7 3 Analyze and Journalize Transactions Using Special Journals Principles of Accounting, Volume 1: Financial Accounting


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Similarly, the account balances from the special journal would also be transferred to the general ledger. The broader categories of the general journal accounts include sales revenue, COGS, admin expenses, cash, inventory, and debt. Special journals record transactions chronologically, which reduces the chances of fraudulent alteration in an account. Special journals are only required for frequent or repetitive transactions. For example, a business concern has many transactions in which cash is received and many in which cash is paid out.

In other words, this system is a way to categorize transactions into different types and groups. The reason is that some transactions do not fit in any special journal. However, most firms enter those transactions in the general journal, along with other transactions that do not fit the description of the specific types of transactions contained in the four special journals.

What are Special Journals?

Note there is a single column for both the debit to Accounts Receivable and the credit to Sales, although we need to post to both Accounts Receivable and Sales at the end of each month. There is also a single column for the debit to Cost of Goods Sold and the credit to Merchandise Inventory, though again, we need to post to both of those. In special journals, all the recorded transactions are of similar nature. For example all the credit sales are recorded in special journal and all the credit purchases are recorded in purchases journal. General journal is used to record all other transactions which no special journal is maintained.

The name and page of the journal from which the ledger entry came is recorded in the folio number column. You can read about the special issues being organized by journals and find out how to submit on the relevant journal homepage. As an author, you might have the opportunity of contributing to a special issue at some point in your career. A special issue focuses on a specific area of research that has a broad appeal and falls within the aims and scope of the journal.

  • To answer this question, the company would need to review all of
    the pages of the general journal for nearly an entire month to find
    all of the sales transactions relating to Mr. Smith.
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  • At the news, I couldn’t help myself and tried to explain why keeping her blood glucose level down was important, and what she could to do improve her situation, but I could tell she was only half listening.
  • The total of all of the cash disbursements for the month would be recorded in the general ledger Cash account (Figure 7.27) as follows.
  • However, a company that provides consumer loans and receives interest payments from many customers would probably include a separate column for interest revenue.

Special journals are all accounting journals except for the general journal. These journals are used to record specific types of high-volume information that would otherwise be recorded in and overwhelm the general ledger. The total amounts in these journals are periodically transferred to the general ledger in summary form.

This helps to create an audit trail, or a way to go back and find the original documents supporting a transaction. The general format and presentation of these journals are also similar. A business can add different columns and details in a specialty journal. Similarly, any details can be recorded in a general journal, however, most businesses avoid it for complexity. The key difference is that usually, a general journal follows double-entry bookkeeping while the special journal does not. Once a business creates a special journal, it can record all relevant transactions in that document.

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The larger the business, the greater the likelihood that that business will have a large volume of transactions that need to be recorded in and processed by the company’s accounting information system. You’ve learned that each transaction is recorded in the general journal, which is a chronological listing of transactions. In other words, transactions are recorded into the general journal as they occur. While this is correct accounting methodology, it also can create a cumbersome general journal with which to work and may make finding specific pieces of information very challenging. For example, assume customer John Smith charged an item for $100 on June 1.

Competing interest statement in research articles

In the six years of records provided to the Journal Sentinel, there were 10 deaths from firearms. In the past 18 years, the number of gun deaths in the state has been steadily rising. In fact, homicides, accidents and shootings deemed justified put together do not account for even one-third of all gunshot deaths in Wisconsin, according to state data. All those cases happen with disturbing frequency, and the tragedy is often amplified through news coverage.

Reducing Balance Method for Calculating Depreciation

In a well-documented phenomenon, Americans bought 60 million guns between 2020 and 2022, with an estimated 5 million of those sold to first-time buyers, research shows. Several counties reported a higher percentage of suicides than Manitowoc, at 90% or even 100% of gun deaths. Green collects information about a victim’s mental health history and treatment, as well as alcohol and drug use. Of the gun suicides in the county since 1990, 75% of victims had reported feeling depressed and about half had problems with alcohol. In seven cases, the family reported the gun used had been recently purchased.

2 Describe and Explain the Purpose of Special Journals and Their Importance to Stakeholders

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.

For example, the purchases journal below includes columns for supplies and equipment. Of course, every purchase in the journal below must credit accounts payable; equipment purchased with a note payable or supplies purchased with cash would not be recorded in this journal. Individual entries are still posted daily to the accounts payable subsidiary ledger accounts, and each column total is posted at the end of the accounting period to the appropriate general ledger account. Most companies have four special journals, but there can be more
depending on the business needs. The four main special journals are
the sales journal, purchases
journal, cash disbursements journal, and
cash receipts journal.

Purchase Journal

The second step for the general journal is to record the transaction and identify at least two accounts that would be affected. It means for every transaction the total of the debit and credit sides will be equal in the general journal accounts. Unlike the general journal, a specialty journal is not a mandatory document for all businesses. It is often created when businesses require special information on specific accounts. Commonly used general journal accounts are sales revenue, interest expense, depreciation, receivables, payables, etc. A general journal is the primary bookkeeping document of a business that records all accounting transactions.

The sum of all the subsidiary ledgers must equal the amount reported in the general ledger. The basic format of a general journal is usually simple which includes a date column, a description column, a posting reference column, a debit entry column and a credit entry column. A special journal, on the other hand, is a more systematic form of recording transactions and may consist of many columns depending on the information needs of the bookkeepers, accountants, managers, owners and auditors etc.

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General journal also acts as authorization because all the entries in the journal will be prepared or reviewed by the financial accountant. 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. Examples of special journals are the cash receipts top 6 financial model best practices journal, cash disbursements journal, payroll journal, purchases journal, and sales journal. 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.

For example, if we overpaid our electric bill, we could get a refund check in the mail. We would use the cash receipts journal because we are receiving cash, but the credit would be to our Utility Expense account. If you look at the example in Figure 7.23, you see that there is no column for Utility Expense, so how would it be recorded? We would use some generic column title such as “other” to represent those cash transactions in the subsidiary ledger though the specific accounts would actually be identified by account number in the special journal. We would look up the account number for Utility Expense and credit the account for the amount of the check.

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