About journal entries

Journal entries are entries that record business transactions. You can record almost all your business transactions by journal entry. However, in Microsoft Office Accounting, you commonly use journal entries to record special transactions that are not already covered by invoices, bills, checks, or other forms. For example, you can enter an account opening balance, record depreciation charges, record sales of assets, adjust previously recorded entries, or enter CPA adjustments. You can also make changes to accounts receivables, accounts payables, and sales tax. Inventory assets cannot be adjusted on a journal entry. You must make changes on the Adjust Inventory Quantity and Value form.

In a Journal Entry form, you must enter both debit and credit amounts. Debits and credits must appear on separate lines, and the debit and credit totals must equal each other for the entry to be recorded. If you attempt to save an entry, and the debits and credits do not equal, a warning message appears. For example, if you purchased a truck for your company for $5,000 and paid for it by check, you could debit your company's Vehicles account for $5,000 and credit your checking account for $5,000. If you paid $3,000 toward the cost of the truck by check and the rest using a VISA card, you would credit your company's checking account for $3,000 and, on a separate line, credit a VISA liability account for $2,000. In either instance, debits would equal credits.

Frequent tasks

To learn about common tasks related to journal entries, click the following links.

Topic link


Make, edit, or void a journal entry

Learn how to make, edit, or void a journal entry.

Note: After you make a journal entry, you cannot delete it. If an entry is not valid, you can only edit it or mark it void.

Journal entry list

View all journal entries.

Transaction History report

View the Transaction History report, which details the status of the selected journal entry.

Transaction Journal report

View the Transaction Journal report, which shows the complete journal entry.

Cash-basis Journal Entry form

Learn about cash-basis journal entries.

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