Journal Entry Format

Updated on April 26, 2024
Article byWallstreetmojo Team
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is A Journal Entry Format?

Journal Entry format is the standard format used in bookkeeping to keep a record of all the company’s business transactions and is mainly based on the double-entry bookkeeping system of accounting and ensures that the debit side and credit side are always equal.

Journal Entry Format Meaning

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The standard format contains five columns – 1) Transaction Date, 2) Particulars of Business Transaction, 3) Folio Number, 4) Debit Entry, and 5) Credit Entry. In this book, all the business transactions are enter for the first time. After the transactions are entered here, they get transferred to the ledger. Journals can be very simple or complex, depending on the transaction.

Journal Entry Format Explained

The journal entry format refers to the format or technique through which any financial transaction occurring in the business every day is recorded in the books of accounts. Journal is basically, the first step to enter the transaction details using certain rules and regulations, which every company should strictly follow in order to maintain consistency.

Every transaction entered in the books or in a journal entry format in excel, has two effects, a debit and a credit. A typical format of a journal will consist of different columns like date, particulars, a ledger folio, a debit and a credit. The ledger folio will state the page number of the ledger account where the transaction of the particular item has been posted against this journal.

Whatever be the type of transaction, the basic format of a journal will always continue to remain the same. It is the basis or the foundation of all the financial statements that any company prepares during the financial year for management and stakeholders. It gives every type of information required regarding that particular transaction. The format also includes a narration below it, which summarizes the details in a short sentence.

It is important for every business to follow the double-entry system of accounts journal entry format while preparing journal so that there is consistency, clarity and uniformity in the books of accounts. It is to be noted that both the sides are equal in importance and both of them should be recorded correctly.

Standard Format Of Journal Entry In Accounting

Let us discuss each of the columns in detail –

The basic format of a Journal Entry in accounting is shown below:


DateParticulars of Business TransactionFolioDebitCredit
XXDebut A/C $0.00 
 Credit A/C  $0.00
 (Brief Narration of the Transaction)   

Column 1: Transaction Date

The first column in the Journal book consists of the transaction date. The transaction date refers to the actual date on which the transaction has been incurred and not the date of reporting the transaction.

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Column 2: Journal Entry

The second column of writing journal entry format is where we record the business transaction by passing a Journal Entry. Journal entries refer to the systematic recording of business events and transactions on a given date by applying fundamental rules of bookkeeping. At the bottom of the Journal Entry, we post a brief narration describing the transaction.

For example, suppose on Oct 15, 2019, A Ltd bought furniture worth US $ 1,000/- for business purposes. In this case, we will debit the Furniture Account (Debit what comes in) and credit the Bank Account (Credit what goes out) with the US $ 1,000/-

The journal entry format in excel for this transaction will be as follows:

Journal Entry Format Example 2

Column 3: Folio

The third column of journal entry format in excel is the folio number, which indicates the reference number used to identify the particular entry in respective ledger accountsLedger AccountsLedger in accounting records and processes a firm’s financial data, taken from journal entries. This becomes an important financial record for future reference. It is used for creating financial statements. It is also known as the second book of entry.read more. This reference number could be numeric or alphanumeric as well.

Column 4: Debit Amount

The fourth column shows the amount by which the respective account is debited in the transaction.

For Instance, On Feb 07, 2019, ABC Inc. paid office rent of US $ 250.00 and Building insurance of US $ 400.00.

Now, since office rent and building insurance is an expense for ABC Inc., we will debit both the accounts (Debit all expenses and losses), i.e., the Rent account by the US $ 250.00 & Insurance account by the US $ 400.00, and the will credit the bank account by the US $ 650.00(Credit what goes out) as:

The format in excel for this transaction will be as follows:

Journal Entry Format Example 3

Now, with the help of the fourth column, we can clearly distinguish which account is affected by how much money.

Column 5: Credit Amount

Like column 4 of the proper journal entry format, which shows the amount by which an account is debited, column 5 represents the amount by which the respective account is credited.

Continuing the above example, the payment of rent and Insurance expensesInsurance ExpensesInsurance Expense, also called Insurance Premium, is the amount a Company pays to obtain an insurance contract for covering their risk from any unexpected catastrophe. You can calculate it as a fixed percentage of the sum insured & it is paid at a daily pre-specified period. read more shows an outflow of money from the business. Thus we credited the bank account with a total of US $ 650.00


On Oct 15, 2019, ABC Inc. sold 200 units @ US $ 10/unit to Mr. John on credit.

To record the transaction, we will enter the transaction date, which is Oct 15, 2019, in the first column.

In the second column of accounts journal entry format, we will pass the accounting journal entry of the transaction, i.e.; we will credit the Sales account (credit all income and gains). As Mr. John has received the goods on credit and will make the payment in the future, he is the debtorDebtorA debtor is a borrower who is liable to pay a certain sum to a credit supplier such as a bank, credit card company or goods supplier. The borrower could be an individual like a home loan seeker or a corporate body borrowing funds for business expansion. read more of ABC Inc. By the rule of a personal account; we will debit his account by the amount of sale value (Debit the receiver).

The proper journal entry format in excel for this transaction will be as follows:

Journal Entry Format Example 4

Thus, the above example of writing journal entry format clearly explains the format using which any transaction can be recorded. Every column has a particular purpose and explains a part of it. We notice that every detail is written so that it is possible to refer to it anytime and understand the nature of the transaction and use it for future reference.

Essential Points To Note

This has been a guide to what is Journal Entry Format. We explain it with example, standard format in accounting and essential points. You can learn more about accounting from the following articles –