Most financial transactions are posted to the general ledger through dedicated business documents, such as purchase invoices and sales orders. For business activities that are not represented by a document in Financials, such as smaller expenses or cash receipts, you can create the related transactions by posting journal lines in the General Journal window. For more information, see How to: Post Transactions Directly to the General Ledger.
For example, you can post employees' expenditure of own money on business-related expenses, for later reimbursement. For more information, see How to: Record and Reimburse Employees' Expenses.
You use general journals to post financial transactions directly to general ledger accounts and other accounts, such as bank, customer, vendor, and employee accounts. Posting with a general journal always creates entries on general ledger accounts. This is true even when, for example, you post a journal line to a customer account, because an entry is posted to a general ledger receivables account through a posting group.
The information that you enter in a journal is temporary and can be changed while it is in the journal. When you post the journal, the information is transferred to entries on individual accounts, where it cannot be changed. You can, however, unapply posted entries, and you can post reversing or correcting entries. For more information, see How to: Reverse Postings.
Using Journal Templates and Batches
There are several general journal templates. Each journal template is represented by a dedicated window with particular functions and the fields that are required to support those functions, such as the Payment Reconciliation Journal window to process bank payments and the Payment Journal window to pay your vendors or reimburse your employees. For more information, see Make Payments and How to: Reconcile Customer Payments Manually.
For each journal template, you can set up your own personal journal as a journal batch. For example, you can define your own journal batch for the payment journal that has your personal layout and settings. The following tip is an example of how to personalize a journal.
If you select the Suggest Balancing Amount check box on the line for your batch in the General Journal Batches window, then the Amount field on, for example, general journal lines for the same document number is automatically prefilled with the value that is required to balance the document. For more information, see Letting Financials Suggest Values.
Understanding Main Accounts and Balancing Accounts
If you have set up default balancing accounts for the journal batches on the General Journals page, the balancing account will be filled in automatically when you fill in the Account No. field. Otherwise, fill in both the Account No. field and the Bal. Account No. field manually. A positive amount in the Amount field is debited to the main account and credited to the balancing account. A negative amount is credited to the main account and debited to the balancing account.
VAT is calculated separately for the main account and the balancing account, so they can use different VAT percentage rates.
Working with Recurring journals
A recurring journal is a general journal with specific fields for managing transactions that you post frequently with few or no changes. Using these fields for recurring transactions, you can post both fixed and variable amounts. You can also specify automatic reversal entries for the day after the posting date and use allocation keys with the recurring entries.
Working with Standard Journals
When you have created journal lines which you know you are likely to create again later, you can save them as a standard journal before you post the journal. This functionality applies to item journals and general journals.
The following procedure refers to the item journal, but the information also applies to the general journal.
To save a standard journal
- Choose the icon, enter Item Journals, and then choose the related link.
- Enter one or more journal lines.
- Select the journal lines that you want to reuse.
- Choose the Save as Standard Journal action.
In the Save as Standard Item Journal request window, define a new or existing standard item journal that the lines should be saved in.
If you have already created one or more standard item journals and you want to replace one of these with the new set of item journal lines, in the Code field, select the code you want.
- Choose the OK button to verify that you want to overwrite the existing standard item journal and replace all its content.
- Select the Save Unit Amount field if you want to save the values in the Unit Amount field of the standard item journal.
- Select the Save Quantity field if you want the program to save the values in the Quantity field.
- Choose the OK button to save the standard item journal.
When you have finished saving the standard item journal, the Item Journal window is displayed so you can proceed to post it, knowing that it can easily be recreated next time you need to post the same or similar lines.
To reuse a standard journal
- Choose the icon, enter Item Journals, and then choose the related link.
Choose the Get Standard Journals action.
The Standard Item Journals window opens showing codes and descriptions for all existing standard item journals.
To review a standard item journal before you select it for reuse, choose the Show Journal action.
Any changes you make in a standard item journal are implemented right away. They will be there next time you open or reuse the standard item journal in question. You should therefore be sure that the change is important enough to apply generally. Otherwise, make the specific change in the item journal after the standard item journal lines have been inserted. See step 4 below.
In the Standard Item Journals window, select the standard item journal you want to reuse, and then choose the OK button.
Now the item journal is filled with the lines you saved as the standard item journal. If journal lines already existed in the item journal, the inserted lines will be placed under the existing journal lines.
If you did not check the Save Unit Amount field when you used the Save as Standard Item Journal function job, then the Unit Amount field on lines that are inserted from the standard journal is automatically filled with the item’s current value, copied from the Unit Cost field on the item card.
If you selected the Save Unit Amount or Save Quantity fields, you should now make sure the inserted values are correct for this particular inventory adjustment before you post the item journal.
If the inserted item journal lines contain saved unit amounts that you do not want to post, you can quickly adjust it to the current value of the item as follows.
Select the item journal lines you want to adjust, and then choose the Recalculate Unit Amount action. This will update the Unit Amount field with the current unit cost of the item.
- Choose the post action.
To renumber document numbers in journals
To make sure that you do not receive posting errors because of the document number order, you can use the Renumber Document Numbers function before you post a journal.
In all journals that are based on the general journal, the Document No. field is editable so that you can specify different document numbers for different journal lines or the same document number for related journal lines.
If the No. Series field on the journal batch is filled, then the posting function in general journals requires that the document number on individual or grouped journal lines be in sequential order. To make sure that you do not receive posting errors because of the document number order, you can use the Renumber Document Numbers function before you post the journal. If related journal lines were grouped by document number before you used the function, they will remain grouped but may be assigned a different document number.
This function also works on filtered views.
Any renumbering of document numbers will respect related applications, such as a payment application that has been made from the document on the journal line to a vendor account. Accordingly, the Applies-to ID and Applies-to Doc. No. fields on the affected ledger entries may be updated.
The following procedure is based on the General Journal window, but applies to all other journals that are based on the general journal, such as the Payment Journal window.
- Choose the icon, enter General Journals, and then choose the related link.
- When you are ready to post the journal, choose the Renumber Document Numbers action.
Values in the Document No. field are changed, where required, so that the document number on individual or grouped journal lines are in sequential order. After documents are renumbered, you can proceed to post the journal.