Chapter 5

Keeping Journals

In This Chapter

arrow Starting things off with point of original entry

arrow Tracking cash, sales, and purchases

arrow Posting to the appropriate accounts

arrow Simplifying the journals process with computers

When it comes to doing your books, you must start somewhere. You could take a shortcut and just list every transaction in the affected accounts, but after recording hundreds and maybe thousands of transactions in just one month, imagine what a nightmare you’d face if your books didn’t balance and you had to find the error. It would be like looking for a needle in a haystack — a haystack of numbers!

Because you enter every transaction in two places — that is, as a debit in one account and a credit in another account — in a double-entry bookkeeping system, you need to have a place where you can easily match those debits and credits. (For more on the double-entry system, flip to Chapter 2.)

Long ago, bookkeepers developed a system of journals to give businesses a starting point for each transaction. In this chapter, I introduce you to the process of journalizing your transactions; ...

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