General journal

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The general journal is where double entry bookkeeping entries are recorded by debiting one or more accounts and crediting another one or more accounts with the same total amount. The total amount debited and the total amount credited should always be equal, thereby ensuring the accounting equation is maintained.[1]

Depending on the business's accounting information system, specialized journals may be used in conjunction with the general journal for record-keeping. In such case, use of the general journal may be limited to non-routine and adjusting entries.


A general journal entry includes:

  1. The date of the transaction;
  2. Titles of the accounts debited and credited;
  3. The amount of each debit and credit; and,
  4. An explanation of the transaction also known as a Narration.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jerry J. Weygandt; Paul D. Kimmel; Donald E. Kieso (4 May 2010). Accounting Principles, Peachtree Complete Accounting Workbook. John Wiley & Sons. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-470-38667-5. Retrieved 6 April 2012.