DEFINITION of 'Journal'

1. In accounting, a first recording of financial transactions as they occur in time, so that they can then be used for future reconciling and transfer to other official accounting records such as the general ledger. A journal will state the date of the transaction, which account(s) were affected and the amounts, usually in a double-entry bookkeeping method.

2. For an individual investor or professional manager, a detailed record of trades occurring in the investor's own accounts, used for tax, evaluation and auditing purposes.


Journaling is an essential part of objective record-keeping and allows for concise review and records transfer later in the accounting process. Journals are often reviewed as part of a trade or audit process, along with the general ledger(s).

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  3. Do prepayments provide working capital?

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  4. Does working capital include salaries?

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  5. What is a profit and loss (P&L) statement and why do companies publish them?

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