Glossary definition

What is a journal?

A journal is a financial record that includes transactions (typically sales and purchases), normally in date order and recorded on a daily basis.

These can be kept on paper but most businesses now keep data electronically in spreadsheets or accounting software.

When you’re using software, most journal entries are created automatically when you create invoices or manage payments.

Some journals may still need to be created manually (e.g. to add payroll information, which is referred to as a salary journal).