What Is A General Journal?

For example, there may be one debit but two or more credits, or one credit and two or more debits, or even two or more credits and debits. For example, Payroll may entail a large number of journal entries, which can be simplified into compounded form as a summary. A general journal is a chronological record of a company’s financial transactions. These include reconciling accounts and helping to produce financial statements. They can also be used in the event of litigation or bankruptcy proceedings to provide evidence.

What Is A General Journal?

The transaction could have been entered as two separate simple journal entries, but the compound form is more efficient. Also, a cash book is used to record cash transactions only although those transactions of credit nature end up being recorded herein. Further, cash book accommodates unique transactions such as cash discounts, contra entry transactions and petty cash book transactions. The description of the transaction assists bookkeepers and accountants to recall what exactly happened on a certain date or why a transaction occurred. For instance, a description for a general journal may be written as ‘To record equipment purchase‘ or ‘To record inventory payment’.


The General Journal is an advanced register used to enter transactions without needing to open individual accounts. The General Journal shows the transaction entries for all accounts on one register. Cash or credit purchases and/or sales What Is A General Journal? of non-current assets on credit. Bob purchases $20,000 of inventory on credit from the vendors and agrees to pay $1000 per month. A trader can form a journal to record all the details of trades he has executed during the day.

Once entered, the general journal provides a chronological record of all non-specialized entries that would otherwise have been recorded in one of the specialty journals. General journalaccounting is called the book of original entry, where accountants https://kelleysbookkeeping.com/ record financial transactions of the business as per their date of occurrence. The pages are divided into columns where items like dates, serial numbers, debits and credits are recorded in the double entry book keeping system or format.

The purpose of a general journal

By recording each transaction correctly, your trial balance should show equal credits and debits. If the accounting equation is not in balance, there may be a mistake in your journal entry. Some accounting solutions alert users when a journal entry does not balance total debits and credits. However, the number of debit and credit accounts does not have to be equal, as long as the trial balance is even. For example, you may have 10 payments listed on the credits side to pay for supplies but only two sales . An accounting ledger is the physical or digital record of a company’s finances and can include liabilities, assets, equity, expenses, and revenue.

What Is A General Journal?