Journal and Ledger: Differences between Them with Examples

Journal and Ledger: Differences between Them with Examples

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In the business world, is it possible to know all the financial transactions that take place in the organization? The answer is yes, as there is a journal that serves as a large record that gives all the different information and data about the organization from different accounting operations.

It enables management to monitor all increases and decreases in its various accounts and to easily follow up on funds that go out and come in.

Recording in the journal is considered one of the most important stages of the accounting cycle, without which the rest of the stages cannot be completed. Any error that occurs in the journal is considered a disaster because it quickly affects the rest of the books and financial statements.

Therefore, recording in the journal cannot be overlooked or neglected, and an efficient accountant is the one who pays attention to all the details of the journal.

What is the definition of a journal or ledger?

Before we knew the difference between a journal and a ledger, we must first know the definition of each of them, which can be summarized as follows:

What is the definition of a journal?

It is an important accounting tool used to record and document all financial transactions that occur in the facility, as it serves as a detailed record of all financial transactions that have taken place and is an essential step in the process of settlement and preparation of financial statements.

Definition of a ledger in accounting

It is a basic accounting tool used by an accountant to collect and record financial entries related to a specific account during the financial year. This notebook is an important part of the accounting system of any facility, as it helps track and document financial movements.

How do I keep a journal?

Here are some simple steps to record financial transactions in a journal:

  • Specify the registration number and transaction date.
  • Identify the financial accounts affected by the transaction, such as debt accounts, bank accounts, etc.
  • Determine the debit and credit amounts for each account.
  • The debit is the amount that increases the account balance, while the credit is the amount that decreases the account balance, like in the following table:
      Entry                         amounts
Registration number Date of operation Statement debt Credit debt Credit
  • Document the details of the transaction, such as a description of the transaction or invoice number if appropriate.
  • Balance the equation by ensuring that the total debit amounts equal the total credit amounts, as follows:
      Entry                         amounts
Registration number Date of operation Statement debt Credit debt Credit
1 1/2/2023 Purchase equipment with cash. equipment cash 100000 100000
2 4/2/2023 Pay rent in advance. Advance rent cash 24000 24000

The importance of journaling

In order to know the difference between a journal and a ledger, we should know the importance of each of them, and this can be summarized as follows:

Recording financial transactions

One of the essential aspects of a journal is to record all financial transactions, such as sales, purchases, payments, and expenses. By recording these transactions, the organization can determine the amount of cash available and its sources and verify the validity of financial flows.

This aspect is important because the organization can identify peak times, times when it needs to enhance cash flows, or manage cash better.

Recording the necessary accounting entries

Moreover, the journal contributes to recording the accounting entries necessary to prepare the financial statements, as it contains information such as the date, the accounts used, the description of the transaction, and the financial amount.

This information helps in collecting the data necessary to prepare financial statements, such as the income statement and balance list. Through these lists, the organization can provide a clear and comprehensive picture of the financial status of its business activity.

How is the ledger set up?

Preparing a ledger requires the following specific steps: To ensure that information is transferred accurately and recorded in the appropriate accounts, the following are the basic steps for the preparation process:

Specify the accounts to be migrated.

You must first identify the accounts for which information needs to be posted in the ledger. This may include asset accounts, liabilities, revenues, expenses, and other important financial accounts.

Verify the accuracy of the information.

Before transferring information, you must ensure that the sub-records used to record financial transactions are accurate, including verifying the dates, numbers, and assets associated with each transaction.

Collect financial transactions.

From the sub-records, you must collect all financial transactions that occurred during the specified time period and are related to the accounts to be posted. This includes the debit amounts and the credit amounts associated with each transaction.

Recording transactions in the ledger

After collecting transactions, each transaction is written to a ledger. Therefore, the details of the transaction must be accurately recorded, such as the date, the full description of the transaction, the two accounts affected, the debit amount, as well as the credit amount.

Perform calculations

After recording transactions, there may be a need to perform additional calculations on the amounts in each account. This includes grouping debit and credit amounts and calculating differences. To determine the final balance for each account.

What are the benefits of a ledger?

We should now know the importance of the ledger. To know the difference between a journal and a ledger, which can be summarized as follows:

Follow the flow of funds.

First, a ledger is used to track the flow of money, recording all of a company’s revenues and expenses. Thus, it provides a clear picture of the cash flow of the organization.

By tracking cash flow, businesses can identify key sources of income and expenses and take action to improve money management.

