Journals are the foundation and an important part of the accounting process. They contain detailed records of business transactions and are used for reconciling accounts and transferring information to other accounting records.

There are many different types of journals used in accounting. Some of these include the general journal, the sales return journal, the sales journal, the cash disbursements journal, a purchase journal, a purchase returns journal, and a cash receipts journal.

See also: How to Fill Out a Receipt Book: A Quick & Easy Guide

What is a cash receipts journal?

A cash receipts journal is a special journal that records the receipt of cash by a business from any source during an accounting period. The journal records the cash flowing into the business. It also helps to keep track of the sale of items when cash is received.

Cash receipt journals are beneficial in many ways. They are a very efficient way of keeping track of all the cash received during an accounting period. They aid in the preparation of the cash flow statement and the cash receipt ledger. Cash receipt journals help to keep track of accounts receivable and aged receivables. They also keep track of outstanding supplier payments by matching cash received with cash paid.

Cash Receipts Journal – What is Cash Receipts Journal by Accounting Instruction, Help, & How To

What is a cash receipts journal used to record?

As previously mentioned, cash receipt journals record the inflow of cash from any source. Some of the most common sources include cash sales, collection on customer accounts, capital investments by the owner or proprietor, cash from long-term investments, asset sales for cash, collection on interest, collection on dividends, collection on rent, commissions received, tax refunds, donations received, or capital loans from banks or individuals.

How do you make entries to a cash receipts journal?

Making entries in a cash receipts journal is a pretty simple and straightforward process. Here is an example of how a cash receipts journal is set up.

DebitDebitCreditCreditCredit
DateAcct. CreditedRefDesc.CashSalesDisc.AcctsRec.SalesOtherAccts
Inside of a cash receipt journal example

The following are what gets posted in each column of a cash receipts journal: 

Step 1. Date

Record the date the business received the cash.

Step 2. Accounts credited

Record the name of the account that is credited in the ledger as a result of the cash received.

Step 3. Reference

Post the number of the general ledger account as a cross-reference.

Step 4. Explanation

Write a brief description of the cash received.

Step 5. Cash

Record the amount of cash received.

Step 6. Sales discount

Record the dollar amount of any discount given to the customer.

Step 7. Sales

Record the amount of cash for the merchandise sold.

Step 8. Accounts receivable

Record cash received from customers paying on credit.

Step 9. Other accounts

Record credits here that don’t belong in cash sales or credit customers.

Example of a cash receipts journal with transactions

Let’s say, for example, you have a retail business that sells t-shirts called BigT. The following are business transactions and how they would be posted into the cash receipts journal.

  • Nov 2: BigT made cash sales of $750
  • Nov 7: BigT collected $300 from a sale to Mike Wilson (Account #3) made in October to pay towards the $500 remaining on the account
  • Nov 10: Received $1,000 from ABC Elementary School giving a discount of $50
  • Nov 15: Received $75 interest from an investment
  • Nov 20: Employment advance of $100 repaid
  • Nov 25: BigT had cash sales of $1,200
DebitDebitCreditCreditCredit
DateAcct. CreditedRefExp.CashSalesDisc.AcctsRec.CashSalesOtherAccts
2022
Nov. 2Cash sales$750$750
Nov 7AcctRec3Mike Wilson$300$300
Nov 10AcctRecABCElem.School$1,000$50$1,050
Nov 15OtherInterest$75$75
Nov 20OtherEmp.Adv.$100$100
Nov 25Cash sales$1,200$1,200
Total$3,425$50$1,350$1,950$175
Cash receipt journal filled out example
40 Cash Receipts Journal by Accounting Instruction, Help, & How To

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between a cash receipt ledger and a cash receipts journal?

A journal is where financial transactions are first recorded and are recorded chronologically with a brief explanation. The journal is used to help prepare the ledger. The ledger sorts and groups accounts from the journal’s business transactions showing the summaries and totals of each individual income and expense account in the receipt ledger.

What is the difference between a cash disbursements journal and a cash receipts journal?

A cash disbursements journal is the counterpart to the cash receipts journal. The cash disbursements journal itemizes all business expenses made with cash. Typical information included in the disbursement journal is the check number, the payee, disbursement amount, and the transaction type.


In closing

Journals are very important tools used in the accounting process. They are sources that contain the data that is used to gain valuable insight on the financial aspect of a business. Cash receipt journals are key when monitoring cash flow and accounts receivable, which are two essential accounts when it comes to the success of any business.

Caryl Ramsey has years of experience assisting in different aspects of bookkeeping, taxes, and customer service. She uses a variety of accounting software for setting up client information, reconciling accounts, coding expenses, running financial reports, and preparing tax returns. She is also experienced in setting up corporations with the State Corporation Commission and the IRS.

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