A general journal is a daybook or subsidiary journal in which transactions relating to adjustment entries, opening stock, depreciation, accounting errors etc. are recorded. The source documents for general journal entries may be journal vouchers, copies of management reports and invoices. Journals are prime entry books, and may also be referred to as books of original entry, from when transactions were written in a journal before they were manually posted to accounts in the general ledger or a subsidiary ledger.
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It 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.
In manual accounting information systems, a variety of special journals may be used, such as a sales journal, purchase journal, cash receipts journal, disbursement journal, and a general journal. The transactions recorded in a general journal are those that do not qualify for entry in any special journal used by the organisation, such as non-routine or adjusting entries.