of the general journal as the “catch all” journal. A recurring journal entry is one that repeats in every successive reporting period, until a termination date is reached. This can be done manually, or can be set up to run automatically in an accounting software system.


The top half of the page contains the auto numbering format, currency, and journal date. There’s also an option that allows you to include the entry on the tax report. Then there’s the bottom half, where you can add the account, description, type, and amount. On October 2nd, you sell to a client, a service worth $3,000. You receive the payment for the provided service, however, you forget to make a journal entry.

A journal entry details the accounts being impacted, and the debits and credits needed to record business transactions in accounting. An accounting journal entry is the method used to enter an accounting transaction into the accounting records of a business. The accounting records are aggregated into the general ledger, or the journal entries may be recorded in a variety of sub-ledgers, which are later rolled up into the general ledger. This information is then used to construct financial statements as of the end of a reporting period.

Therefore instead of saying there has been an increase or a decrease in an account, we say there has been a debit movement or a credit movement. Every time a transaction occurs, it’s recorded using a journal entry. The expense account we are using are Auto Expense and Miscellaneous Expense. In this case, we debit each expense account for the amount of the expense. When a business sells to its customers, it receives cash either “now” or “later”. If cash is being received at the time of the sale, the textbook will specify “received cash” to indicate that.

Separately, another line indicates that $1,000 has been deducted from the cash account. The special journal, where the credit sale returns are recorded, is called a sales return journal. The sales return journal is prepared from debit notes sent by the buyer with returned goods.

What Is a Journal Entry in Accounting?

Companies use many different types of journals to record their transactions like the sales journal, cash receipts journal, and the accounts payable journal. All of these different journals are optional and can be used if the company wants to. The only journal that is used by all companies is the general journal. A journal entry is the first step in the accounting cycle. A journal details all financial transactions of a business and makes a note of the accounts that are affected.

These are common when the recordings are related in nature or happen during the same day. We briefly mentioned the general journal in the beginning. To recap, the high low method calculate variable cost per unit and fixed cost general journal is the company book in which accountants post (or summarize) all journal entries. Journal entries are the very first step in the accounting cycle.

Opening entries

In a smaller accounting environment, the bookkeeper may record journal entries. Secondly, journal entries are the first step in the recording process. So you’ll eventually need them to prepare other financial statements. The income statement, cash flow, balance sheet, all of them are based on the initial recordings of journal entries. There are more complex accounting journal entries than the general journal entry.

Made at the beginning of the accounting period, reversing journal entries are made to reverse or cancel entries that were made in the preceding period and are no longer required. Such as wage accrual which is replaced by an actual payroll expenditure. An easy way to understand journal entries is to think of Isaac Newton’s third law of motion, which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. So, whenever a transaction occurs within a company, there must be at least two accounts affected in opposite ways. On the other hand, the ledger, also known as the principal book, is a set of accounts in which the financial information in the journals is summarized and posted. It may be mentioned that where the sales return transactions are large in number this sales return journal is maintained.

7 types of journal books are maintained in accounting for the convenient keeping of accounts and recording transactions of similar nature. Under the double-entry system, there are mainly 7 different types of journal in accounting. Transactions are primarily recorded in the journal and thereafter posted to the ledger. If a journal entry is created where the debit and credit totals are not the same, this is called an unbalanced journal entry. If you attempt to enter an unbalanced journal entry into a computer accounting system, the error-checking controls in the software will likely reject the entry. The following journal entry is unbalanced; note that the debit total is less than the credit total.

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