Journal Entry: What is It?

A journal entry is a concise record of a financial transaction in accounting, documenting the date, accounts involved, and corresponding amounts.

It serves as the initial step in the double-entry bookkeeping system, capturing the financial impact of business activities or events.

Financial transactions encompass the exchanges of money or economic value between parties.

These can include purchases, sales, investments, loans, or any monetary dealings that impact an entity’s financial position. Recording and tracking these transactions are essential aspects of financial management and accounting.

Example of a journal entry

In a basic journal entry example, imagine a business receiving $5,000 in cash for services provided.

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This transaction is recorded by debiting (increasing) the Cash Account by $5,000 and crediting (increasing) the Service Revenue Account by the same amount.

This exemplifies the double-entry bookkeeping system, ensuring that the accounting equation remains balanced.

Bookkeeping – Journal Entry

In bookkeeping, a journal entry is a systematic recording of a financial transaction.

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Each entry captures essential details such as the date, accounts involved, and corresponding amounts.

The process follows the principles of double-entry bookkeeping, where every transaction has equal debits and credits, ensuring the maintenance of a balanced accounting system.

Journal entries serve as the foundation for accurate financial reporting and analysis.

Accounts of journal entry

In the context of accounting, journal entry accounts are individual records that track the financial impact of specific transactions.

These accounts categorize and organize financial activities, such as assets, liabilities, revenue, and expenses.

A journal entry typically involves debiting one account to increase it and crediting another account to reflect the corresponding decrease or increase.

This meticulous recording ensures accurate bookkeeping and financial reporting.

On Account -Journal Entry (Receivable)

A journal entry “on account” in accounting signifies a transaction where the full amount hasn’t been paid immediately. Instead, it reflects a partial payment or a deferred payment situation.

For more information click here: On account journal entry.

The entry involves debiting or crediting relevant accounts to capture the financial impact, providing a clear record of outstanding balances and pending payments for accurate financial tracking.

Here’s an example of a journal entry “on account”:

Date: January 1, 20XX

Transaction: Company sold goods on credit for $1,000.

Journal Entry:

  • Debit (Increase): Accounts Receivable – $1,000
  • Credit (Increase): Sales Revenue – $1,000

In this entry, the company recognizes $1,000 in sales revenue on account because they expect the payment to be received at a later date.

We debit the Accounts Receivable account to reflect the amount owed by the customer, while we credit the Sales Revenue account to acknowledge the revenue generated from the sale.

This entry captures the transaction while indicating that the full payment is still pending.

Payable Entry

A journal entry for payables in accounting records transactions where a business owes money for goods or services received.

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Typically, this involves crediting the accounts payable to signify the liability, and debiting the corresponding expense or purchase account.

This entry captures the obligation to pay in the future and is essential for maintaining accurate financial records.


A journal entry for revenue in accounting documents the recognition of income earned by a business.

More info here: Revenue journal entry.

This entry usually involves debiting a revenue account to reflect an increase in the company’s earnings and crediting the relevant account, such as sales or service revenue.

It is a fundamental step in the financial recording process, providing a clear representation of the income generated from various business activities.

Expenses – Journal Entry

A journal entry for expenses in accounting records the costs incurred by a business in its operations.

Go here for more info: Expense journal entry.

This entry typically involves debiting an expense account to reflect an increase in costs and crediting the relevant account, such as accounts payable or cash.

It is a key aspect of financial record-keeping, capturing the outflow of funds for various business activities and ensuring accurate financial reporting.

Accrued Entry

A journal entry for accrued transactions in accounting records revenues or expenses that have been earned or incurred but not yet received or paid.

For further information go here: Accrued journal Entry.

This entry typically involves recognizing the revenue or expense by debiting or crediting the respective accounts, and simultaneously recording an offsetting liability or asset.

Accrued journal entries help reflect the financial impact of transactions in the appropriate accounting period, even if the actual cash flow hasn’t occurred.

General – Journal Entry

A general journal entry in accounting is a basic record-keeping entry that captures any financial transaction within a business.

It typically involves debiting one account and crediting another to maintain the balance in accordance with double-entry accounting principles.

General journal entries provide a comprehensive overview of various financial activities, serving as the foundation for accurate financial reporting and analysis.


A journal entry for closing in accounting is the final step in the accounting cycle.

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It involves transferring the balances of temporary accounts (such as revenues and expenses) to permanent accounts (like retained earnings) to prepare the books for the next accounting period.

This process ensures a fresh start for the new period and summarizes the financial results of the previous one, facilitating accurate financial reporting and analysis.

Adjusting -Journal Entry

A journal entry for adjusting in accounting is made at the end of an accounting period to reflect changes in accrued revenues, expenses, or other items that were not initially recorded.

Go here for more details: Adjusting journal entry.

These entries ensure that financial statements accurately represent the current financial position and performance of a business.

Adjusting journal entries helps maintain the integrity of financial records by accounting for events that occurred but were not yet recorded

Jason John Wethe
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