What is a general journal voucher and how does it relate to general journals and general ledgers?
A journal voucher is a component of an audit trail which contains several key components: a transaction date, a transaction amount, a description of the transaction, a serial number, a list of ledger accounts affected, references to documentary evidence (like recipes and invoices), and the signatures of authorized signatories. In other words, it is a written authorization that is prepared for each financial transaction.
A general journal is the part of the accounting record keeping system in which transactions are entered. The four types of journals include sales, cash receipts, purchases, and cash disbursements.
A general ledger is the account used to store and sort the balance sheet and income statement transactions. Accounts included are cash, accounts receivable, investments, inventory, equipment, and land.
In other words, a journal voucher makes entries into the general journal, whose transactions are then used for the preparation of the ledger.
A voucher is a document that supports or confirms a business transaction. The document is used to make entries in journals.
Journals are the original accounting entries and are recorded in order by date, showing the sequence of all transactions. A general journal is an accounting record that shows transactions that don’t occur regularly, such as bad debts. A general journal is divided into credit and debit accounts, showing where money is injected and released. Thus, vouchers are the primary documents that confirm transaction entries in a journal. On the other hand, general vouchers are used to confirm non-routine transactions that are recorded in a general journal.
Transactions posted in the general journal are later posted to the corresponding accounts in the form of a general ledger. Thus, a voucher is used to make entries into a journal and transactions recorded in the journal are eventually used to prepare a ledger.
Voucher is a document which authorises an entry into books of accounts. In addition, the voucher may also act a authorization of carrying out actual transaction requiring entry in book of accounts.
Books of accounts are of two main types journal and ledger. Journal is the primary book of account in which the accounting transactions are first entered serially in the order which these take place, and show both debit (Dr.) and credit (Cr.) effect of the transaction. Based on the journal, entries are then made in ledger, which contain account head wise details of the accounting transactions.
Often the journals and ledgers are divided in several sub sections. For example, a journal called cash-book contains details of only cash transactions. Similarly the ledgers may be divides according to groups of accounts such as suppliers ledger containing accounts of all the suppliers , and stores ledger containing accounts of material stocked and used by the company.
General journal refers to the journal containing all miscellaneous accounting entries not belonging to any other specialized journal. Similarly, general ledger is ledger containing miscellaneous accounts not belonging to any other specified group of accounts.
All vouchers are journal vouchers as these are used for making entries in journal. A general voucher is used for making entries in general journal.