BUAD 111, Okanagan College

Chapter 8: Special Journals and Posting
The special journal system
The special journal system refers to one in which several columnar journals are used in conjunction with a general journal in a manual system. Although most accounting systems are computerized today, it is very useful to learn how a special journal system works because: • • • You will learn how to post a columnar journal to the ledgers There are still some manual special journal systems around today (synoptic)1 Some computer software packages have an interface resembling special journals

Although an individual company can design its own set of particular special journals to suit its specialized needs, a typical special journal system is comprised of: Name of journal Sales Journal Cash Receipts Journal Purchases Journal Cash Disbursements Journal General Journal Initial S CR P CD G Type of Transaction All sales on account (but not cash sales) All cash receipts (from all sources) Purchases (of anything) on account All payments of cash Any transactions other than the above, including purchase returns and allowances, sales returns and allowances, adjusting entries, closing entries, etc.

The above table is important. You need to know what kinds of transactions are recorded in what kind of journal. On the other hand you will only be required to record transactions in the sales journal, cash receipts journal, and general journal (for assignments and on the exams).

Posting from special journals
Here are the general rules when posting from journals to ledgers in a special journal system: 1. The individual entries to subledger accounts (such as customer accounts) are posted as you go (or, at least daily) to the individual accounts within the appropriate subledger. A tick mark is placed in the Posting Reference (PR) Column of the journal. In the subledger individual account (such as customer account), the journal initial and the Page number of the journal is written into the PR column. In Exhibit 8.7, you can see the tick marks in the PR


A synoptic is a columnar journal used to record cash receipts and cash disbursements in small companies.

Copyright © July, 2007 by Terry Kosowick and Okanagan College

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BUAD 111. Posting references: in the journal. write in the general ledger account of the account to which the amount was posted. In the PR column of the general ledger account being posted to. It is very important to understand the concepts of posting in the special journal system and. Exhibits 8. every two weeks or every week. Note that some journals use one column for two different general ledger accounts.posted from page 7 of the cash receipts journal There is some variation as to what initials are used. Some companies post the column totals more often than once per month. To help you in understanding. * Also see footnote 3. In the general ledger account. under the total that was posted write the account number(s) of the general ledger account(s) to which the amount was posted. write the journal initial and the page number of the journal from which you posted. for examples. Both the columns in the sales journal (Exhibit 8. in depth. in the PR column. For the PR column in the ledger account (subledger or general) to which you posted some examples of using the journal initial and the page number are: S4 CR7 . 2. Posting references: in the PR column of the journal. Individual entries in the “Other Accounts” column. are posted as you go (or daily)2 to their appropriate general ledger accounts. For example some accountants use CRJ for Cash receipts journal or R for the cash receipts journal. 2 In some systems.8. 2007 by Terry Kosowick and Okanagan College Page 2 . Okanagan College column of the sales journal end you can see “S3” in the PR column of each of the individual customer accounts (Pale blue) in the Accounts Receivable ledger. they are not particularly easy to learn – it tends to be a weakness among many students.posted from page 4 of the sales journal . they are excellent illustrations and well worth spending time to understand them in detail. if any.7) are of this type. spend extra time studying. 3. these amounts are posted at the end of the month* (In our in-class example. Notice the posting references below the totals of these columns indicate that the same amount has been posted to two different general ledger accounts. 3 Copyright © July. post the column total amounts to their appropriate general ledger accounts. At the end of the month3. The above posting rules apply to posting any and all journals in the special journal system. write the journal initial and the page number of the journal from which the amount was posted. we did it at the end of the month).7 and 8. This is done where every entry to these two general ledger accounts would always be the same amount. Although they may look intimidating and tedious.