Journal Proper

Journal Proper:

Learning Objectives:

  1. Define and explain journal proper.

  2. When a journal proper is used?

Definition and Explanation:

Journal proper is 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 miscellaneous journal. The form and procedure for maintaining this journal is the same that of simple journal.

The use of journal proper is confined to record the following transactions:-

  1. Opening entries

  2. Closing entries

  3. Transfer entries

  4. Adjustment entries

  5. Rectification entries

  6. Entries for which there is no special journal

  7. Entries for rare transactions

Opening Entries:

When a businessman wants to open the book for a new year, it is necessary to Journalise the various assets and liabilities before the new accounts are opened in the ledger. The journal entries so passed are called  “opening entries”. Suppose a businessman opens a new set of books on January 1, 1991 with cash in hand $100, debtors $200, stock in trade $320, machinery $700, furniture $150, bank loan $300, capital $1,070 the respective opening entry in the journal will be:

Sundry debtors
Stock in trade
Furniture & fitting
     To Sundry creditors
To Bank loan
To Capital
(Being the incorporation of assets and liabilities at this date)

Closing Entries:

When the books are balanced at the close of the accounting period with a view to paper final accounts it is necessary that balance of all the income and expenses accounts must be transferred to trading and profit and loss account. The process of transferring balances to the trading and profit and loss account at the end of year is called closing the books and entries passed at that time are called closing entries. For example on 31st December, 1991 the balance in expenses accounts are: Salary $500; rent $200; Stationary $50; legal charges $100; and income accounts are: commission received $50. These balance will be recorded in profit and loss account though the following closing entries:

Profit and loss account
To Salary
To Rent
To Stationary
To Legal charges

(Being the closing entry)

Commission received account
To Profit and loss account

(Being the closing entry)


Transfer Entries:

When accounts are transferred from one account to another for combination of allied items, it is necessary to pass transfer entry. For example, Drawings $500 is transferred from the drawings account to the capital account to find out the net capital. The transfer entry will be passed as follows:

Capital Account
To Drawings account

(Being the transfer entry)

Adjusting Entries:

Modification of the accounts at the end of an accounting period is called adjustments. If there be any event affecting the related period of accounts but left out of the books, the same should be incorporated in the books before the preparation of the final accounts. This is done by means of adjusting entries through the journal proper. For example at the end of the year it is found that rent $50 is outstanding. It is not recorded in the books. It will be taken into account by means of adjusting entry which is as follows:

Rent account
To Outstanding rent account
(Being outstanding rent recorded)

Rectification Entries:

When an error is detected in the books, the same is rectified through an entry in the journal proper; thus is called rectification entry. For example, it was detected that an expenditure of $ 100 on repair to building was charged to building account. It is corrected through the following entry in the journal proper:

Building repair account
To Building account

Entries of Which There is No Special Journal:

When a trader cannot record the entries in the above mentioned sub-journals, the same are entered in the journal proper. The common transactions which cannot be recorded in any of the book of original entry are:

  • Distribution of goods as free sample.

  • Distribution of goods as charity.

  • Goods destroyed by fire.

  • Goods stolen away by employees.

  • Exchange of one asset for another asset etc.

Entries for Rare Transactions:

In a business it may happen sometimes that transactions are usually rare. Journal proper is used for such rare transactions.

You may also be interested in other articles from “subdivision of journal” chapter:

  1. Definition and Explanation of Cash Book
  2. Single Column Cash Book
  3. Two Column Cash Book/Double Column Cash Book
  4. Three Column Cash Book
  5. Bank Reconciliation Statement
  6. Petty Cash Book
  7. Purchases Day Book
  8. Purchases Returns Book
  9. Sales Day Book
  10. Sales Returns Book
  11. Bills Receivable Book
  12. Bills Payable Book
  13. Journal Proper

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