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8. Enter a General Journal Entry

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General Journal (GJ) entries are used to post accounting adjustments or transactions that do not directly affect the checkbook. A GJ entry always has a negative part and a positive part which exactly balance to zero. For example, to record depreciation, you could have a GJ entry with a negative amount for accumulated depreciation in an asset account, and a positive amount for the depreciation expense account.


To post a GJ entry choose option 7 and the following screen will appear:



Enter the Transaction Number:   99999999




Each entry requires a unique transaction number, which is not related to any bank or expense number. The program finds an available number but lets you change it if needed.




║  DESCRIPTION                                                                 ║

║                                                     TRANSACTION #: 99999999  ║

║                                                                              ║

║             ╔══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╗ ║

║             ║A General Journal entry adds up to zero. You have to enter a  ║ ║

║             ║negative number for one or more accounts, and enter a positive║ ║

║             ║number for one or more accounts. To run a GJ report, choose   ║ ║

║    DATE     ║the checkbook reports option and change the For Bank Accounts ║ ║

║  12/31/99   ║option to read GENERAL JOURNAL ENTRIES.                       ║ ║

║             ╚══════════════════════════════════════════════════════════════╝ ║





Type in a description and date for the journal entry.




                                       ║ Enter the expense code and the portion║

EXPENSE CODE   AMOUNT                  ║ of that expense in the corresponding  ║

════════════   ═════════               ║ Amount entry field. To divide an      ║

__________          0.00               ║ expense between other accounts, enter ║

──────────     ─────────               ║ an amount LESS THAN the total and the ║

──────────     ─────────               ║ balance will be transferred to the    ║

──────────     ─────────               ║ next line.  Delete the code and press ║

                                       ║ the down arrow to use no expense code ║

                                       ║ for this transaction                  ║





Next you can enter up to four expense codes with amounts that must add up to zero. This means that at least one of the four entries must be positive and at least one must be negative. For example, if you wanted to record $85.00 of payroll tax expense with three types of tax, you could enter the transaction similarly to the below:


$85.00— Salary & Wages

-$50.00— Federal Withholding

-$25.00— State Withholding

-$10.00— Fica


$ 0.00— Net journal entry = zero


If you had more than three taxes to record, you would have to post more than one journal entry. For example, you could enter another one such as:


$15.00— Salary & Wages

-$ 8.00— State Disability Insurance

-$ 7.00— Medicare


$ 0.00— Net journal entry = zero


Note that the Wages & Salary account will be posted for a total of $500.00 ($400 from the net wages check, $85.00 from the first journal entry, $15.00 from the second journal entry). The liability accounts will be posted for a total of $100 ($85.00 from the first journal entry, $15.00 from the second journal entry.)


If you have several checks to post this way, you could post one check for the net amount of each check, and just one set of two general journal entries to account for the combined deductions. This would avoid having to make separate journal entries for each payroll check.


The example above is for payroll journal entries, but GJ entries are in no way restricted to payroll.


See the appendix for more details on breaking down a transaction into different expense codes. After you have entered the accounts and amounts, you will be asked to confirm the transaction:



            Do you want to Accept, Cancel or Re-enter?  <Esc>=Quit




Press <A> to accept this information, <C> to cancel the entry, or <R> to re-type any of the information above.


If you press <A> or <C>, the following message will appear:



            Do you want to make another transaction? No Yes  <Esc>=Quit




To enter another transaction, press <Y> and repeat this step. If you press <N>, the menu in step 1 will appear.