Financial Accounting

Format of Journal in bookkeeping

Journal is also termed as the subsidiary book. Recording the transactions in the journal is termed as journalizing the entries. All transactions are recorded in the journal as and when they occur i.e. in chronological order else it may be cumbersome to keep track of records in the proper manner.

format of journal

Format of a Journal in Bookkeeping


 DATEPARTICULARSL.F.                                  Dr ($)      Cr ($) 
 (1)(2)(3)                (4)           (5) 

From the above table, it can be seen that a standard journal has 5 columns i.e. date, particular, ledger folio number, debit amount and credit amount.

The column nos. has been given for only reference purpose here. They do not form part of the Journal:

Now we shall understand what the purpose of each column is:

  1. In the first column, the date of the transaction is entered. On the top year of the transaction is written then month and then date in the following manner


January, 25

  1. In the second column, the names of the accounts involved are written; first, the account which is being debited, with the word “Dr” written towards the end of the column.

    In the next line, after leaving a little space, the name of the account to be credited is written preceded by the word “To” (the modern practice shows an inclination towards omitting “Dr.” and “To”).

  2. Then in the next line, the explanation for the entry together with necessary details is given this is termed as narration. Having written the Narration, a line is drawn in the Particulars column, which indicates the completion of recording the specific journal entry.

  3. In the third column, the number of the page in the ledger on which the account is written up is entered. This column is filled up at the time of posting and not at the time of making the journal entry.
  4. In the fourth column, the amounts to be debited to the various accounts concerned are entered.
  5. In the fifth column, the amount to be credited to various accounts is entered.

Special Notes

  1. Journal entries can be the single entry (i.e. one debit and one credit) or compound entry (i.e. one debit and two or more credits or two or more debits and one credit or two or more debits and credits). In such cases, it is vital to check that the total of both debits and credits are equal.
  2. If journal entries are recorded in several pages then both the amount column of each page should be totalled and the balance should be written at the ending of that page and also that the same total should be carried forward at the beginning of the next page.

Here is a typical example of Journal entry.

Suppose we want to pass Journal entry for cash received of $5000 from Tony, the entry will be:

($)               ($)

January 1st                      Cash A/c              Dr.       5000

To Tony                                 5000

(Being cash received from Tony)

Now we will pass a few journal entries and analysis them with respect to rules of Double entry system and Journal.

Illustration 1

Analyse transactions of M/s Nash & Co. for the month of March 2000 on the basis of the double-entry system

Transactions for the month of March 2000 were as follows:

  1. Nash introduced cash $ 40,000.
  2. Cash deposited in the City Bank $ 20,000.
  3. A cash loan of $5,000 taken from Mr Y.

Pass journal entries and analyze them.


TransactionAnalysisAffected A/CGolden RuleJournal Entry
Introduction of cashCash received by the businessCash – RealDebit what comes inCash A/c Dr   5000
Given by ownerCapital – Personal Credit the giverTo Capital 5000
Cash Deposited in Bank Bank receives the cash Bank- Personal Debit the receiver Bank A/c Dr 20,000
Cash goes out of the business Cash – Real Credit what goes out To cash 20,000
Loan from Y Business gets cashCash – RealDebit what comes inCash A/c Dr 5000
Y is the payer of cashY’s LoanCredit the giverTo Y’s Loan 5000

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