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A journal is referred to as the book of original entry as accounting entries are recorded in a journal. From the journal these entries are posted to the appropriate accounts in the ledger. Before posting can be done, they have to be arranged for the accounts they belong to.  This is done by entering them in chronological order by date in a journal.

Where there is a high volume of repetitive transactions, posting them to accounts in the ledger would be an unwieldy job. There are therefore special journals to keep a daily record for sales, purchases, cash receipts, and cash disbursements. Source documents such as invoices, credit notes, receipts and bills are used to make entries in the journals.

There are different types of journal:

1 General Journal
2 Sales Journal / Sales Day Book
3 Purchases Journal / Purchases Day Book
4 Returns Inwards Journal
5 Returns Outwards Journal
6 Cash Receipts Journal
7 Cash Payments Journal