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Specialized Journals


Specialized journals are used alongside general journals to record and post a business’s most frequent financial transactions. Instead of recording all information to the general journal, specialized journals are utilized for time and efficiency’s sake. Because a specialized journal records the most frequent transactions, the types of specialized journals vary by business.

However, common types include revenue and expense journals. Revenue journals commonly include sales journals and cash receipts journals. Expense journals commonly include purchases journals and cash payments journals.

Sales journals are a type of revenue journal which deals with credited sales. The sales journal lists all credit sales made by the business in chronological order. The source for this information is invoices. This journal features double entry accounting, balancing debits (a debtor’s account) and credits (sale account). The debtor’s account deals with increasing current assets, while the sales account deals with increasing income.

Cash receipts journals deal with cash payments, the sources of which would be receipts and check stubs. This journal monitors the cash received by a business, crediting sales and debiting cash.

Purchase journals are a type of expense journal which details credited purchases, the sources of which would be invoices. Cash payments journals deal with cash payments, the sources of which would be receipts and check stubs. This journal monitors cash expensed or withdrawn by a business, with the exception being payroll.

Additional journals include payroll journals, which record salaries and wages. Sales return & allowances journals record returned sales and sales allowances. Purchase returns & allowances journals record purchase returns and purchased allowances.

Whenever transactions occur and a specialized journal is used, a source document is created, detailing the transaction. This document may include a receipt section, which shows when cash or checks were received. An invoice could be included, detailing the name and address of the business, date of service, type of goods purchased, and cost. Also included could be a purchase order, deposit slip, or cancelled check. The purpose of a source document is to create a paper trail for both accounting and potential auditing purposes.

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