A journal entry, in accounting, is a logging of transaction into accounting journal items. The journal entry can consist of several recordings, each of which is either a debit or a credit. The total of the debits must equal the total of the credits or the journal entry is said to be "unbalanced". Journal entries can record unique items or recurring items such as depreciation or bond amortization. In accounting software, journal entries are usually entered using a separate module from accounts payable, which typically has its own subledger that indirectly affects the general ledger. As a result, journal entries directly change the account balances on the general ledger.
Recording a journal entry
Some data commonly included in journal entries are: Journal entry number; batch number; type (recurring vs. nonrecurring); amount of money, name, auto-reversing; date; accounting period; and description. The accounts to be credited are indented. Typically, accounting software imposes strict limits on the number of characters in the description; a limit of about 30 characters is not uncommon. This allows all the data for a particular transaction in a journal entry to be displayed on one row.