The General Journal is used to record unusual or infrequent types of transactions. If a transaction doesn't "fit" in any of the other special journals then record it in this journal. In some beginning bookkeeping courses the General Journal has been used to record all transactions. This is used as a teaching or learning tool in order to become familiar with analyzing transactions, learning about debits and credits, and posting to the General Ledger.
The General Journal has these basic features:
- Header with the Name of the Journal and Page
- Entry Number used as a reference to a specific transaction on the journal's page
- Date Column to record the date of the transaction
- Description Column for the Account Name
- Posting Reference to provide information that the entry has been posted to the General Ledger.
- Debit Column for the amount debited and a Credit Column for the amount credited.
- Explanation for the entry
Sample General Journal
|Entry No||Date||Account Name||Post Ref.||Debit||Credit|
In the "real" bookkeeping world, the Special Journals are used to group and initially record similar transactions and the General Journal takes care of any other transactions that need to be recorded.
Typical types of transactions recorded are adjusting and closing entries.
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General Journal Video