A general journal

A general journal

share this content

Reading Time: 6 minutes

A general journal is a book to record all the company’s financial transactions, and these transactions are recorded in chronological order according to the date of their occurrence, and they are also recorded following the double-entry system. The journal is also known as the basic book or initial entry book, as it is considered the first stage of accounting and the first place where financial transaction data is recorded.

Each page of the general journal contains daily entries, which contain significant data for one financial transaction, including the date, accounts affected by this entry, the amount to be recorded and deducted, and a brief description of the transaction. Each company must ensure that information on all financial transactions is accurately entered because of their high importance and significant impact on financial reports.

Some entrepreneurs and company owners may find it difficult to understand the journal, the entries recorded in it, and how to create it, so in this article we will highlight the journal, its importance and elements, and how the Qoyod accounting system helps you ensure the accuracy and validity of your company’s general journal.

General journal importance

The journal is of great importance to all companies and institutions, and it is necessary to ensure that the data is entered in the journal accurately to ensure the accuracy of the financial reports resulting from this information. The importance of the journal lies in the following points:

  • The journal displays all information related to the transaction as it occurs and also provides a brief explanation of the transaction.
  • It helps identify any possible errors in the recording of transactions and others.
  • It is considered a reference for all financial transactions in the company, as it provides a chronological record of all transactions, in which transactions are recorded in an accurate chronological order, thus facilitating the reference to financial transactions on a specific date when needed.
  • It helps management understand and track the financial situation of the company by monitoring the financial transactions recorded in the journal.
  • Facilitates the process of posting entries to the ledger by providing detailed and comprehensive information on all financial transactions that occur.
  • The journal reduces the chance of making mistakes when posting entries to the ledger because two aspects of the transaction are recorded in the journal.

General journal items

The financial transactions that are recorded in the journal are called daily entries, and they are recorded following the double entry system, where two sides of each transaction are recorded, credit and debt, and each page in this book contains columns divided into the main elements, which include the date, statement, debit account, credit account, and cash amount, as follows:

  • Date of the financial transaction

The year, month, and date of the transaction are noted in the Date column. The year is written directly below the heading once on each page of the journal, so that it doesn’t have to be repeated for each entry on the page.

  • Statement

The statement column is used to enter the names of the accounts involved and affected in the financial transaction, which are credit accounts and debit accounts, so that the account or accounts receivable are written first and then the account or accounts payable are written afterwards. It is customary to leave an indent before writing the credit account in the journal entry. A description and a brief and concise statement are also written in this column under the credit account of the entry.

  • Debit amount

This column is used to record debit amounts for accounts receivable.

  • Credit amount

This column is used to record the credit amounts for accounts payable.

Other items can be included in the journal, such as a financial transaction reference number or posting reference number, where all journal entries are periodically posted to the ledger, and in the posting reference column, the page number of the ledger account to which the entry belongs is written. For example, if the cash account is on page 101 in the ledger, you should type 101 in the posting reference column where the cash account appears in the general journal.

Examples of journal accounts

Journal accounts vary according to the financial process that occurs and according to the accounts affected by this process, and some examples can be given for clarification as follows:

sale entry

If the company sells goods or services worth SAR 500, the form of the journal entry in the journal account book will be as follows:

Date statement Amount
Debt credit
×× – ×× Cash 500
Sales 500
Sale of goods worth 500 riyals

Entry of the sale of taxable goods or services

If the company sells taxable goods or services to another company worth 1000 riyals and the tax is 10% (100 riyals), the form of the journal entry in the journal will be as follows:

Date statement Amount
Debt credit
×× – ×× Cash 1100
Sales 1000
Tax 100
Sale of goods worth 1000 riyals

Purchase entry

If the company purchases goods or services worth SAR 500 from another company, the form of the journal entry in the journal will be as follows:

Date statement Amount
Debt credit
×× – ×× purchases 500
Cash 500
Purchase of goods worth 500 riyals

Entry of the purchase of taxable goods or services

If the company purchases taxable goods or services from another company worth SAR 1,000 and the tax is 10% (SAR 100), the form of the journal entry in the journal account book will be as follows:

Date statement Amount
Debt credit
×× – ×× purchases 1000
Tax 100
Cash 1100
Purchase of goods worth 1000 riyals

Types of entries that are recorded in the journal

There are several different types of journal accounts that are recorded in the journal, where each type has a specific function and a specific goal, and all types are important, as they together provide a balanced, accurate, and objective statement of the company’s financial situation. The following are the types of journal entries recorded in the journal:

Transfer entries:

A transfer of an amount from one account to another is recorded, and the net transfers in this entry must always be equal to zero, and no third party participates in this type of journal entry.

Adjusting entries:

Changes and modifications to previously recorded journal entries are recorded—not that modified transactions have been deleted, but rather new transactions that keep the company’s finances up to date.

Compound entries:

Through which more than one credit account or more than one debit account is recorded, where there may be one debt and two or more credits, or one credit and two or more debts, and the total debit balances and credit balances must always be equal.

Opening entries

Through it, the starting balance for the current accounting period is recorded, and it is the final balance from the previous accounting period.

Closing entries:

Through which the final balance of the accounting period is recorded in this entry, and this balance can be transferred from a temporary account to a permanent account or from one accounting period to another.


Journal with Qoyod

It is essential to ensure that financial transaction data is entered accurately and completely in the journal to ensure the accuracy of the financial reports based on it. Qoyod is the best accounting software you can use; it helps you enter entries easily and quickly, ensures the integrity of the entered data, and reduces the possibility of error.

Through the Qoyod system, you can enter easy entries or manual accounting entries. Easy entries save time in entering entries while ensuring the accuracy and correctness of the data, and you can choose the entry type and then enter the data related to the entry type you chose and abbreviated. Qoyod aims to facilitate accounting processes so that users without an accounting background can enter journal entries quite easily, which result in one or more accounting entries that are automatically made in the Qoyod system.


The correctness of all financial reports of the company is affected by the accuracy—or inaccuracy—of the financial transaction information entered in the journal, and therefore this book is of great importance to companies, and any error in the entry process, such as entering the account name, transaction date, or cash amount incorrectly, may lead to an imbalance in the company’s financial statements. All these entries are posted to the ledger, thus increasing the percentage of erroneous decisions related to the company’s financial situation because they were caused by wrong financial statements.

Therefore, the use of accounting systems is an ideal option to avoid these errors and ensure the accuracy and correctness of the entered financial statements, and the Qoyod accounting system is the best in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as it provides you with a lot of professional accounting services that are easy and fast while ensuring accuracy and high efficiency in managing all financial operations in your company. You can enjoy all this by registering for the Qoyod accounting system easily with a free trial period of 14 days without the need to enter your credit card details.

Join our inspiring community! Subscribe to our LinkedIn page and Twitter to be the first to know about the latest articles and updates. An opportunity for learning and development in the world of accounting and finance. Don’t miss out, join us today!


Register in Newsletter !

The most important news and stories for entrepreneurs

More contents from qoyod

Start your Free Trial !

Easier accounting