A journal is a place of record in which business transactions are recorded in chronological order. A firm may use several specialized journals, such as a purchases journal or sales journal, to separately record transactions in the more high-volume areas. The general journal is used to record more general, lower-volume transactions. Once entered into a journal, transactions are then posted to general ledger accounts. Journals are the best source of information when researching the nature of business transactions, since they identify source documents.

Entries made into a journal employ double-entry accounting, where balancing debits and credits are used. The entries also state the date, accounts impacted, and amounts, as well as an identifier for the source document.

Related Courses

Bookkeeper Education Bundle 
Bookkeeping Guidebook