What is a Special Journal? Definition Meaning Example

what is a special journal

Many companies use a multi‐column (columnar) sales journal that provides separate columns for specific sales accounts and for sales tax payable. Each line in a multi‐column journal must contain equal debits and credits. For example, the entries in the sales journal to the right appear below in a multi‐column sales journal that tracks hardware sales, plumbing sales, wire sales, and sales tax payable. Individual entries are still posted daily to the accounts receivable subsidiary ledger accounts, and each column total is posted at the end of the accounting period to the appropriate general ledger account.

what is a special journal

In addition, the cash receipts journal includes a column named Other, which is used to record various types of cash receipts that occur infrequently and therefore do not warrant a separate column. For example, cash receipts from capital investments, bank loans, and interest revenues are generally recorded in the Other column. However, a company that provides consumer loans and receives interest payments from many customers would probably include a separate column for interest revenue. Whenever a credit entry affects accounts receivable or appears in the Other column, the specific account is identified in the column named Account.

Why You Can Trust Finance Strategists

Depending on the size and the complexity of the accounting department, a total separation of duties may not be possible. However, not all accounting personnel should have access to the general journal. Special journals allow the recoding of numerous repetitive transactions in one journal in one line. For example, if a firm has 2,000 purchases on account during the month, the purchases account will be debited once, not 2,000 times. For example, a merchandise purchase is recorded on a single line that registers credit to the supplier’s account, the supplier’s name, the date and the amount, and any other desired information.

  • The benefits of using a special journal instead of the general journal for the repetitive transactions have been eliminated with today’s inexpensive yet powerful accounting software.
  • Thus, the proper design, implementation, and maintenance of the accounting information system are vital to a company’s sustainability.
  • The purchases journal to the right has only one column for recording transaction amounts.
  • If special journals weren’t used to organize transactions, everything would be recorded in the general journal and there would be no way to look at specific types of transaction.
  • At this stage, these will only be concerned with your firm acquiring stock and the selling of that stock to customers who will pay later.

The total amounts in these journals are periodically transferred to the general ledger in summary form. Transactions are recorded in special journals in chronological order, making it easier to research transactions. Such journals allow a company to record accounting information and generate financial statements. The data also provides management with the information needed to make sound business decisions. For example, subsidiary ledgers, such as the accounts receivable ledger, provide data about the aging and collectability of receivables.

Format of special journals

At the end of the month the total of the column is debited to Accounts Receivable and credited to Sales. Throughout the month, the individual sales invoices will be posted to each customer’s record found in the company’s subsidiary ledger for Accounts Receivable. Entries in this journal usually include the date of the entry, the name of the supplier, and the amount of the transaction. Some companies include columns to identify the invoice date and credit terms, thereby making the purchases journal a tool that helps the companies take advantage of discounts just before they expire. The purchases journal to the right has only one column for recording transaction amounts. Each entry increases (debits) purchases and increases (credits) accounts payable.

what is a special journal

In spite of having many advantages, the special journal has a few disadvantages which should be taken care of otherwise the utility of this accounting technique will go in vain. The special journals that we will illustrate are examples of those found in many manually kept books, but they are not the only types used. Many firms design their specialized journals to meet their particular needs.

Expense journals

This type of special journal is required in the case of manual accounting. A special journal is a set of journals used to record same type of transactions. For example, if the company experiences 10,000 sales transactions, it may create one or more than one sales journal to post such entries accordingly. A cash receipts journal (CRJ) records transactions that involve payments received with cash.[1] Source documents would probably be receipts and cheque butts.

In contrast to a general journal, each special journal records transactions of a specific type, such as sales or purchases. For example, when a company purchases merchandise from a vendor, and then in turn sells the merchandise to a customer, the purchase is recorded in one journal and the sale is recorded in another. This special journal is used to record purchases made on credit with vendors. By only recording credit purchases in this journal, accountants and bookkeepers can use this as a record of all the credit purchases during a period. At the end of the period, we would post the totals of  $7,650 credit to cash, the $7,500 debit to accounts payable, and the $150 credit to merchandise inventory.

what is a special journal

Likewise, at the end of the accounting cycle, the journal transactions are posted to the individual ledger accounts to close the accounting period. The benefits of using a special journal instead of the general journal for the repetitive transactions have been eliminated with today’s inexpensive yet powerful accounting software. For example, when a sales invoice is prepared by using accounting software, both the general ledger and subsidiary accounts will be updated instantly and accurately.

Internal Control and Special Journals

Both account numbers are placed in the general journal’s reference column to indicate that the entry has been posted correctly. There are three types of special journals – the sales journal, the purchases journal and the cash receipts journal. The sales journal usually contains credit transactions while it is debited for credit purchases.

Special journals record transactions chronologically, which reduces the chances of fraudulent alteration in an account. Only one posting for the total amount is made to the relevant ledger account at the end of the month or another appropriate period. In special journals, each transaction is recorded in a single line designed to provide all the necessary information.

Discount allowed is an expense as the discount allowed is the cost to the seller of obtaining an inflow of cash from a debtor weeks earlier than would be the case. Find the balance in each account in the accounts payable subsidiary ledger that follows. However, for many firms, most transactions can be recorded in special journals. For illustrative purposes, the following discussion is based on a manual accounting system. Purchases Journals record transactions that involve purchases purely on credit.[2] Source documents are invoices. For instance, the purchase of inventory on credit is recorded in the purchases journal.

(Figure)Match the special journal you would use to record the following transactions. What other questions can be answered through the analysis of information gathered by the accounting information system? Think in terms of the timing of inventory orders and cash flow needs. Is there nonfinancial information to extract from the accounting system? An accounting information system should provide the information needed for a business to meet its goals. Pre-transaction authorization means that transactions for certain types of accounts are authorized before their recording.

Each general journal is made up of daily entries which are summarized at the end of the month to post them in special journals. The ledger accounts where these postings are recorded differ for various types of special journals. Transactions recorded in special journals are subject to pre-transaction authorization.

Examples of such entries are adjusting entries, closing entries, transferring entries, and correcting entries. The widespread use of microcomputers has enabled even small firms to automate their accounting systems. If a particular transaction does not fit into one of the above groups, it is recorded in the general journal. A single journal is satisfactory for small business enterprises where the transaction volume is usually small.

Better Internal Control

For example, assume customer John Smith charged an item for $100 on June 1. You can see how these journal entries (using the perpetual inventory method) would be recorded in the general ledger as by clicking fooz ball town to save space. On the other hand, routine transactions are recorded in special journals and do not require authorization. To overcome this problem, the journal is split into sub-journals called special journals, which are designed to record transactions of a specific nature. Cash Payments Journals record transactions that involve expenditures paid with cash and involves the cash[3] Source documents are likely receipts and cheque butts.