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How to Work with Journal Entries in QuickBooks 2011

QuickBooks 2011 makes it easy for you to record journal entries. If you've spent any time working with QuickBooks, you may know that most of the journal entries that get recorded into the QuickBooks data file are recorded automatically. If somebody writes a check or an invoice, for example, QuickBooks records the journal entry.

In some cases, however, somebody — probably you — needs to record a journal entry to get some transaction into the QuickBooks data file. For example, you use journal entries to record depreciation, to accrue liabilities, and to record the disposal of assets.

Recording a journal entry

To record a journal entry, choose Company→Make Journal Entries. QuickBooks displays the Make General Journal Entries window.

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You can probably figure out how to use the Make General Journal Entries window yourself. After you provide this basic information, you use the columns of the General Journal Entry window to record the journal entry.

Reversing a journal entry

To reverse a journal entry, first display the General Journal Entries window by choosing Company→Make Journal Entries. Use the Previous and Next buttons to page through general journal entries that you've already entered. Found it? Good. How you reverse this entry depends on which version of QuickBooks you're using.

  • If you're using QuickBooks Pro: Print the general journal entry by clicking the Print button. Then, using the printed journal entry as a reference source, enter a new journal except with the debits and credits reversed.

  • If you're using QuickBooks Premier or QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions: When you find the journal entry that you want to reverse, click the Reverse button at the top edge of the General Journal Entry window. QuickBooks reverses the general journal entry by entering a transaction into the next accounting month with the debits and credits flip-flopped.

The Adjusting Entry check box indicates that the journal entry is a special entry made after the fact by the accountant. You can print a report of just those special "adjusting entries."

Editing journal entries

Typically, you won't want to fool around and later change the journal entries. However, if you do feel the need to make changes, QuickBooks provides an Edit menu with commands that you can use for just this purpose. For example, QuickBooks supplies a Delete General Journal command that you can use to delete the journal entry shown in the Make General Journal Entries window. QuickBooks also supplies a Void General Journal command that you can use to void the general journal entry shown in the window. Typically, you don't want to delete general journal entries. Instead, you want to void them.

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