The general journal is where double entry bookkeeping entries are recorded by debiting one account and crediting
another account with the same amount. The amount debited and the amount credited should always be equal, thereby ensuring the accounting equation is maintained.

Depending on the business’s accounting information system, specialized journals may be used in conjunction with the general journal for record-keeping. In such case, use of the general journal may be limited to non-routine and adjusting entries.

Format of Journal entry

A general journal entry includes:

  • The Date of the transaction
  • The Title of account credited
  • The Title of the accounts debited
  • The Amount of each debit and credit
  • An explanation of the transaction( also known as a Narration.)

Example of Journal entry

Acme, Inc carried out the following transactions in May 2009.

  • 1 May: Received and paid telephone bill of $100 (cheque #0001)
  • 4 May: Performed consulting services for Example LLP on credit, $350
  • 6 May: Paid wages of $180 13 May: Example LLP paid for services performed on 4 May in full.
  • 19 May: Performed consulting services for cash, $120
  • 25 May: Purchased a computer for $2000. Paid $500 cash (cheque #0002), borrowed the remainder from the bank.

The above transactions may be journalized as follows in accounting software:

Note: This journal entry had been done in Iticale journal entry software
Double entry of 1st of May
Journal entry example, may 01
Double entry of 4th of May
Journal entry example, may 4th
Double entry of 6th of May
Journal entry example, may 6th
Double entry of 13th of May
Journal entry example, may 13th
Double entry of 19th of May
Journal entry example, may 19th
Double entry of 25th of May
Journal entry example, may 25th
As you see in above photo, we take care of debit amount at the first ans credit amount in second row in double entry, this is not a must but it make your journal entry more readable for accountants.
Some external references:  Wikipedia