Chapter 16. Making Journal Entries

Intuit claims that you don’t need to know double-entry accounting (Accounting Basics: The Important Stuff) to use QuickBooks. Most of the time, that’s true. When you write checks, receive payments, and perform many other tasks in QuickBooks, the program unobtrusively handles the double-entry accounting for you. But every once in a while, QuickBooks transactions can’t help, and your only choice is moving money around directly between accounts.

In the accounting world, these direct manipulations are known as journal entries. For example, if you posted income to your only income account but have since decided that you need several income accounts to track the money you make, journal entries are the mechanism for transporting money from that original income account to the new ones.

The steps for creating a journal entry are deceptively easy; it’s assigning money to accounts in the correct way that’s maddeningly difficult for weekend accountants. And unfortunately, QuickBooks doesn’t have any magic looking glass that makes those assignments crystal clear. This chapter gets you started by showing you how to create journal entries and providing examples of journal entries you’re likely to need.


In the accounting world, you’ll hear the term “journal entry” and see it abbreviated JE. Although QuickBooks uses the term “general journal entry” and the corresponding abbreviation GJE, both terms and abbreviations refer to the same account register changes. ...

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