When it comes to accounting division, there are various books that are used to maintain or enter the transaction details that will be used as a reference in future. Hence here comes one of the most important books that are used for accounting. This is the book that will be used for prime entry. This means that any transaction or any detail will be given an entry to this book at the first time. This is called as Journals.
So whenever a transaction starts, the type of transactions may vary into debit or credit to the accounting department, but still all the records will be given a first time entry into this book and the book is generally called as journal. One of the most important characteristic or generally a strict rule for entry in a journal is that the date has to be filled in. Whatever the type and means of transaction, there is a clear cut requirement to fill in the date first as recommended in the format of a journal. The reason behind this is that during future reference, date is very important in order to attack or counter attack any situation of confusion that prevails.
Also the details will have to be entered into the ledger which makes it even more complicated if the transaction date is not mentioned. A brief description is usually written on a journal. This provides a better clarity about the type of transaction that has been done. This clarity will be very much needed in order to understand about the transaction whether it is an investment or whether it is a rental fee or any other type. So this document will be a clear cut input for writing a ledger. The drawback about this book is that it sometimes becomes difficult to readily understand the relevant information. The final accounts will usually not be directly prepared from the journal. It is very difficult for one to test the accuracy of the books. Usually there will be typical columns available in the journal and it is a usual case that debit and credit amounts will be provided an adjacent column to be recorded. The journal will generally not be in balanced condition.
Nowadays the accounting has been computerized and it is difficult to use a journal for general routine transactions such as purchase, receipt, sales and others. Usually the information from the journal will be recorded directly on to the ledger or may be entered in various sub ledgers from which again the information will be transferred to the main general ledger. But there are also cases where the information is directly transferred to the main ledger. The important aspect of this document is maintaining the transaction with respect to the exact date that happened. There are varieties of journals such as cash receipt journal, sales journal, general journal and cash disbursement journal in which each belong to their own category.