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Record a journal entry

In QuickBooks Desktop, you can use journal entries to:

  • Enter transactions in the traditional system of accounting using debits and credits in a general journal or ledger.
  • Transfer amounts from one income or expense account to another.
  • Transfer amounts from an asset, liability, or equity account to an income or expense account.
  • Transfer amounts from one class to another.
  • Enter miscellaneous transactions to complete year-end activities.

To create a journal entry:

When making journal entries, you need to know which account receives the debit and the credit side of transaction. It is best that you consult your accountant or accounting professional for guidance before creating journal entries.

  1. From the QuickBooks Company menu, choose Make General Journal Entries.
  2. (Optional) In the Make General Journal Entries window, change the Date field.
  3. The Entry No. should automatically populate. If not, type a number for your journal entries. QuickBooks Desktop will automatically number subsequent journal entries.
  4. Enter the General Journal Entry details.
    1. Enter or select the first account in your transaction. If you are using an A/R (accounts receivable) or A/P (accounts payable) account, the first account in the General Journal transaction should be the AR or AP account.
    2. Enter the debit or credit amount for the account you selected in step a.
    3. (Optional) Type a memo describing the transaction. This memo will appear on reports and will include the General Journal entry.
    4. Enter or select the Customer, Vendor, Employee, or Other name associated with the transaction. This is required if you use A/R or A/P accounts.
    5. (Optional) If you selected an Expense account along with a customer or job, you can make the amount billable to the customer by checking the Billable column.
    6. (Optional) Assign a class to the amount.
    7. Repeat steps 4a through 4e to enter distribution lines until the transaction reaches a zero balance. The total in the Debit column should be equal to the total in the Credit column.
  5. Click Save & Close to save the journal entry and close the window or click Save & New to save the journal entry and create a new one.

  • If you want the journal entry information to show in the Vendor or Customer Center, the entry impacting the customer or vendor must be on the first line of the journal entry. You cannot have multiple customers and/or vendors on a single journal entry and have the detail show in the Customer or Vendor center.
  • You will see additional features on the Make General Journal Entries window depending on the QuickBooks Desktop edition you are using.
    • Premier: Debit and Credit Totals
    • Enterprise and Accountant: Debit and Credit Totals and List of Selected Journal Entries