Preparing financial reports and making decisions

The ledger helps in preparing financial reports and making decisions based on the information in the ledger. Accountants can prepare the necessary financial reports, such as the income statement, balance sheet, and profit and loss statements.

These reports provide management and investors with a comprehensive view of the company’s financial position and help them make wise financial decisions.

Detect manipulation and fraud.

The ledger contributes to the detection of tampering and fraud by comparing the data recorded in the ledger with other documents and external data. Any discrepancies or manipulations in accounting records can be detected. Hence, this helps in preventing fraud and maintaining the financial integrity of the organization.

Strengthening business relations

The ledger enhances business relationships with investors and creditors. When companies have an accurate and up-to-date ledger, they cannot provide accurate and transparent information to investors and creditors. This enhances trust and transparency in business relationships and facilitates obtaining the necessary financing for business development.

Accuracy of accounting records

Finally, the ledger contributes to the accuracy of accounting records by recording financial operations and transactions in the ledger. An accurate record is created for each Malish event. Therefore, this contributes to ensuring the accuracy of accounting records and ensuring that there are no errors or distortions.

Accurate accounting records are essential for companies to comply with accounting standards and financial legislation, as well as to ensure transparency and credibility in financial reporting.

Examples of journals and ledgers

An example of a journal

Financial transactions can be recorded in the journal through the following:

On 2/1/2023, the company purchased some equipment it needed in the commercial operations of its activity in the amount of 100 thousand Saudi riyals, and the money was paid in cash.

On 2/4/2023, rent was paid in cash in the amount of 24,000 Saudi riyals for a period of 4 months.

On 2/8/2023, it received 60,000 Saudi riyals in exchange for providing some services to a client.

On 2/15/2023, it purchased office supplies for 10,000 Saudi riyals on account.

On 2/20/2023, goods worth 40 thousand Saudi riyals were sold on the account.

On 2/28/2023, employees’ salaries amounting to 30 thousand Saudi riyals were paid.

On 2/28/2024, it paid the electricity bill of 8,000 Saudi riyals.

These operations can be recorded in the journal with ease through:

Date of operation statement debt Credit
1/2/2023 From /equipment

To /cash

100000 100000
4/2/2023 From or rent in advance

To /cash

24000 24000
8/2/2023 From /cash

To /Revenues

60000 60000
15/2/2023 From/office tools

To: accounts payable

10000 10000
20/2/2023 From accounts payable

To /sales

40000 40000
28/2/2023 From /wages

To /cash

30000 30000
28/2/2023 From /expenses

To /cash

8000 8000

An example of a ledger

If the sales account balance is 2000 Saudi riyals and the transaction of selling a product to a customer is posted for 200 riyals, then the final balance will be 2200 Saudi riyals.


In the end, the total debit and credit balances must be known. If the total debit balances equal the credit balances, there is no error in the notebook, and you are doing well. But if they are not equal, find the error and correct it.

What is the difference between a journal and a ledger?

To know the difference between a journal and a ledger, you must note the following table, which is as follows:

Element Journal Ledger
Content Contains details of individual transactions, including outgoing and incoming. Includes transaction totals for a specific account or even a category of accounts.
the purpose A journal is used to record trades and daily transactions. The summary ledger uses information from the journal as well as analyzes it.
the goal It aims to track daily changes and record transactions in detail. It aims to analyze and summarize data to enable the user to make strategic and administrative decisions.
Timing Journaling occurs daily, as we can see from the name, or repeatedly during the specified period. The ledger is usually updated monthly or periodically to analyze financial performance.
Recording method Here each individual transaction is recorded, for example, a purchase invoice. Here you will find a summary of each account, for example: Sales account.
Organization There may be more than one journal, depending on the different processes. Usually there is one ledger per account category, or even account.



We can say that the journal and the ledger reflect different aspects of organizing and planning our lives, as the journal focuses on recording and organizing our daily events and small goals, while the ledger works as a strategic document to achieve our major goals in the long term. Whether you are a fan of daily notebooks, Detailed, or preferably strategic, plans in a ledger: the main goal is to achieve a balance between organizing our present and achieving our future. The journal helps us enjoy and organize every moment, and it reminds us that life is full of small opportunities and challenges that can contribute to achieving our big goals. As for the ledger, it is a constant reminder of our grand vision. And our ambitious goals.

Whether we record our daily events in detail or draw up a strategic plan for our lives, we must use these tools through the Qoyod program. It is worth noting that the program also provides you with electronic invoice systems as well as a point-of-sale system, stores, customers, etc.

Dear reader, after knowing the difference between a journal and a ledger, try Qoyod now for free for 14 days.


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