Financial Auditing

Journal Entry Template – Free Download

Nov 20, 2020 | By Nikko Jones

A journal entry is the behind the scenes action of a company’s financial statements. It is the details of a company’s business transactions when compiled in the financial statements used in decision making.

The combination of journal entries results in the accounting journal, which is then posted to the various ledger accounts in the chart of accounts, resulting in the creation of the general ledger. The general ledger balances are summarized in the trial balance, which is used to create the company’s financial statements such as the balance sheet and income statement. 

While there are many types of journal entry examples, this article will focus on two types. The first demonstrating a basic cash journal entry and the second is an adjusting journal entry made to record year-end adjustments to the financial statements. 

What is a journal entry with examples?

The most basic form a journal entry takes is related to cash. These entries form the financial journal known as the cash book. These journal entries record all activity within the bank account and their accuracy is key to successfully completing the bank reconciliation. 

The following journal entry example records a cash payment made from the company’s checking account for expenses posted to the related expense account. 

DebitCreditDescription
601 Office Supplies$215Paper and printer toner
101 Checking Account$215Paper and printer toner

The adjusting journal entry is the backbone of accrual accounting and this type of journal entry is recorded at the end of the accounting period in the general journal. Adjusting journal entries always involves a balance sheet account such as accounts receivable, accounts payable, or accumulated depreciation. Adjusting journal entries are necessary to ensure a successful accrual-based balance sheet reconciliation.

In the adjusting journal entry example below, deprecation is recognized on fixed assets at the end of the year.

 DebitCreditDescription
801 Depreciation Expense$25,000To record the  annual depreciation expense on fixed assets
299 Accumulated Depreciation$25,000To record the  annual depreciation expense on fixed assets

What are the 4 parts of a journal entry?

The journal entry includes four parts, which should all be included in the form template chosen to create the journal entry. These four parts include:

  • Header: Date of entry and reference number
  • Account name and number: These are pulled from the company’s chart of accounts and recorded in the first column of the journal entry
  • Debit and credit amounts: These dollar amounts represent the financial transactions of the company and are recorded in the second and third columns (respectively) of the journal entry
  • Description: An explanation of the purpose of the journal entry is included in either the footer or the fourth column of the journal entry

While the format can vary slightly with the Excel template used, they all need to include these four basic parts in order to provide the necessary information to post to the general journal. 

How do you write a journal entry?

A journal entry focuses on the basic accounting concept of double-entry accounting. In practical terms, double-entry accounting is accomplished by using debits and credits. A journal entry is in balance when the debits equal the credits made to the various accounts. 

The journal entry Excel format typically includes at least two rows in the worksheet listing the account along with the amount of the debit and credit. The use of an Excel template provides a proper journal entry format. 

Below is an example of the basic format of a journal entry:

DebitCreditDescription
Account Name and Number$XXXX
Account Name and Number$XXXX

Journal Entry Template

A journal entry template is a tool that helps you properly create a journal entry and (in some cases) can also be used to upload into your accounting software streamlining the bookkeeping functions of a company. If you don’t create journal entries the old-fashioned way on a daily basis, templates are a valuable tool to ensure your journal entry is accurate before you post it to your accounting software. 

Download the Free Template

Microsoft Excel remains the most widely used tool to assist accountants and journal entry Excel templates in Excel are widely available for download such as the free template found here. Many accounting software require journal entry uploads in Xls format, another consideration when searching for a journal entry template. Additionally, depending on the end-use of the template, consideration should be made as to whether the template needs to be printable. 

Although Microsoft Word could be used to create a journal entry template, the calculation functions are not available as they are with Excel. Using Word would be less efficient and require the mathematical calculations to be made separate from the creation of the journal entry.

Learn what industry experts from Ventana Research have to say about the month-end close moving forward

Nikko Jones
Nikko Jones
Nikko Jones is a former auditor, accountant, and current Account Executive at FloQast. Prior to joining the company, he worked as an auditor at EY before transitioning to the accounting world in 2017. Nikko recently celebrated his third work anniversary. In his free time, Nikko enjoys playing volleyball, spending time at the beach, and watching sports.

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