What is a journal definition of a journal in accounting and bookkeeping a journal is a record of financial transactions in order by datetraditionally a journal has been defined as the book of original entrythe definition was more appropriate when transactions were written in a journal prior to manually posting them to the accounts in the general ledger or subsidiary ledger. A bookkeeping journal is a book of prime entry sometimes referred to as a book of original entry or day book the journals record transactions in chronological date order from original accounting source documents sub divisions of the journal the purpose of the bookkeeping journal is to avoid cluttering the general ledger with too much detail. In manual accounting or bookkeeping systems business transactions are first recorded in a journalhence the term journal entry journal entries that are recorded in a companys general journal will consist of the following the appropriate date the accounts and amounts that will be debited . Now its common for a bookkeeper to keep seven different accounting journals ie seven books of first entry with each journal covering a different aspect of the business each of the journals follow the general debit and credit format but with categories relating to that specific aspect of the business the format of each journal is shown below along with a description. The accounting journal entries on this page will show you what journal entries look like how they affect the business bookkeeping and how you can use them for your benefit the examples further down this page represent the typical types of transactions that most small businesses carry out
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