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Oct 05 2012

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what are the Types of Special Journals Used in Accounting

journal, special journal, types of special journal, cash book, accounts payable book, accounts receivable bookMany businesses maintain several types of journal instead of one journal due to classification. While it would be possible to record every transaction in a single book of original entry, this is hardly ever done. Whenever a number of transactions of the same character take place, special journals may be designed in which such transactions can be conveniently entered and summarized. Special journals include sales journals, purchases journals, cash receipts and disbursements journals, the voucher register, and various other books of original entry designed to summarize special groups of transactions. Regardless of the number and the nature of the special books original entry, there are always certain entries that cannot be made in the special journals, and these are recorded in the general journal. In this connection it may be pointed out that a number of special columns, as per requirement, may be draw in various special journals which facilitate summarizing and subsequent transfer from books of original entry to other books and records.

Types of Special Journals


  • Purchases Book: This is one of the subsidiary books or books of original entry in which all credit purchases of goods for re-sales are recorded. Purchase Invoice, after it has been checked as to calculations and also as to the quantity, quality and price of the goods received, is numbered serially and then entered in the   Purchases Day Book which is also known as Invoice Book.
  • Purchases Return Book: This book is also called Returns Outwards Book and is maintained for recording returns of goods bought. A Debit Note is made out with a carbon duplicate and sent to the party to whom the goods are returned. Entries are then made in the Purchases Return Book from the Debit Note Book giving reference to the number of each Debit Note as Follows:
  • Sales Book: The use of this book to record credit sales. The rulings of this book are similar with those of the Purchases Book. An Outward Invoice is made out for each credit sale and checked as to quantity, quality and price of the goods before the latter are sent out to the customer. The firm keeps the Duplicate Copy the Invoice and the original is posted to the purchaser. Entries are then made from these copies of Outward Invoices into the Day Book or Sales Book. A specimen of Sales Book is shown below:
  • Sales Return Book: This book is termed Return Inwards Book, that is returns of goods sold to the trader by his customers are recorded in this book. On receipt of the goods, Credit Notes with carbon duplicates are made out and sent to these customers who have returned the goods. Entries are then made from Credit Note Book to Sales Returns Book. The specimen of Sales Return Book is given below:
  • Bills Receivable Book: This book is maintained to record full particulars of the bills receivable received by the enterprise. For a large enterprise, when numerous bills of exchange are drawn on debtors, it is advantageous to maintain Bills Receivable Book. As soon as each Bills Receivable is received, the necessary particulars connected with it, viz., the names of the drawer and the acceptor, the date of the bill, the amount, the due date etc., are entered in the bills Receivable Book. A specimen of this book is shown below:
  • Bills Payable Book: This book is maintained to record full particulars of the bills payable accepted by the trader and to provide a convenient medium for recoding bills payable transactions. A bill payable is one which has been accepted by a person and the amount of which he is under obligation to pay at some specified future time. In accepting a bill payable full particulars of the same are recorded in the bills payable book. A specimen of this book is shown below:
  • Cash Book:  Among the important books of a business the cash book is very important. This is also a book of original entry. The objective of the book is to keep a record of all receipts and payments of money. Cash books with different rulings are used in different types of business based on the nature of the business.
  • General Ledger: In modern accounting the use of only one journal is very much limited. Special journal for different types of transactions is in use. The transactions which cannot be conveniently recorded in any of the other books of original entry are now being recorded in journal.

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