Journal entries questions and answers can be a tricky problem to solve, especially regarding different types of transactions. This article will provide an overview of the different types of journal entries, how they are used in accounting, and what you need to keep in mind when creating them.
What is a Journal Entry?
A journal entry is an accounting transaction that records business activities in the company’s general ledger accounts. It is essentially a record-keeping system that documents the details of all financial activity within an organization. The journal entry captures account numbers, dates, amounts, and descriptions for each event or transaction occurring during the period. Thus, simply put, it is a way to document changes in the balance sheet or income statement resulting from economic events that take place within an organization.
Types of Journal Entries
1. Cash Transaction
Cash transactions involve money being received (inflows) and spent (outflows). When recording cash flows into or out of your business, accountants use two accounts – cash-in-hand (assets) and cash at the bank (liabilities). For cash inflows, the amount must be added to both sides; similarly, for outflows, subtract from both sides accordingly.
2. Purchase Transaction
Purchase transactions involve buying goods on credit from suppliers or vendors against invoices raised by them. In this case, accountants use three accounts – Accounts Payable (liabilities), Purchases (expenses), and Cash/Bank Accounts (assets). The same process applies here too; add on one side (assets) and subtract on the other side (expenses & liabilities).
3. Sales Transaction
Sales transactions involve the sale of goods on credit against payment received after delivery of the goods to the customer against the sales invoice issued by the company. To accurately record sales transactions in journals, accountants use three accounts – accounts receivable (assets), sales revenue/revenue (income), and cost of goods sold (expenses). As always, add on one side while subtracting on another side respectively according to the type of account involved in a particular type of transaction i.e. debit/credit, accordingly depending on the type of transaction taking place.
4. Adjustment Entries
Occasionally, during the year-end closing process, adjustments may need to be made for expenses incurred but not paid, or for income earned but not yet recorded. Such entries are called adjusting entries, which basically consist of adding non-cash items or prepaid expenses with corresponding increases/decreases on the assets/expenses side.
5. Accrual entries
Accrual entries involve the recording of income earned but not yet invoiced or collected & expenses incurred but not yet paid. These entries generally include temporary current assets & liabilities, which are adjusted by a special adjusting entry at the end of the year, known as an accrual adjustment. Generally, there would be no change in the actual liability as it has already been expensed before, but the temporary asset is credited for recognition purposes until the invoice is later issued & collected.
6. Reversing entries
Reversing entries are required when some mistake has been made earlier while entering certain data like prepayments etc. where the full amount has been entered instead of half amount spread over two periods etc. thus reversing these mistakes can help in keeping the books more accurate & up to date so that correct figures can eventually be reported during audit time.
Entries help to make corrections where wrong amounts have been entered either under debit or credit side inadvertently, usually without knowing true facts about certain items wrongly entered in books, e.g. entering commission as part payments instead of only commission expenses, etc., thus helping to reconcile trial balance perfectly at year-end & avoid further complications/errors while preparing necessary reports like P&L statements, etc.
8. Closing Entries
Closing entries are made once all necessary adjustments like depreciation, amortization, deferred income, etc. have been made, then appropriate closing entries must be made, otherwise, all our reports will remain inaccurate, giving a false picture of the financial position and performance throughout the year, which could have disastrous results in the future, possibly even leading to bankruptcy eventually if it’s not checked!
With each different type of journal entry comes its own set of rules and regulations that need to be followed to create them correctly – whether it’s cash transactions, purchases, or sales revenue – understanding how these processes work will help ensure accurate reporting comes tax season each year so that businesses don’t find themselves in unnecessary trouble with the IRS!