Journal Proper or General Journal

Journal Proper is mainly used for original records of a transaction which due to their importance or rareness of occurrence do not find a place in any of the subsidiary books of accounting. It is also known as a Miscellaneous Journal and it looks much like any other journal.


Sample Format of a Journal Proper

Journal Proper Format


Types of entries that are entered in the journal proper:

  1. Opening Entries
  2. Closing Entries
  3. Rectification Entries
  4. Transfer Entries
  5. Adjustment Entries
  6. Miscellaneous Entries


 Opening Entries

As the name suggests, opening entries are recorded in the beginning of a financial period. The balances mentioned in the balance sheet of the previous year are brought forward by recording the liabilities, capital and assets from the previous year.



The rule to be applied to make an opening entry is

 Assets A/C  Debit
   To Liabilities A/C  Credit
   To Capital A/C  Credit


Sample Format of an Opening Entry in a Journal Proper

 Date  Particulars  LF.  Debit  Credit
 mm/dd  Cash A/C    35,000  
   Furniture A/C    15,000  
     To Sundry Creditors A/C      24,000
     To Capital A/C      26,000


All amounts mentioned in the sample format are the closing balances of the previous year balance sheet.


Closing Entries

Almost the opposite of the opening entries, they are recorded at the end of a financial period; closing entries are related to nominal accounts. These accounts are closed by transferring their balances to trading and profit and loss accounts. A record is not included in the ledger without a journal entry, so closing entries are recorded with the help of a journal proper and then recorded in the ledger.



 Profit & Loss A/C  Debit
   To Salaries A/C  Credit


At the end of a period Salary account is closed by transferring its balance to profit and loss account.


Rectification Entries

In the world of accounting erasing or removing a journal entry once recorded is a strict NO!. Mistakes should only be corrected by passing another entry in the journal.



A purchase for 10,000 was omitted by mistake, it belonged to Unreal Pvt Ltd.

Rectification entry in this case will be

 Purchase A/C  10,000
   To Unreal Pvt Ltd.  10,000


Transfer Entries

In simple terms, the transfer entry is used to transfer an item from one account into another. All such transfers are made with the help of journal entries.



Let us take an example where a general reserve is created for a business by transferring 5,00,000 from the profits.

 Date  Particulars  LF.  Debit  Credit
 mm/dd  Profit & Loss A/C     5,00,000   
     To General Reserve      5,00,000



Adjustment Entries

The amount of expenses or incomes may need to be adjusted for advances paid or received at the end of a financial period, these types of adjustments are made with the help of a journal entry. They are very common during the end of an accounting period. Adjustment entries are mainly used for accrual or depreciation related entries.



There are outstanding wages of 50,000 which need to be accounted for

 Date  Particulars  LF.  Debit  Credit
 mm/dd  Wages A/C     50,000  
     To Outstanding Wages A/C      50,000



Miscellaneous or Other Entries

In addition to the above entries there are other entries that can be recorded in a journal proper. They are:

  • Discount allowed and received
  • Purchase or sale of items on credit other than goods
  • Effects of accidents such as losses due to fire
  • Consignment and joint venture transactions
  • Endorsement and dishonor of bills of exchange
  • Transaction for goods distributed as samples
  • Sale of obsolete assets