The Journal Proper in the accounting system can be defined as the book for the entry for the transactions done in credit and all of these usually are not entered in other books. This is done in a chronological order i.e. all the credit transactions are recorded in the book in a proper order. The procedure and the form for the maintenance of such journals are similar to that of a simple journal.
The account balance can be defined as the amount of money that a user has in the financial repository, for example, a savings or checking account in a particular given moment. This amount is the net or total amount after factoring in credits and debits. When an account balance falls below zero then it is said to represent debt e.g. an overdraft is done on a checking account. For accounts that have recurring bills like electricity bills or a mortgage, the account balance can reflect such amounts which are owed by the account holder.
The journal entries consist of many different elements which include:
Header which has the dates the entries have been made.
Reference numbers or the journal entry number which can be used as an index and in the future retrieved or referred whenever it is required.
Number of the account where transactions take place and the name of the owner who holds the account. The records are written in the first column.
The amounts of debit are entered in the 2nd column.
In the 3rd column, the credit column is entered.
The footer has the description of the entries done in the journal.
All original records of a transaction are needed which helps an organization to keep a track of its activities. These original records are at times misplaced. However, important and rare transactions cannot be compromised. Few transactions (subsidiary transactions) do get recorded in the other books and hence to jot it down in one single book, these original records are recorded in Journal Proper (subsidiary book) and the Accounts are subsequently balanced.
Journal Proper Meaning
Journal Proper or General Journal is a simple book of chronological records of business transactions. This book of original entry (simple Journal) in which miscellaneous credit transactions which do not fit in any other books are recorded. It is also called a miscellaneous Journal. The form and procedure for maintaining this Journal are the same as that of a simple Journal.
Only those transactions, which cannot be conveniently recorded in any of the other books of original entry i.e., subsidiary books or which are not sufficiently numerous to necessitate a special book being devised for them, are recorded in this book.
The Use of Journal Proper is Confined to Record the Following Transactions
Entries for which there is no special Journal
Entries for rare transactions
Uses of Journal Proper
Journal Proper is used for recording the following entries:
Opening Entries: Entries passed to open a new set of books by an entity which is either starting a new business or continuing business to open a new set of books at the beginning of an accounting period.
Transfer Entries: For transfer of any amount from one account to another.
Credit purchase and sale of fixed assets.
Rectification Entries: Entries needed to rectify errors in the books of accounts.
Adjusting Entries: Entries needed before preparation of final accounts for items like accruals, prepayments, depreciation etc.
Closing Entries: Entries needed to transfer the balances of nominal accounts to the Trading and Profit and Loss Account at the end of an accounting period.
Any other entries of irregular nature for which no special book of original entry is available. E.g. write off of bad debts, the allowance to debtors, abnormal losses etc.
Journal Proper Format
Journal Proper which is used for original records of an important and rare transaction which does not find a place in any of the subsidiary books of accounting is shown in Journal Proper. It is also known as a Miscellaneous Journal and it looks much like any other Journal. The distinct format of the same is shown below:
Types of Journal Proper
There are numerous subsidiary transactions which are to be recorded in different books. Hence each type of book is required to note down the different set of transactions. The types of Journal Proper to record the sets of subsidiary transactions are:
Opening Entry: Opening entries are passed in the journal for bringing the beginning balances of various assets, liabilities and capital which are presented on the balance sheet.
Closing Entries: Closing Entries are passed in the journal for closing the nominal accounts by transferring them to the Trading and Profit & Loss Account. Closing entries to be passed at the end of the accounting year when the financial statements are prepared.
Transferring Entries: Transferring entries are passed to transfer an amount from one account to another account.
Adjusting Entries: Adjusting Entries are passed in the journal for unrecorded items like closing stock, depreciation of fixed stock outstanding and prepaid items. Adjusting entries are passed at the time of preparing the final accounts of the company.
Rectifying Entries: To rectify the various errors, a company has passed rectifying entries. Errors are usually committed at the time of posting, totalling, balancing etc.
Miscellaneous Entries: Besides the above entries, there are some entries to be passed in the journal which does not often happen in the organization.
Example of Journal Proper
Prepare the Journal Proper for the M/s A&B ltd. for March-2018. All the transaction related to the journal proper are shown below
However, the Journal Proper book is the book where day to day business transactions are not recorded. This book records all the necessary expenditure which is required to close the books of accounts and prepare the final accounts. Journal Proper book is the part and parcel elements to present an accurate and exact picture of the company.