Today marks the start of your life in senior high school, as a freshman. And as just like every fresh start, it also gives you another set of strange and unfamiliar things to contend with. The most common of those are, of course, new teachers and new subjects that only the creator knows where they came from. Among the subjects that are entirely alien to you is bookkeeping and, of course, astrophysics. One day, just like any other day, your bookkeeping teacher introduced you to the basic principles of bookkeeping, the accounting process, and, most importantly, the preparation of a general journal. Having gone through an extensive, information overload earlier that day, you did the thousand-yard stare at your bedroom ceiling, recounting all the gibberish your bookkeeping teacher bombarded you, as much as you possibly can.
What is General Journal Forms?
A General Journal Form is an accounting form used to record all transactions in real-time. This form is also known as the book of original entry. It is because this is where transactions are first registered or logged. Entries in the general journal include both cash and accrual transactions derived from sales income, expenses, and debts. Preparing a General Journal is the first thing that bookkeepers learn in order to give them a basic understanding of how other accounts, ledgers, statements, and sheets are prepared.
FREE 5+ General Journal Forms in Excel
1. Sample General Journal Entry Template
2. General Journal Entry Sheet Template
3. Sample General Journal Form
4. General Ledger Journal Form Template
5. General Ledger Journal Entry Template
6. Actuals General Journal Entry Template
Examples of Transactions Recorded in a General Journal
General Journals are also called the original books of entry because this is where transactions are first logged and recorded. It is in general journals that ledger accounts and t-accounts derive their entries. General journals are one of the basic and key components in the accounting cycle and process. This is because the general journal is the first one to receive transactions before they are transferred into their respective accounts using the transfer entry method. General Journals are maintained using the double-entry system, and transactions are entered with at least two accounts.
General journals record transactions in chronological order. What it does is that it provides some of the owner’s cash-flow history. Aside from being recorded chronologically, general journals also record the date of the transaction, the amount involved, and the nature of the transaction made. And contrary to popular belief, general journals record not only sales but also other transactions as well. Those transactions are listed and define as follows:
1. Adjusting Entries
Adjusting entries are types of journal entries that compare the actual amount, gained or lost, from the amount recorded. Adjusting entries are made in order to correct any discrepancies in the account. This is done so that the amount in each account are balanced out. Adjusting entries are also used in adjusting entries in t-accounts and ledger accounts.
Depreciation is described as the periodic reduction of an asset’s value due to reasons such as wear and tear. It mostly affects assets such as vehicles, buildings, machinery, and equipment. Deprecation are usually determined by the percentage amount of depreciation divided by the years the machine has been used. To illustrate, here is the equation for computing an asset’s depreciation using the straight-line method.
Depreciation Expense = % amount of depreciation / Useful Life of the Asset in Years
Depreciation is usually entered as an expense in journals, wherein cash is credited while depreciation is debited.
3. Bad Debts
Bad Debts are listed as expenses in journal entries. They are sales transactions made on credit or accounts receivables that have no hope of being collected. They are also listed as bad debts expense or uncollectible accounts expense in income statements.
4. Sale of an Asset used in the Business
Sale of an asset used in the business are sales transactions involving the sale of capital goods such as vehicles, buildings, machinery, and equipment. It could either be recorded using the simple-entry method, provided that the asset hasn’t qualified for depreciation. If the value of the asset is depreciating, then a compound entry has to be made so that the amount of depreciation will be included in the entry.
How to Prepare a General Journal Form
Being a senior highschool freshman who just went through an extensive, information overload due to the alien nature of bookkeeping and its cohorts, and, recounting all the things discussed by your teacher earlier, has been a struggle for you. One of the things that you’ve been struggling with is about the preparation of a General Journal Form. To relieve the stress brought forth by the information overload that you’ve experienced earlier, here are the steps on how to prepare a General Journal Form.
Step 1. Download a General Journal Form Template
First and foremost, download a General Journal Form Template provided in this article. To start, choose from a wide variety of ready-made templates, choose the template that best fits your needs. Although you’re already provided a general journal in your practice kit, it is still best to download a General Journal Form Template so that you’ll use up all the forms that came with it. You may also want to download an accounts receivable template for the same reason above.
Step 2. Print the General Journal Form Template
Print the General Journal Form Template right after choosing the one that suits your needs. These ready-made templates are printer friendly, so printing your practice General Journal Form will be easy using your home printer. If possible, print multiple copies of the practice General Journal Form so that you would have enough forms to use, aside from the ones in your practice kit.
Step 3. Collect all the Mock Documents
After printing your practice General Journal Form, the next thing to do is to collect the sample receipts included in your practice kit. A bookkeeping practice kit contains a mock version of all the needed bookkeeping documents such as mock sales receipts. Your mock documents contain all the information that you need in filling in your practice General Journal Form.
Step 4. Answer the General Journal Form
After printing your General Journal Form and collecting all your mock documents from your practice kit, proceed in answering the form right away. To start, you must first know which information you should write on the debit and credit section of the form. To give you a slight idea, debits are equivalent to an increase while credits are to decrease.
Step 5. Review your Work
Review your work after you’re done answering the General Journal Form. If you’re not sure about the correctness of your answers, have your bookkeeping teacher take a look at it. It is of utmost importance to ensure the correctness and accuracy of information entered in your General Journal Form. Knowing how to accurately fill a General Journal Form will help you better manage your finances in the future.
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