Sales journal

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Sales journal
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Sales journal (also known as the debtors subsidiary journal) is one of documents of special journals. It is used in an accounting system to record credit sells. A sales journal is used to organize transactions for merchandise sold on store credit.

Entries in Sales Journal

Each entry in sales journal should cointain: date, customer's name, invoice number, the price of the merchandise, the sales tax charged. Entries are posted in the accounts receivable ledger because all of them have an affect on the customer's account. Entries are entered in the journal while the invoice is being prepared. Some companies keep copies of invoices in binders, and these binders are theirs sales journals.

Columns in Sales Journal

Sales journal has seven columns with information about:

  • Date of transaction
  • Invoice number for the sale
  • Costumer Account Debited (name of the customer)
  • PR (post reference) - this column is filled at the end of the month, it indicates where transactions will be posted at the end of a month.
  • Accounts Receivable Debit - increases to the accounts receivable debit
  • Sales tax payable credit - increase in the Sales tax payable general ledger account.
  • Sales Credit - increases to the Sales account

With these three last columns each sale can be recorded on one line.

Date Inv. No. Costumer Account Debited PR Accounts Receivable Debit (in dollars) Sales Tax Payable Credit (in dollars) Sales Credit (in dollars)
1/3/19 233 B. Keating 220 20 200
3/3/19 234 G. Smith 330 30 300
6/3/19 235 J. Jones 210 10 200

Each invoice in sales journal has to be precisely recorded in each costumer's account to know who and how much to bill. The bookkeeper must be careful not to mistake the amounts by accident.

Posting from the Sales Journal

Posting sales journal transactions to a general ledger is always done at the end of each month while posting to the subsidiary ledger is done every day.

Posting to the Accounts Receivable Ledger

To post from the sales journal to the accounts receivable ledger:

  1. Find the costumer's account in accounts receivable ledger
  2. enter the date of a transaction
  3. enter invoice number
  4. enter the amount in "Debit"
  5. enter page number of Sales Journal in PR column
  6. enter a checkmark in PR column at sales journal

Posting to the General Ledger

We have to post post totals of Accounts Receivable Debit, Sales Tax Payable Credit and Sales Credit from sales journal to general ledger. In the sales account in general ledger:

  1. enter the date of the last transaction
  2. enter the total of a Sales Credit column
  3. enter page number of Sales Journal in PR column
  4. calculate and write the new account balance in the Balance Debit or Credit column
  5. write the general ledger number in the sales journal


Author: Emilia Zapart